The Urban Monk is dedicated to producing high-quality cultured food products.
The Urban Monk
The Christchurch earthquakes opened up the opportunity for enterprising start-ups, many of them environmental in focus, and on Boxing Day, 2012 we launched The Urban Monk as a Facebook page. On it we have showcased a range of products including: chocolates, liqueurs, beers, fruit champagnes, cheeses, sauerkraut, breads and a host of chutneys and relishes. We’ve also made beeswax candles and bee balms, saved seeds, dried herbs and more. In 2015 we launched our special range of cultured vegetables.
Set on the fringes of ancient kahikatea forest – the only original piece of forest left on the Canterbury Planes – our food preparing premises, though humble, are truly divine.
The whole property is an organic farm devoted to the well-being of both people and planet. It is a place of healing, and learning.
The water we use flows from a spring in the pristine forest, past thousand year old trees and feeding the river that gives this farm its name. Waihi means ‘light on the water’. We feel blessed to be here.
Our place in Christchurch is a bit different – an octagonal house out by the beach, between the ocean and the Estuary, amongst the seas birds and salty air. From here we connect with our growers and suppliers, leaders of the local food resilience movement that The Urban Monk is such a part of. We live a simple life, providing hospitality to travellers and edging our region onto a more sustainable footing in our own way. You might even say we are a bit monkish.
Matt Morris is a leader of the local food resilience movement in Canterbury, and has been involved in the local and national organic movement since the late 1990s.
After the earthquakes Matt moved from his role running the University of Canterbury’s Sustainability Office into a role coordinating the Food Resilience Network. He took his interest in voluntary simplicity, making food from locally sourced organic ingredients, and the food network and developed The Urban Monk.