I feel uplifted, inspired and full of hope after all the conversations and connections made in the last couple of days. I’m really getting excited now for the Six Figure Farming NZ Tour in February.
Let me introduce you to some of the next generation of NZ farmers.
I was sending a message to Jean-Martin Fortier connecting him and Jodi Roebuck yesterday, since they are both surfers and it would make sense to do a little advance planning of surf time in Taranaki.
I found a link to this video of Jodi in his garden. I was blown away by the soil Jodi has built up on the sandstone clay, my jaw literally dropped when he thrust his arm deep into the soil at 2m:45s.
Jodi has just begun selling his seed on TradeMe.
The Taranaki Workshop is being held at Jodi’s farm.
Ben Upin and Shane Butland
Then a friend in Golden Bay posted a link to Ben and Shane of Puramahoi-Fields in Takaka. Now into their second CSA season cultivating two acres there, after a CSA stint in West Auckland. They also sell produce at the Farmer’s Market so get along and say hi if you’re in the neighbourhood.
While on a call with Ben, Bailey Peryman phoned in. We’re making plans for the two day Christchurch workshop with Jean-Martin Fortier and Curtis Stone (first week of Feb). Bailey has been a long time on my radar, first with the Garden City 2.0 project that has been running a box delivery service, supplying local organic produce across the city.
Bailey recently got funded by the Vodafone NZ Foundation to the tune of $100,000 a year for up to 3 years, to build a network of urban farms propagated and powered by our next generation. A sign of the times perhaps? The project is called Cultivate Christchurch.
Yotam and Niva Kay
While I didn’t get to speak with Yotam Kay yesterday, he is the other player that I have recently come to know.
Yotam & Niva Kay have been growing their market garden “Adama Organic Gardens” since spring 2014. They are located in the Kauaeranga Valley just out of Thames. They are hosting a two day workshop with JM and Curtis Stone on their farm in the third week of Feb.
Caitie and Gerald Endt
Today I met with Caitie, who was over on Waiheke from Great Barrier Island. her and Gerald have been cultivating 2-3 acres for eight years, and have learnt a lot. In addition to the distance from major markets, they have to contend with the challenge of rats and blackbirds. We’d met a few months back and she was excited to hear that Jean-Martin Fortier was coming to NZ.
They sell at the local farmers market and sell boxes of fresh produce to delighted local customers and even ship some produce to Auckland to go into Ooooby boxes.
Get started today
If you’re currently growing, or thinking about starting to be a grower, you’re not alone. These are a few of the people around the country, doing great and important work in the fields. If you’d like to meet some of these and more, and if you want to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to learn from these Rockstar Market Gardeners, then act now and sign up for one of the workshops (there are caps on numbers and they will fill up so don’t leave it too late), or at least get along to one of the evening events.