Gearing up for 2012

Cue fireworks, bubbles, slapping of backs, smiles & shouts of ‘cheers’.

It’s that time again, as the hours tick onward to midnight here in Aotearoa/New Zealand, our minds turn to what beckons for us in 2012.  Frankly, the Bucky Box team is excited, and whilst we’re taking a break today & tomorrow – we’re itching to get back to our work as soon as possible.

So, here’s wishing you all a very Happy New Year from Aotearoa –  Ngā mihi o te Tau Hou ki a koutou katoa

We’ll catch you on the flip side, where local food will continue to hail the return to mainstream organic farming for a people & planet friendly food system.  We can’t wait.

Local & Friendly Food Champion showcase: The Dirt Doctor

Announcing our fourth Friendly Food Champion partnership!

Biological Farming Advocates The Dirt DoctorThe Dirt Doctor may not be known worldwide, but they have the knowledge that should be.

You can read more about our visit to The Dirt Doctor, and our first hand recognition of the remarkable achievements of Jim, through his ‘biological farming’ techniques.

We’re excited to say that we’ll be helping spread the word of Jim’s organic farming methods which yield greater than chemical farming, as well as finding ways to support the workshops, resources & tool designs which Jim & his team work hard on.

We’re already talking about our shared vision of working in developing nations, for a rich, diverse, prosperous, local food system where local crops can thrive in healthy soils.

So, for a better world of bountiful harvests, not at the expense of the earth, check out The Dirt Doctor. Want to feed a family of four from 10m of earth & half an hour work each week? Check out The Dirt Doctor’s Urban Eden program!

Local Food made possible by high yield agiculture without chemicals


Balsamiq – A whole lot of good!

Every now and then you come across people who really make you sit up and take notice.

We’ve been hard at work continuing to make Bucky Box as usable as possible, so we’ve been looking for the tools to enable us to do this as easily as possible.  We stumbled across Balsamiq who developed a wireframing application which enables us to quickly and simply visually mock up what we want new pages to look like for our awesome developers like @ootoovak@allan_enspiral to code.

We got to talking, and told them what we’re up to with Bucky Box.  They kindly let us know that they have a special category for ‘do-gooders’ – in fact they’ve given away something like $680k of licenses to their awesome software to date! Way to go Balsamiq!!

Check out their blog about their view about giving back here! We’re truly thankful to Balsamiq for providing us with some licenses to help our team nail down our last round of designs, to get Bucky Box launched to the wider world.  We know they understand our mission, and the potential impact we can catalyse around the world with these tools for a better food system.

So take a look at the video below, and see if you can spot the mockups we put together using Balsamiq’s kickass wireframing software;

Bucky Box : submission for Cleantech Open to represent New Zealand in Global Entrepreneurship Week

Cleantech Challenge Champions


We’re rocking here at Bucky Box today, with the news that we have won the New Zealand section of the Global Entrepreneurship Week’s ‘Cleantech’ category!

A good friend suggested we enter our company’s story into the competition a while back, and we found out we were through to the top three entries last week.  Then on Monday we found out we had won the national competition in the ‘Air, Water & Energy’ category.

Our entry will now be shown at the Global Entrepreneurship Week’s competition in San Francisco, but you can get a sneak peak at the first cut here;

A massive thanks to all our friends, family, and the mighty Enspiral crew back here in New Zealand, for all the support & encouragement following the announcement. It means a lot. We’re proud to be representing our country in this competition, especially on the wave of national pride sweeping the nation from the All Blacks massive win on the weekend!

Richie McCaw raises Webb Ellis trophy as champions of RWC in front of All Black team

Image courtesy of

Next stop for Bucky Box & our tools for a better food system… San Francisco!!

See official press release from GEW here about the Cleantech win.

Local & Friendly Food Champion showcase: Soil & Health Association of New Zealand

Kia ora tatou!

We’re very pleased to announce the first in a stream of partnerships that we like to think of as ‘closing the loop’.  In the early stages, here at Bucky Box we decided to forego any marketing budget, and instead work with the best of the local & friendly food champions around the world – and give our customers the chance to nominate where these funds will go to. We figure that these are the individuals & organisations who are making significant headway in catalysing, educating & advocating for a fair, friendly, local food system.

So first up, is in our home of Aotearoa / New Zealand: the Soil & Health Association.

We identified Soil & Health Association as a key catalyst in New Zealand engaged in advocacy and education for Organic agriculture, organic certification, as well as publishing the Organic NZ Magazine – look out for a short story about us in there soon!  Check out their website and reasons for ‘going organic’ here!

We value the experience of the Soil & Health Association in conducting the certification of organic food in Aotearoa/New Zealand.  We enjoy a read of their magazine, which creates a strong voice for the organic sector in the country, whilst their advocacy work supports the development of awareness of the benefits of organic food.

We’re proud to have Soil & Health Association as our first Food Champion.

Bucky Box goes to the Farm

Visiting CSA Farm for Bucky Box ResearchHere at Bucky Box, we sometimes need to remind ourselves why we’re getting involved in this project to build the tools for a better food system, so on Monday we decided to take a trip out to our local CSA, and spend some time with the farmers who’re getting their hands dirty to keep us fed, and look after the land.

We’re based in Wellington, New Zealand, so we took a trip about an hour and a half out of town to one of the premier growing regions close to us – the Wairarapa.

Luckily we have some good friends who run a CSA here in Wellington, so we took them along with us to meet Frank & Josje who made us really welcome at Wairarapa Eco Farm – a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm supporting the Wellington region.

Discussing ups and downs of Community Supported AgricultureWe had some quality conversations about the ups and downs of CSA’s, which are being felt all over the world as the movement spreads, but it was great to see the passion Josje had to make it work, and to involve people in the growing of food and education around sustainable organic practices.

We really see some huge benefits for CSA’s to be one of the many solutions to a more people & planet friendly food system – one which provides more resiliency, closer connections, and lower food miles.  There’s some great resources on CSA’s here if you’re interested (courtesy of Making Local Food Work in the UK).

A big thanks to Frank & Josje for spending some time with us which will help us to continue to build the best software possible for the local food movements around the world – for making us welcome at your beautiful farm, sharing stories and your passion for reconnecting our communities with the food we eat.

Check out Simply Good Food – the Wellington CSA site here (now also operating in Palmerston North!).

Take a glimpse at our full album of CSA Wellington photos here.

Growing the greens for vege box delivery

Urban Food Hui : Wellington

Last night, Sam from the Bucky Box crew, was able to make it down to a hometown meet up for ‘The Rhizome Effect – Urban Food Hui’ in Wellington (New Zealand).


The Hui (Maori for meeting / discussion) was all about bringing together Wellington’s community food growers, facilitators, interest groups, and backgarden producers.  We don’t yet have any form of Food Alliance like Auckland, but this is kind of where the night was pointing.


The Sustainability Trust & Innermost Gardens were good enough to throw together an event, and our favourite props were all in place when we got there – butchers papers & coloured pens!!

That only meant one thing ~ World Cafe!


And so it was, after an initial introduction round (incidentally we were the only “Software for the local food system” in the room…) we jumped into conversations around “what’s working” in Wellington.  20 minutes later, it was heads up, and a harvest of the ideas which came out of the small group conversations ~ then a big switch around to new tables, and into another conversation topic: “what could we do better to strengthen & catalyse the urban food movement?”.


Wow… what a couple of conversations they were! Some really great ideas floating around the room – both rich, nurturing, learning experiences through field trips & better cross-fertilisation of ideas among groups, as well as calls for better connection, communication and sharing of knowledge online and offline.  Finally – we all shifted tables once more, and found our final ‘friends for the evening’ and discussed the $100’000 question : “If we had $100’000 to make some of this stuff happen, what would we use it for?”.


Some amazing ideas popped up, including training & capacity building programs, website portals, and my particular bent ~ seeding social/community enterprise which would keep a sustainable revenue stream to benefit the urban food movement.


I’ll share the links to the harvests as and when the Sustainability Trust are able to get it all online.


In the meantime, if you know of any good resources on the Urban Food movements around the world – we’d love to see them!