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Our Ōtautahi based Eat NZ Kaitaki - Dylan Parker is a farmer, gardener and seed saver who has been involved in a number of local food networks in Christchurch since 2014...Here's what he shared with us about why he does what he does.
For me it's all about connection, connection to place, connection to the planet and connection to each other. By participating in natural systems I feel more conected with the world around me, by sharing Kai grown by my hands I feel more conected to those around me, by being outside every day working with the land I feel the seasons change and notice the unique aspects of life unfolding around me.
The plants we hold as allies fascinate me food and medicine plants as much dye, fabric and fire plants do, our relationship with these beings is long and beautiful and I love reconnecting old ties, I grow what I love and I love what I grow.
I could talk at length about all the reasons why eating local makes sense, why foraging conects you with an environment in the same way words connect you with humanity but instead I ask you to come find me and connect person to person.
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Dylan is currently 2IC at Cultivate Christchurch and runs Crooked Roots, a slow cropping and seed saving project with friends at the Biological Husbandry Unit at Lincoln University. He's on the committee for his local community garden and is the lead farmer on a new project in the Redzone in Ōtautahi - an educational hub to help connect and empower local people to engage with the land and strengthen their food security.
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