Wairarapa Eco Farm
Originally, 25 years ago Frank and Josje decided to create an olive grove for export and other organically Mediterranean-style crops on their 8ha of bare windswept Tauherenikau planes. They soon realised that the open landscape, the relentless wind and desert-like growing conditions the olives would not thrive the way they wanted them to – it was then that the Wairarapa Eco Farm was conceived.
260 Morora Road
It is important to note that this 8ha property is a working farm that uses natural ecological growing systems. Our special guided tours of this holistic eco-farm aim to impart a wealth of knowledge showing how the principles of soil regeneration, organics, permaculture and biodiversity work to produce healthy nutrient-dense fruit and vegetables.
The Eco Farm produces year-round fruit and vegetables for the family and extended whanau of approximately 100 CSA members. Impressive huh! Equally impressive is the varieties of plants, there are thousands. Everything has been grown with a purpose, whether that begins with research on growing conditions, healing or diversification, soil health or production or to simply bring joy – every plant has a purpose.
Quickly realising that more shelter was needed, the farm’s rooms reap the benefits of these mature shelter belts. Each room is dedicated to a different way of growing a specific crop. The bean block, the berry block, the herb and moon gardens each have their own ecosystems. The idea is to work with nature, not against it. Rather than trying to control what naturally grows Frank and Josje observe and make the changes in the soil and conditions to best grow what it is they need.
‘Pests and diseases’ do not exist in the eco-farm. Diversity in planting at the right time and in the right place creates a balance in the soil, plants, and humans trust nature’s processes. Frank and Josje believe that an illness or disease is just a symptom to direct us to a more holistic way of growing.
The tour will take you through each of the rooms, each of the children’s special garden areas, the hothouse (the massive banana palm is unbelievably only two years old!) propagation houses, and potting areas. You’ll go past the pond where water is pulled to irrigate where necessary.
Frank and Josje are passionate about living harmoniously with nature and hope that by opening their farm they will inspire like minded people to set up their own projects to heal themselves and the planet, inspire local food production, food sovereignty, and food security for everyone. Their children have grown up in this natural environment constantly learning and growing with nature – as Josje says “nature is teaching us something new every day”. If we are lucky we’ll get to see some of Sanne’s Herbal Alchemy in essential oils, smudge sticks, remedies, and teas.
If food production that works with nature excites you, learn from these seasoned experts – join a guided tour group over tour weekend. There will be a small farmers’ market with coffee, fresh drinks and Italian food. You’ll also be able to buy eco products, and handmade crafts at Wairarapa Eco Farm along with seedlings to create your own organic eco farm in your backyard.