Momentum grows for Kiwi food growing app

Anneliese Hough. Supplied photos.

Ever wanted to grow your own food, have better connections with your neighbours, and reduce your impact on the planet?

Designers of an innovative new app want to help achieve all that but need a little support from fellow Kiwis.

A PledgeMe campaign was launched on Friday, August 27, to raise funds to build the Magic Beans platform, helping communities to connect and support each other to grow some of their own food and learn the skills to make gardens flourish.

The opportunity to help reduce household waste, and environmental harm from mass food production and packaging, is also hoped to motivate people to contribute to the campaign and eventually join the platform.

Magic Beans was started six years ago by Anneliese Hough as a Hawke’s Bay Facebook group, and has grown to more than 3100 users, affectionately called Beanies.

Sarah Grant joined Anneliese as group administrator in the early days, and the two of them are co-founding the new platform to expand the reach of the Magic Beans movement to other parts of New Zealand, and the world.

“We want Magic Beans to be a tool to help build more resilient communities. Growing your own food at home means you can access fresh produce if there are ever supply chain issues. Plus, sharing knowledge and support by connecting on the platform means we can be together, even if we are apart due to uncertain times,” says Anneliese.

The Magic Beans platform will allow people to easily swap produce within their local communities.

It will also serve as an education and inspiration hub where people can learn everything from soil health and building a garden to making preserves and knowing what time of the year to plant vegetables, herbs andfruit trees.

“Growing your own food is a great way to reduce household costs, while also being good for your healthand good for the planet," says Sarah.

Sarah Grant.

"There are inevitably times when you grow too much but by connecting with other gardeners nearby you can share what you have grown and not have it go to waste,”says  Sarah.

“Someone who has a fruit tree in their backyard might need some herbs and they will be able to jump on the platform and connect with someone local to do a quick swap, or someone in an apartment migh tpost a question about how to grow tomatoes on their balcony or when the best time to plant strawberries is. The options are endless," says Annaliese.

”Due to the recent changes in Covid-19 alert levels, the PledgeMe campaign launch was held online across Magic Beans social media channels, so that everybody could learn more about the platform.

“Even people who don’t have gardens can do it. You can grow many fruit and vegetables successfully in pots or even just a bucket. A window sill that gets some sun, a little balcony or porch is all the space you need to grow some amazing food.”

“We hope Aotearoa is just as excited about bringing the Magic Beans platform to life as we are. We know that there are many people out there who would love to start successfully growing some of their own food and swapping any excess with their neighbours – it’s great for communities and the planet.”

To follow the Magic Beans journey, visit

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This is great...

Posted on 11-09-2021 13:47 | By morepork

... and what has been achieved is admirable. But isn’t it kind of reverting to the 1940s and 50s mentality when Mum used to do the preserving and we picked stuff from the garden for dinner? Although it may not be new, it is still valuable and may have even more relevance now than it did then.