It started out as a messy bit of land behind Whangārei Airport.

Now the Wai Ariki Food Forest Onerahi-rahi, on the corner of Whimp Ave and Church St, Onerahi, has celebrated its third birthday after countless volunteer hours has it producing fruit and veges for the community.

Wendy Giffin, from the forest garden, said Saturday's birthday celebrations were an indication of how far the garden has come in the three years since it started as a community vision.

Buck Cullen leads the tree planters at the third birthday celebrations and planting at the Wai Ariki Food Forest Onerahi-rahi.
Buck Cullen leads the tree planters at the third birthday celebrations and planting at the Wai Ariki Food Forest Onerahi-rahi.

''It's gone really well. We always need more weeders and planters, as we are just volunteers, but this is a good community asset and while we help feed the community, the aim is also to bring people together,'' Giffin said.

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One Double Five Community House co-ordinator Carol Peters helps with the planting at the Wai Ariki Food Forest Onerahi-rahi garden.
One Double Five Community House co-ordinator Carol Peters helps with the planting at the Wai Ariki Food Forest Onerahi-rahi garden.

''We've people from all walks of life coming together to help out. It's a really healing and calming place for people.''

Police volunteers plant citrus next to the Onerahi football field at the Wai Ariki Food Forest Onerahi-rahi birthday celebrations on Saturday.
Police volunteers plant citrus next to the Onerahi football field at the Wai Ariki Food Forest Onerahi-rahi birthday celebrations on Saturday.

Northern Advocate

photographer

Michael Cunningham

went along for the birthday celebrations.

Wai Ariki Food Forest Onerahi-rahi member Wendy Giffin at the garden on the corner of Whimp Ave and Church St, Onerahi.
Wai Ariki Food Forest Onerahi-rahi member Wendy Giffin at the garden on the corner of Whimp Ave and Church St, Onerahi.