Like a walk in the park

Like a walk in the park

Well maybe not a walk in the park, and while it’s not rocket science it is complicated. In the words of Paula Allen from Palmerston North:  Ooooby is being created by New Zealanders aiming to make it easier for consumers to eat healthy food that’s grown and produced close to where they live. It turns out that’s much harder to do than common-sense would suggest. Who would have thought? 31 May, 2016 – It was her tone, as she shared with another packer that the Lettuce had been frozen overnight, that tipped me off. Upstairs Jan and Nicky were frantically trying to source another 100 organic Lettuces. Not a chance! Hurriedly constructed letters for the boxes and out they went with the Beetroot, horror of horrors, in plastic bags. They had also been in the refrigerated container that had been accidentally turned to Freeze, so were pretty juicy – but still edible and tasty, as was confirmed later. The Ooooby crew were all present to the challenge. They quickly took measures to reduce the likelihood of that happening again, and dealt with the issue. I was proud to be part of it, and see them all pull together to make the best of a bad situation and take decisions that were measured and considered. Attempting to circumvent the ”status quo” industrial food system is not an easy thing, but an important one. One of the challenges is finding enough local growers and, with a ”just in time” direct supply chain, we can’t rely on all the buffers that a warehoused food system can fall back on. This week Jan, who organises what will go in the coming week’s...
A delicious and nutritious fruit and vegetable smoothie recipe

A delicious and nutritious fruit and vegetable smoothie recipe

A great way to use fruits and vegetables is in smoothies. Not only are there lots of different recipes available, they are super easy to make, taste great and thanks to the ingredients used, are very nutritious. For your basic smoothie all you need is a cup of vegetables, a cup of fruits and a liquid base. To increase the flavour and nutritional value you can also add in protein powders, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Using Ooooby’s products you can create a wide variety of smoothie recipes. This deep red coloured one makes use of the following ingredients: 1/2 a frozen banana – using frozen fruits helps make smoothies thicker, giving them a milkshake like consistency, and bananas work especially well at achieving this. You probably already know that bananas are an excellent source of potassium; a medium sized one provides you with 12% of your daily requirement. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, a vitamin required for energy production. Bananas are a digestive aid, and are great to have before working out. The natural sugars that they contain help to make this smoothie more palatable. 1/2 a cup of carrots – carrots are very low in calories but are the best food source of vitamin A. In fact one medium carrot provides you with more than 200% of your daily requirement! The only other vegetable that comes close to having this amount is the sweet potato. Vitamin A promotes eye health, gives you glowing skin, provides immune support and fights inflammation. The antioxidant beta-carotene which is found in carrots is thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes....
Bananas! Local?

Bananas! Local?

While the most ardent locavores might choose to not have bananas in their Ooooby box, the reality is that Kiwi’s like ’em. Did you know we import more bananas per head of population than almost any other nation (maybe something they give us that’s missing in our soil – I don’t know). So in the early days, while operating from the first Ooooby hub, a converted shipping container on an empty section in Grey Lynn, we polled our Ooooby customers to see if they wanted bananas in their boxes, and got a resounding yes! At this point in the story, it’s important to understand why we are ‘doing’ Ooooby. The food system we have come to reply on since the advent of supermarkets some 60 years ago (in NZ), has had an unintended consequence of supporting large scale monoculture, and long-distance food. As we sit here in 2016, most people get their food from an industrial and globalised food system.   Ooooby’s mission is to make local food easy and fair, everywhere. One of the first steps is to build a base of customers, so as demand increases, we can go out to the local farmers, and want-to-be local farmers, and let them know we have a channel to market for their produce – thereby increasing local production. At the moment, there is a distinct lack of local and naturally (non-chemical) fruit and vegetable production, so we need to: Build a base of satisfied customers Seek out the most local and most natural produce we can find. Building a customer base means meeting their needs and wants while paying attention to the philosophy we...
Not your average bean-counter

Not your average bean-counter

OR “What to do with those greens in your Ooooby box” Our calendars had the “Ooooby in the Valley” gathering locked in for a few months. The last one was two years ago and we were overdue. So last week our geographically dispersed crew came together for some much needed face to face time, though our crew video calls must be working because Pete and Susan had to think hard whether they had actually met in the flesh (they hadn’t). As a lead in Thursday was a full day strategy session with Mark Barr, generously hosted by Deloitte’s who gave us a meeting room in their Auckland office. In the context of wanting to actively support rising stars in the enterprise space, Deloitte’s have been helping us better understand investment protocol and organisational structure options that could match our mission driven organisation. Ooooby in the Valley offers the core crew a chance to check-in and allow the space for the magic that comes from being together for a few days.   On Friday I met Susan, Davy and Nick off the ferry and we drove out to the village, and Pete’s home, which he kindly toured us. Rather artfully and without wasting time, Susan soon invited us to pair off and ask each other a few key questions, including: “What do you most appreciate about yourself?” What a fabulous way to get grounded and present, before launching into visions of a transformed food system and Ooooby’s part in it. Pete had listed some top level questions, with the last scraps of chalk in his house.  Ooooby is working to make...
Building a new food system

Building a new food system

The ‘super market’ came on the scene in New Zealand, around 60 years ago promising diversity and an abundance of cheap produce. At that time only 54% of New Zealand households had access to a refrigerator, so most Kiwis were shopping on an ‘as needed basis’. The local butcher, greengrocer and corner dairy were the most visited shops. Tom Ah Chee built the first Foodtown supermarket in 1958 with business partners Norm Kent and John Brown. The 1,400 square metre store was opened on a 1.1-hectare site at Otahuhu and boasted 118 car-parking spaces. It proved such a success that a second Foodtown was opened in nearby Takanini, three years later. The store offered convenience, by selling meat and produce as well as other grocery items. Tom Ah Chee, had observed retailing trends in the United States and also knew that an increasing number of Kiwis had cars. He figured that if his business offered free car parking, ‘then all those cars would belong to my customers’. The rest, as they say, is history. More and bigger In Christchurch the city’s first supermarket opened in 1963. The site of Riccarton Mall is shown here in the early 1960s, as the foundations were laid. By the 2000s the mall had expanded to fill the entire block. Throughout the country local authorities began to plan for new shopping centres as suburbs grew and car ownership increased. In 2007 the Foodstuffs group accounted for around 55% of the nation’s grocery turnover. It had about 850 stores operating under the PAK’nSAVE, New World, Write Price, On the Spot and Four Square brands. Progressive Enterprises, which operated Foodtown, Woolworths, Countdown, Fresh Choice and Super Value...
The Accidental Orchardist

The Accidental Orchardist

David Whyte describes himself as an accidental orchardist. It all started four years ago when he and Tiffany were on the hunt for a lifestyle block with the vision of establishing a food forest – a multi-species, multi-layered forest system of mostly perennial plants. Serendipity meant the property found them, and they became the new custodians of a 1/2 hectare citrus orchard. The orchard had been neglected for 15 years and required a massive pruning task, but now in year five they are down to 25% of the trees still needing heavy pruning. David has also, and importantly, put in a concerted effort to learn about the soil, the needs of the citrus trees and the needs of the humans who eat the fruit. This video from September last year, tells the whole story and helps explain why David and Tiffany’s citrus are so sweet and delicious! In addition to ensuring all the trace elements are present in the soil, David has learnt a lot about the colouring variations in citrus. Did you ever notice that oranges you buy in a supermarket, are a uniform orange colour? If you’re curious to know why, David explains it in detail in this video and gives yet another reason to buy from organic growers and those who are spray-free.  In the early days, when they started harvesting, they took the fruit to a Sunday Farmers Market in Clevedon. He said it almost killed them. The orchard wasn’t giving them enough income to live off, and by the time they did a Saturday pick, clean, sort and pack, then got up at the crack of dawn to get to the...
More Ooooby Taranaki in the news

More Ooooby Taranaki in the news

OOOOBY scheme launches in Taranaki to support local produce growers CATHERINE GROENESTEIN – stuff.co.nz   Ursula Bil-Teitink, left, and Emma Thorp are bringing OOOOBY (Out of our own backyards) to Taranaki, people can order a fresh box filled of fruit and vegetables grown by locals. Two women keen on encouraging local food production have set up a scheme to connect growers with buyers. Ursula Bil-Teitink and Emma Thorp have spent the past few months setting up an OOOOBY (Out Of Our Own Backyards) scheme in Taranaki. From May 25, boxes of fresh, seasonal organic and spray-free vegetables and fruit would be delivered to customers in Oakura and New Plymouth, with other areas being added as demand grew. “The OOOOBY philosophy is all about restoring local food systems,” Bil-Teitink said. In recent decades, New Zealand’s food production had moved from small growers and producers to larger enterprises and a lot of food being imported or transported long distances, she said. Read more . ....
How to get the Ooooby box you want

How to get the Ooooby box you want

When you sign up for Ooooby boxes, you will get access to your own Ooooby dashboard, from where you can adjust your orders 24/7. Each week that you have an Ooooby box coming, you will also be sent a “Sneak Peek” email. This will let you know what is planned for your upcoming box, what news or cool product we have on offer and finally what options you have to customise your order that week. You have several options to make sure you receive the Ooooby box that is best suited for you: 1. Do nothing and receive the box as listed in your Ooooby dashboard Every week our Supply Coordinator goes out of her or his way to plan a varied and balanced Ooooby box for each of the types we offer. Taking into account is what was in the boxes last week, and the week before, what is in season right now and good value, what will go well together to make a nice meal and ensuring a good balance between starchy, leafy and fibrous vegetables and the best in-season fruit. To take the headspace out of your produce shopping, this is your set-it-and-forget option. Just check out the box list to plan the rest of your groceries that week or don’t even look at it to be surprised every week with a box full of healthy goodness. 2. Request a swap In any given week you can swap up to three items out of your box. You can exclude items just once off, or add them to your permanent “no-thanks” list to exclude them automatically from all your boxes. We will...
Grow with Ooooby

Grow with Ooooby

Ooooby is an acronym for out of our own back yards. We are a food distribution service, for customers wanting high quality local and natural food, on a mission to make local food easy and fair, and we’re looking for more growers. If you grow food, then read on, and if you know someone who grows food, then please forward this article to them. Introduction Ooooby is building a community of discerning customers who greatly value knowing where their food comes and how it has been grown. They want high-quality, nutrient-dense, locally-sourced produce, and they trust us to find it for them. Ooooby exists to make local food easy and fair for these customers, and many more like them. We’re working to deliver great produce to our customers in towns and cities across New Zealand, Australia, and even California. The relationships each local hub has with its growers is central to how we operate. We want to work with and support smaller growers, and especially those using regenerative, sustainable farming methods. Five steps to becoming an Ooooby grower Is there a values fit How much can we buy Trading with Ooooby Crop planning The formalities   1. Is there a Values fit We are keen to work with growers who share the values of Ooooby and its customers. While we understand that there is a range of possible production methods, we choose to favour produce from growers who pay attention to the well-being of the environment, and the people who eat the food. Natural and Local The horizontal line in this diagram acknowledges that there is a continuum between organic/biologically grown produce and that...
The word is out – Launching in Taranaki on May 25

The word is out – Launching in Taranaki on May 25

Emma Thorp and Ursula Bil-Teitink bring organic food business Ooooby to Taranaki  By YVETTE BATTEN/FAIRFAX NZ Ursula Bil-Teitink wants to restore the local food production system through Ooooby. Ooooby, a business   that links organic food growers and consumers, is coming to Taranaki. Soon there’ll be a hub here, with the first fresh seasonal fruit and vegetable boxes delivered around the region from Wednesday, May 25. “Ooooby is a food movement,” spokeswoman Ursula Bil-Teitink said. “The philosophy is all about restoring local food systems. READ MORE: Kiwis take to organics as the sector goes mainstream “What it’s all about with Ooooby is finding enough local growers who would like to supply to an Ooooby hub. Then the Ooooby hub co-ordinates and organises everything for the boxes. “In Taranaki, we are here to support the growers and hopefully customers are going to support us by buying produce, which comes mainly from this region. If we can’t get it from this region we need to get it from further away.” They aim for the box’s contents to be all organic and spray-free produce. “We always will tell customers,” she said. “The system that Ooooby is doing is very transparent.” Boxes of food, which come in two sizes feeding two to five people, are delivered to customers’ doors. Prices start at $38 and there is flexibility around what produce goes in the boxes. Organisers are also seeking growers. “For the Taranaki region, it’s a challenge to get enough supply in, that’s why we’re talking growers in the Waikato area and the Wanganui area.” Bil-Teitink discovered Ooooby after reading an article about it early last year. Soon she was talking to Ooooby founders. “For me it was...