Maori growers the length of New Zealand are making a difference in their communities.
On Saturday, members of the Maori Growers' Collective Tahuri Whenua were hosted at Kaiwhaiki Marae.
Kaiwhaiki woman Kiritahi Takiari started the community maara (garden) along the road and now has a group of growers learning the art of growing kai.
Ms Takiari last week started Spud-in-a-Bucket at Kokohuia School. The project is being rolled out to kura and kohanga reo across the country.
Sr Makareta Tawaroa, who also lives at Kaiwhaiki, told the gathering in her days they never packed a lunch.
"We used to eat our way through the fields."
She spoke of feeling an urgency for people to grow kai and added she would like all the houses at Kaiwhaiki Pa to plant an apple, pear, lemon and plum tree.
Balance was an important part of how we lived, she said, and hens and ducks were the pest control in her garden.
"Remember to keep wild spaces in your garden. We need more of them," she reminded the growers.
In his report, TW chair Dr Nick Roskruge spoke of a positive year where growers throughout the country continued to take up the kaupapa, and gained confidence around the maara and growing kai.
All work carried out in TW was volunteer and the kaupapa was for Maori to participate in the organisation where they could learn, share their knowledge and swap seeds.
"We can contribute positively to Maori development," Dr Roskruge said, of the clusters of maara that were sprouting up around the motu (country).
The TW was a space, with a long-term view, where people could grow their confidence while growing kai they could put on the table for their whanau.
Dr Roskruge, Te Atiawa, Ngati Tama-Ariki, is senior lecturer in the School of Natural Resources at Massey University where the students and researchers are looking at taewa (Maori potatoes), squash, corn and kamokamo.
Getting people to grow kai was the first step, and the second was to get them to save their seed.
"You would be surprised how many people eat the lot, but we have to save seed for the next year."
Seed-storing was another learning tool for those in the TW.
Dan Bloomer from Landwise spoke about climate change but said some farmers he spoke to had their ears closed to the reality.
"Anything you do for climate change, you should be doing anyway. If your soil is in good condition, you will survive droughts and weather events."
In Blenheim over the past three years 45 maara had been started by individuals.
Richard Hunter from Blenheim said they had started with a dream."They are like-minded people in the community who have a lot of enthusiasm."