Hospital gardens to help health
Healthy Families Far North, in partnership with the Northland District Health Board and Te Hiku communities, is on the verge of bringing back a heritage tradition of hospital-based community gardens in the Far North.
Kaita¯ ia Hospital has offered up surplus land to develop kai and rongoa¯ gardens at its child and youth services facility, Te Roopu Kimiora.
The hospital previously housed large gardens at the site many years ago, but they have since declined.
The idea to bring the gardens back was first seeded at a meeting earlier in the year, with Northland District Health Board general manager Jeanette Wedding pitching it as an ideal marriage between primary and preventative healthcare.
‘‘A hospital-based community garden has untold potential. As a means of providing pathways for training, feeding and treating patients and their wha¯ nau, economic capacity, food rescue and so forth. The possibilities are truly exciting,’’ Wedding says.
Healthy Families Far North kaiwhakahaere Shirleyanne Brown says the possibility of being able to consult with vulnerable clients in the calm surrounds of a thriving garden is a unique position for the service to be in.
She anticipates that the first sod will be turned before Christmas with a blessing ceremony.