Kai in the sky believes in trying to keep the rooftops of Tāmaki Makaurau as green as possible.
Kai in the Sky believes in trying to keep the planet as green as possible. When we remove a patch of grass to build a building, the least we can do is cover the roof in plants to try reduce our impact. So when Covid-19 saw a lot of local hospitality businesses struggling, Kai in the Sky became an effort to help two sectors.
The initiative will build vegetable gardens on the roofs, which will then be tended to and harvested by the restaurants and cafe's underneath who can use the fresh produce in their kitchens for free. By planting on the rooftops, Kai in the Sky can help with biodiversity in Tāmaki Makaurau.
The benefits of this include;
- Improving air quality, just like a house plant does in your house, urban gardens help improve the air quality of cities through photosynthesis.
- Providing refuge for bees. Bees can travel long distances in search of food and if they don't find any they can die from exhaustion.
- Repurposing materials. The gardens are built out of fully recycled materials that would otherwise be headed for landfill. Each garden saves hundreds of kilos of wood and plastic.
- Reducing food miles. Food transportation is a large contributor to emissions. Even though we grow a lot here in NZ we still import a lot of fruit and veg. So by growing locally we can reduce the amount of transportation needed to bring food to these restaurants.
- Cooling temperatures. Through evapotranspiration, gardens can absorb and make use of some of the heat that rooftops cannot. This can help reduce the urban heat island effects.
- Bringing people closer to their food. We want to teach people to appreciate the food they buy and understand the importance of caring for our planet. We can also learn how to eat seasonally to reduce the need for imported foods.
Kai in the Sky is made up of volunteers and we find donated second-hand resources where we can. The funds we raise are to cover costs for things like; Trailer hire to transport materials, contractors to make the roofs safe for gardeners to tend to, and other materials we need to keep the project going.
Kai in the Sky is a start up community garden initiative that aims to make Auckland greener by planting veggie gardens on unused city rooftops. The initiative will also help struggling local hospitality businesses post-Covid with the free fresh produce.