Belonging with a Twist of Feijoa
This week The Guild of the Feijoa, planters of the city centre’s only feijoa forest at the bottom of Constitution Hill and Splice, delivered the celebratory if slightly anarchic, “Best Feijoa Chutney Festival” at Chuffed Coffee on High St, with the additional assistance of Active Building Management and a cohort of residents, helping infiltrate apartment buildings with community information.
A cafe full of apartment dwelling neighbours in animated conversation, catching up again or meeting for the first time. Coupled with a visual walk-through of some of the finest city centre foliage with Simon the Magic Arborist from Auckland Council and the awarding of the inaugural Guild of the Feijoa Celebratory Jug, to a jam-making resident from the Viaduct area.
Research undertaken by AUT on Auckland’s city centre in 2012 discussed the impact of vertical living in buildings that too often offer minimal to no amenity where immediate neighbours might gather. In addition respondents to the study, declared their desire for events that were for the local community i.e. exclusive to the larger Auckland-wide events that occur in the neighbourhood.
A Feijoa Chutney Festival may not have been what these city residents were necessarily contemplating when discussing their desires for the neighbourhood with the researchers in 2012. On the other hand it was an evening that had all the hallmarks of a neighbourhood of great uniqueness, compassion and connection - on the rise.