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Organic Garden of Eden turns Five

10 December 2004

Organic Garden of Eden turns Five

Unitec’s organic garden has four reasons to celebrate this Friday, with its fifth birthday, its official organic certification, a gold award in a regional garden competition, and the launch of its CD Rom.

Mahi Whenua, a hortecology sanctuary on Unitec’s Mt Albert campus, recently received certification from Organic Farm NZ and last month won gold in the Create Your Own Eden Awards, an Auckland-wide competition that promotes sustainable land management practices.

Brendan Hoare Director of the Centre and a lecturer from the Unitec School of Natural Sciences says the hortecology sanctuary is an important part of the institution’s sustainability platform. “It is a showcase for sustainability on campus and has been recognised nationally and regionally.”

Food produced in the gardens need the organic certification to be recognised as authentic organic vegetables, he says. “Certification is becoming is becoming increasingly necessary. The standards to which we are certified are recognised internationally and is one method of verifying that we are serious about organic production.

“Certification is also a fantastic learning tool for students wanting to become a part of organics, which is the fastest growing food industry in the world.”

A wide range of plants and vegetables are grown in Mahi Whenua and Brendan says that because the sanctuary was conceived as a teaching tool for demonstrating sustainable practices, it was easy to meet the criteria for the Create Your Own Eden award. “With our focus on minimising any energy loss from the site, we excelled in all the criteria – especially waste management.”

Waitakere City Mayor Bob Harvey will be among the guests at sanctuary’s fifth birthday celebrations.

What: Unitec Hortecology Sanctuary Mahi Whenua, fifth birthday celebrations
Where: Unitec, Carrington Rd, Mt Albert
When: 3.30pm, Friday 10 December

ENDS

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