Where it all started…
When we found this farm in 2004, we had been looking for well over 2yrs for the ‘right’ place for regenerative farming. What attracted us to here, was the rich variety of habitats still present, the myriad wetlands, streams and springs, as well as the hill-land with its regenerating native bush, and the generous sprinkling of native trees in the paddocks themselves. This was a place which still retained a lot of natural features and with a sympathetic hand could be restored and allowed to flourish, whilst also producing the best quality organic meats.
Over the years there has been a continual process of putting in place the necessary infrastructure to manage the livestock well, with the best quality of welfare and natural nutrition for a successful organic stud stock breeding farm and organic meat business.
At the same time, there was a continual programme of fencing the livestock and then replanting the wetlands with native vegetation. After more than a dozen years, some of these wetlands are now maturing, and so we are finding that the hydrology of the whole farm has been restored too, with water tables stable year-round.
This effect has been significantly enhanced by the restoration also of the soils themselves on the productive parts of the farm, the pastures. This approach to farming requires a great deal more care and expertise. It puts the health & wellbeing of the soil over and above short-term profits. The soil’s micro-organisms need to be alive, healthy & thriving in order to create the best conditions for livestock to thrive, and to grow the most nutritious food.
Beauty in biodiversity
The farm offers a wealth of beautiful vistas, with the naturally wooded slopes of the Kaipara Hills as the backdrop. In the foreground you have the rolling green pastures with animals peacefully grazing, liberally dotted with broad native shade trees, the long sweeping valleys of restored wetlands with their colourful vegetation & twinkling brooks, the cool shade of the bush-lined stream bisecting the farm, and rising up to the low hillslopes on the eastern side of the farm where the sun and moon rise each day.
A haven for wildlife
With the restoration of the natural habitat and regeneration of the soil, both woodland and water-loving birds have flourished. The streams and wetlands retain a great variety of freshwater wildlife, with good populations of eels and other fish, as well as special invertebrates. The intention will be to jointly develop walking routes around the farmland, so that the views and wildlife can be enjoyed by all the village residents, without interfering with day-to-day farm work.