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Autumn - Winter ŌSA vege bags are open for sign ups!

Otaki  Supported  agriculture  (O.S.a)

Pay-what-you-can  or  pay-it-forward  vege  bag

Everyone deserves access to healthy, sustainably grown kai.

ŌSA is a collaboration with Ōtaki College's Ahoaho Māra Kai.

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How  O.S.a works

  • What is Ō.S.A?
    Ō.S.A. (Ōtaki Supported Agriculture) is about sharing seasonal abundance and fostering local mutual aid. Ō.S.A is a form of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a model of farming that fosters a reciprocal relationship between vege growers, the community and the land. By committing to a weekly share of a local farmer's crop. Ō.S.A. members give the farmer the stability to focus on growing high quality kai using regenerative and organic practices. With the growers, members share in the risk and the bounty of the season and have the opportunity to know where, how, and by whom their kai is grown. In contrast to the devastating ecological and social side effects of industrial agriculture, this model is good for the growers, the eaters, and the land.
  • Who is Ō.S.A?
    O.S.A is a collaboration between Crooked Vege Ōtaki and our pals, Ahoaho Māra Kai - an education market garden project at Ōtaki College. Ahoaho Māra Kai is a social enterprise based at Ōtaki College, led by Jack and Rosa. Our aim is to grow nutritious, affordable vege for the wider Ōtaki community, while involving Ōtaki College students in an inspiring and resilient way of farming. We focus on building living soil through practices like diverse cropping and minimal tillage, and we are on the journey of Hua Parakore certification.
  • Why join ŌSA?
    Selling directly and with the abundance of each season keeps sustainable, organic kai affordable by cutting out the middle man and reducing inputs needed to keep plants alive out of season. It hugely minimises the “food miles” - consider the associated fossil fuel emissions for a tomato grown out of season (in a coal heated greenhouse), shipped to a packing facility, to a distribution facility and eventually your supermarket. Ahoaho Māra Kai is in central Ōtaki, and Crooked Vege is just a few kilometers away, up Waitohu Valley Road. Your commitment gives us greater predictability in knowing what to grow and minimising food waste (you’ll get the odd crooked carrot), and allows us to minimise single use packaging.
  • How does it work?
    You commit to being an Ō.S.A. member for the season, and we commit to supplying a seasonal vege bag harvested from Crooked Vege Ōtaki and Ahoaho Māra Kai. You pickup each Saturday morning at Ōtaki College, or you can have your vege bag delivered within Ōtaki for $5. For pick up customers, we usually have a few odds and ends (spare zucchini, extra pumpkin seedlings, seconds chillis) available for those that want them, We aim for a minimum of 6 varieties of vege per bag, and a minimum value of $30.
  • What should I expect from my vege bag?
    6+ varieties or organic and regeneratively grown seasonal vege from the two farms. We are aiming for a minimum value of $30 per bag, but we're always far more affordable than normal organic stores. O.S.A is not a vege box scheme, we are not a supermarket. We’re real people growing real kai. Some vege will be inconsistent in size. Some will look a bit crooked. Some may come home with a slug. We rely on seasonal growing practices - we can’t have all veges every week. This reduces waste, minimises our environmental footprint, and allows us to keep organic and regeneratively grown kai affordable - all waste from “ugly vege” and time spent on getting carrots squeeky clean are costs passed onto the vege eater. An O.S.A. member understands that we are striving to grow a diverse range of vegetables to have a diverse spread each week, but that there may be crop failures from time to time. Your financial contribution may not always equate to the value of the box - during times of abundance your share will be larger and during leaner times it will be less so.
  • Where and when do I collect my vege bag?
    Ahoaho Māra Kai, Saturday Mornings between 10 and 10.15am. We've also recently added a delivery option within Ōtaki for $5.
  • Can you deliver it for me?
    We deliver within Ōtaki for $5. Pickups are more fun, you get to see what's happening at Ahoaho Māra Kai each week, and there's usually a few bonuses available (e.g. pumpkin seedlings, extra zucchinis, chillis too spicy to force onto everyone getting a vege bag..) - but we know that doesn't work for everyone!
  • What if I cannot pick up my bag this week?
    OSA only works with mutual commitment. If you are unable to pick up some weeks, that’s fine, but please nominate someone to collect on your behalf. Alternatively, let us know you can't get your veges this week and we'll get your vege to a good home.
  • How does pay-what-you-can or pay-it-forward work?
    We are targeting a value of at least $30/bag, but the seasonal nature means there’ll be variance. We are triallng a "pay what you can" or "pay it forward," with the hope that our community can work together to improve access to sustainably grown kai for everyone. We let people choose what to pay. If you care about where your kai comes from, but $30 a week is too much - that’s ok, just pay what you can! If you are in a position to, we ask you “pay it forward” to support other whānau.
  • How long is the season?
    The Summer ŌSA runs from November 18 2023 until February 24 2024. Details our the Autumn-Winter ŌSA will be announced shortly - register your interest to keep in the loop.
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