Thursday, May 3


The last April Kai Cafe was a very special one: not only were our island food businesses, and veggie growers very supportive in donating food and products but our island musicians gave freely of their musical talents as 60 plus people sat down to share a community meal.


Kids, pets, locals, WOOfers, the odd Aucklandite, WRT staff and interns and even some tourists ate pearl couscous, dahls, salads, breads, plaited apple pies, upside down cakes, muffins and more while the music caught at our souls and hearts. Original music by musicians (some of whom did not give their names preferring to be singers of mystery) and bands such as The Electric Bananas made for a relaxing long lunch at the Sustainability Centre.


The Kai Conscious Cafe has now been in existence for over a year with a mission to make local and visiting tummies full and to cut back on landfill. Dealing with food waste is one of the most pressing issues of the time and the staff of WRT are determined to save as much food as is possible by rescuing it and making delicious meals from what would otherwise go into landfill.


Local businesses are now becoming used to WRT staff appearing at their doors on Friday morning with bags ready for less than pristine produce, items on their ‘sell by’ or ‘consume by’ date, yesterdays scones, loaves and sandwiches and anything that the staff can transform into wholesome tasty treats for the shared community lunch at the centre. Veggie growers and community gardens are also keen to share the produce and the diners were particularly happy with a gift from a local permaculture garden of wonderful apples, and guava moth-free feijoas, spaghetti squash and pumpkins.


“It was a lovely lot of stuff to cook with and the donation of preserved lemons just made the pearl couscous dish,” according to waste not cook Kathy Voyles.


“There is some real cooking talent on this island and some wonderfully generous food businesses without which this cafe would exist. Every week I learn something from the other cooks. Hopefully we are passing on our skills and tips for the community to share elsewhere. It’s so lovely to see people sitting down, chatting and making friends at a table laden with flowers and fruit.”


Everyone is welcome to come and eat at the Kai Conscious Cafe which usually serves lunch from around 1.15 every Friday (except for public holidays). If you wish to help out with cooking and set up, then cooking begins at 11.00 at the Sustainability Centre at the old bowling club on Mako Street. Donations for the lunch may be dropped off at the Centre although the cafe can’t accept meat products or guava moth infected fruit, they would be delighted to accept fruit, veg, cheese, yoghurt, pasta and oils, particularly local olive oil. Diners can give koha (to help purchase basic ingredients) or wash dishes in return for their lunch.

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