I am part of the Ooooby Matakana team. I love to eat out of my own back yard! We grow most of our own fruit and veggies and when there is excess I can sell to Ooooby. These broad beans were picked in the morning and in the Ooooby boxes later that same morning. I am hoping to grow tomatoes for Ooooby this summer. ~ Robin Barclay
Tuesday started with a quick visit to the Auckland hub to say hello to Daphne, Leonie, Chris and Ben before jumping in the truck with Mark to take produce to the Ooooby Matakana hub for the packing day.
The mood was good humoured and relaxed, even though there were some challenges – the Ooooby crew were short staffed and some produce had not been supplied as expected.
Finding local produce
With Robin’s Broad Beans and Patrick and Louise’s potatoes, the boxes had a good sampling of local produce and looked great! The crew finished just in time as customers began arriving, after school pickup. Some boxes were picked up and taken to other drop points in Warkworth, Leigh and Wellsford.
Behind the scenes
I spent the following day with Katya, who has been finding her way in the supply coordination role and doing a great job of managing the seemingly endless variables that are inherent when it comes to finding and buying fresh produce.
On Thursday I learnt about the Customer Happiness role from Mel. She is about to pass on the role to Gabrielle, but the Matakana crew are hoping she can continue to work her magic with the Ooooby Matakana Facebook page.
A growers meeting was held on Tuesday the 3rd at the hub (988 Matakana Rd), and a dozen existing and potential new growers gathered for an introduction to Why, Who and What of Ooooby and had some extensive conversations about the practicalities of using Ooooby to get their produce to local customers.
Rebuilding the local food system
As yet there are not great volumes of local produce being grown around Matakana, so most of the produce which goes into the Ooooby boxes is coming via the Auckland Ooooby hub.
Ooooby’s mission is to make local food convenient, affordable and fair everywhere, and step one is to build up the demand, so local growers can be assured there is a channel to market for most or all that they grow. The existing Ooooby Matakana customers are the ones who are helping build the demand, and the more customers we can find, the more we can go out to local growers with confidence, to let them know just how much produce we need.
If you are interested in supporting the local food economy, and are thinking of becoming an Ooooby customer, you can sign up at www.ooooby.org.