Community Farm Launches ‘Save Kelmarna Appeal’

Kelmarna Community Farm recently launched a $200,000 appeal to save the much-loved local farm from the very real spectre of closure.

With the withdrawal of a crucial annual grant, vital community services such as therapeutic gardening for mental health and disability support, education programmes for schools, volunteering opportunities and the Farmhand training programme are now at risk due to lack of funding.

Being able to share the community farm’s work and cover central operating costs is another area in need of support. For the most part these costs are wages for key organisational functions vital to all the projects under the Kelmarna banner.

The $200k minumum fundraising goal will provide two years of essential funding for the operational framework to:

● Better communicate with the community about what Kelmarna does and how to be a part of it

● Rebuild the school education programme

● Grow events and fundraising activities

● Build and maintain relationships with business sponsors

● Foster deeper community engagement at Kelmarna

● Recruit and retain the skills and people critical to this work

And crucially, it will buy time to make sure that Kelmarna never faces this situation again.

If your financial situation allows it, the single most powerful way to support Kelmarna is to sign up for a regular monthly or annual donation on the appeal page:

By making a regular donation you’ll also automatically join the Friends of Kelmarna Membership scheme and gain new exclusive benefits including:

● Discounts at GoodFor Wholefoods Refillery, Ozone Coffee Roasters and Kelmarna workshops

● A free month of e-bike subscriptions at Electric Bike Team

● A double film pass for the Hollywood Cinema

● And more

If you would prefer to make a one-time contribution that is also incredibly helpful in overcoming the current funding crisis.

Since the termination of a 15-year partnership with a mental health provider eight years ago, Kelmarna has had to lean heavily on grant funding. In the intervening years, the team has worked hard to diversify the farm’s offerings and income streams, strengthen the programmes and bed in new projects – all in an effort to move away from reliance on grant funding.

The paddock development project in 2021 successfully delivered several new projects into the Kelmarna eco-system with these projects now hitting their stride and on the cusp of breaking even.

Kelmarna has been a beacon of hope and inspiration for Aucklanders for over 40 years. The loss of this beloved community asset would be devastating to so many people. It’s about fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment within our community.

It's about providing our tamariki with a dynamic learning environment where they can explore, discover, and grow. And it's about creating a green space which not only sustains life but also serves as a refuge for Auckland's wildlife and pollinators.

Kelmarna stands as a testament to the power of connection and care, but without action now, all this could be lost forever.

Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi. With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.

Kelmarna Community Farm, 12 Hukanui Crescent, T: 09 376 0472,

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Published: May 2024