Local food advocates seek Aoraki links

14:39, Aug 17 2009

Building a more sustainable world is the aim of a new partnership in Timaru.

A farmers' market and garden-sharing scheme are visions of Transition Timaru, which has approached Aoraki Polytechnic to provide appropriate courses.

Transition Timaru is a new society trying to build resilience to the effects of climate change and the peak oil crisis by reducing carbon emissions and creating self-sufficient communities in South Canterbury.

Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline.

Bob Calkin, a member of the Transition Timaru steering committee, said that in a few years, peak oil will make the global market less viable as the cost of fuel rises, and business, as usual, will not be possible. The group seeks a return to more localised food production.

"A large part of what we do is re-educating, so it is important to be associated with the polytech."

The group hopes to see polytechnic courses in their specific areas of expertise. Ideas discussed included the students creating a meal using only ingredients created and packaged within an 80-kilometre radius.

Dr Steve Earnshaw, another steering committee member, said the group saw peak oil and climate change as a blessing in disguise, and a chance to return to more inclusive communities. "[We are] trying to show a good view of the future ... saying `OK, we have these problems, but we can make good of it'."


The Timaru Herald