Autumn 2019 Update

Welcome to the first blog post for this year. It’s been a busy time in the south since xmas with many visitors to this part of the world.

Firstly we have had a visit from Ian Mitchell-Innes who spoke with a number of groups which hosted some field days. Ian is a knowledgeable speaker on holistic management from South Africa, and tours the world to pass on what he has learnt.

Ian Mitchell-Innes drew a large crowd during a number of events in Otago. (Ian’s in the middle!)

Following hot on the heels of Ian we had a study tour group from the United States in the form of the Organic Valley/CROPP Co-operative. They toured both North and South Island looking at local organic farming practices and of course the scenery. I was lucky enough to be invited to be one of the host guides for the South Island section along with Bryan Clearwater of Clearwater Organics.

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Tour group arrives at Crawford’s dairy farm.

Tour members came from various parts of the U.S. and was made up of farmers and staff members of the Co-op.

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Allan Richardson discuss’ a multi-species crop with the US Tour Group.
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Quintin Hazelett introduces his property from a roadside viewpoint. (partly obscured, get out of the way Dan!)
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Tour group at Bluff, South Island.
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Foveaux Straight lives up to its fearsome reputation by putting on a billiard table flat day for the visitors. Next stop the South Pole.

Fresh Bluff oysters (a rare delicacy) and a cold beer finished of a typically warm and calm busy first day in Otago and Southland. Visits to both dairy and sheep and beef properties were supplemented with a fine organic dinner with the Southern Organic Group and Open Country organic suppliers and staff. The next day moved us through the lower south and onto Queenstown, after visiting the renown Riverton Environment Centre and food forest of Robert and Robyn Guyton.

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Brunch in a genuine Mongolian Yurt in the middle of the food forest.

We then progressed to Tim and Helen Gow’s property at Blackmount. Tim and Helen are some of New Zealand’s very early organic pioneers and have been long time practitioners of sabbatical fallowing, a very ancient practice for soil and pasture management.

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Tim speaking to tour group and Southern Organic Group members who provided 4×4 transport for the day.

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A slow bus trip finally took us to Queenstown where the group had dinner with a view. Thanks to everybody involved that helped this be a successful tour, and thank you for inviting me to be a part of this adventure.

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Queenstown from the top of the Gondola.

Last but not least saw a visit from friend and globally renown soil scientist Dr Christine Jones, who is on tour with AgriSea NZ. It was good to have a catch up and also to see so many new younger faces coming to learn about regenerative farming practice.

Dr Christine Jones speaking to farmers at Hedgehope, Southland, hosted by AgriSea NZ.

If you’d like to keep up to date with what events are happening around the country or would like to learn more about organic and regenerative agriculture, drop me a line.


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