EVENT RECAP: Coffee and Jam #214

Speaker One: Peter Wells// Otakaro Orchard

Peter spoke about the progression of the Otakaro Orchard which is a project by Edible Canterbury serving as a starting point to the local food movement growing in Christchurch. It is an aim to close the gap of people in Christchurch without healthy food by having an edible landscape. The orchard is to be located in the heart of the Avon River Precinct between the Town hall and Margaret Mahy Playground. At this stage it is an empty lot that is hard ground and rubble so will be a complex project which involves much designing, planning and getting everyone together.

So far it has been about 1 -2 years doing the project with a staff of seven people and two that are part time. As it is for a non-profit, it benefits from all help generated such as crowd funding and sponsors.

The plan for the orchard is that it will have three parts including an edible park with multiple herb and vegetable gardens and an amphitheater, a local food information centre and café as well as a dome for indoor food production.

The project has a 1.6 million budget that includes four phases:

1. Preconstruction and planting

2. Amphitheatre and hardscape

3. Building Shell and Fit out

4. Climate dome

The orchard has had a lot of support including the Christchurch Wizard casting a spell on it. However, the message taken away was that the real magic happens when we all get together as a community to create a greener and more resilient city.There will be a planting day on August the 5th in which public can get involved and enjoy some food, coffee, and company.


Speaker Two: Erica Austin// Design Jam Update

Design Jam was a 48 hour design challenge held over the weekend in collaboration with Regeneration Christchurch. The challenge brought architectural, design, community, entrepreneurial and sustainable minds together to come up with potential solutions for the Otakaro Avon River Corridor Former Redzone.

The event was open to participants aged 25 and under and brought in a lot of people with early stage ideas from diverse backgrounds including those from high school and tertiary instututions. Participants were divided into 5 separate focus areas of the Avon River Corridor, which included Bexley, Burwood, Horseshoe Lake, Avonside and the Green spine. The design options were activation, product landscape, recreation, and ecology. It was a jam- packed full weekend of designing as well as having knowledgeable and skilled guest speakers and mentors including US designer Ryan Gravel who created the highly successful Atlanta Beltway Regeneration Project as well as Jessica Halliday. The design teams that impressed the judges included Horse Shore (Horseshoe Lake) winning the Community Connection Award, Yin Yangs (Avonside) winning the Heart of the River award, Sense-Sational (Green Spine) winning the People’s Award and Team Float Your Boat (Bexley) winning the Future Thinking Award.

Ministry of Awesome loved working with people in the early stages of their ideas as well as the collaboration with Regenerate Christchurch. They found it was a really neat experience to engage with youth, giving them an opportunity to brainstorm, test, collaborate and communicate ideas as well as have a chance to develop a design brief to help shape the red zones future.

Two of the designs have also been featured in a Radio NZ article which includes floating homes and a barge service. This article can be checked out here. The designs will be considered into Regenerate Christchurch’s plans and will also be showcased at Awesome HQ - 192 St. Asaph St.


1. Validation Station is the event for you if you have a problem you want to solve or an idea for a business. It will be held on the 19th of July at the Space Academy.


2. The Internet of Things: A Revolution of Health and Wellbeing? is a one-off event welcoming international thought leader Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino. It is being held by SIGNAL ICT Graduate School and Ara, Institute of Canterbury. For more details go to http://bethere.co.nz/event/25155

3. Eco-Oikos is a blog by Anthea Madill about living eco-friendly and second hand. Check it out at https://www.ecooikos.com/

4. Lisa Hamon is a graphic designer and backpacker looking for a print or web design project for the next 2-3 months. You can visit her portfolio at www.tisatisa.fr and contact her on 021 178 0697 or lisa.hamon.35@gmail.com

5. Akshatha is looking for a software testing job or opportunity. She can be contacted on 021 055 5788

6. Peter Wells from Otakaro Orchard says Happy 4th of July and wishes his country (America) the best of health. He hopes it can recover from a divisive and troublesome period in history.




Coffee & Jam is Christchurch's longest running weekly meet up for entrepreneurially-minded people. It’s a great place to see ordinary people doing extraordinary things, meet people, learn and share in a creative space, hear about other events in Christchurch and indulge in a little bit of free coffee, jam and bread.

If you have an idea you'd like to pitch get in touch with Gina at gina@ministryofawesome.com.