Fungi farm and mushroom foraging area opens in Christchurch

The Fungi Farm is on the corner of Evelyn Cousins Ave and River Rd in Richmond. Photo: Newsline /...
The Fungi Farm is on the corner of Evelyn Cousins Ave and River Rd in Richmond. Photo: Newsline / CCC
A mushroom-themed play and foraging area has been officially opened in Christchurch. 

More than 50 adults and children went to the Fungi Farm opening yesterday afternoon in the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area.

The farm on the corner of Evelyn Cousins Ave and River Rd, Richmond, will feature six different species of edible native and exotic mushrooms for foragers, 33 man-made mushroom carvings and art installations from local artists, nature play pieces, and interactive signs about the fast-growing fungi.

An initiative of the Riverlution Collective and driven by the Richmond Community Garden, project proponent spokesperson Hayley Guglietta said the overwhelming encouragement and support they’d received from the community had been inspiring.

"People have been really interested in this project and it’s great to finally be able to open it to the community," she said.

"There might not be any mushrooms growing yet, but the place will come alive in spring and autumn."

"We wanted to create an engaging space that not only educates people about living with nature, but is also somewhere that a family can spend a whole day here, next to the Ōtākaro Avon River, enjoying the regeneration area."

Guglietta said the aim is to hold monthly community workshops to explore different methods of growing different mushrooms.

"This is the first part of a wider vision we have.

"We’ve got exciting plans to transform the area from Swanns Rd to North Avon Rd into an educational, family-friendly art trail and nature play area that weaves among the old, established gardens and fruit trees that we want to continue tending to.”

Residential red zone consultative group, Te Tira Kāhikuhiku, granted the project $19,600 from the Red Zones Transitional Use Fund to help bring it to life.

The group can make grants of up to $20,000 for temporary projects and activities in regeneration areas that have been approved by landowner Land Information New Zealand, working in partnership with the Christchurch City Council.

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