They’ve had a win, but the battle is far from over.
Groundswell NZ is pleased the Government has ‘’seen some sense’’ and decided to consult on some of the winter grazing rules the group campaigned against because they were unworkable for the nation’s farmers, co-founder Bryce McKenzie says.
But there were still rules that had been introduced that needed to be changed, such as those around significant natural areas and the ‘ute tax’ and Groundswell would continue to fight for change, he said.
“It’s taken 12 months of bickering and arguing and protests to get to this point, when they could have just read the 17,000 submissions that people made that told them they were wrong in the first place,’’ McKenzie said. . .
Every summer, carloads of people arrive at Lyndon and Jane Strang’s Five Forks farm in North Otago, trying to access a swimming hole near the bottom of their property.
Brush, gorse and blackberry had taken over the 50m-wide fenced berm between the 290ha farm and the Kakanui River and public access had all but been blocked.
‘‘We wanted to open it up and create a walkway along the entire length,’’ Mrs Strang said.
With the help of funding from the Otago Regional Council’s Eco Fund and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Jobs for Nature Fund, they have done just that. . .
The future of farming could be up not out – Daniel Smith:
Unlike most people in the agricultural industry, Matt Keltie plants his crop upwards, not outwards.
Keltie’s business 26 Seasons first farmed microgreens in vertical farms in a former Wellington nightclub, but has recently expanded his operation to Auckland.
Vertical farming grows food on vertical surfaces, unlike traditional farming which produces on a single level such as in a field or a greenhouse.
But Keltie said it was not just about stacking plants on top of each other, but using technology to farm smarter. . .
Farming the seabed for weed – Jessie Chiang
The global seaweed industry is estimated to be worth more than $20 billion. New Zealand would like a slice of it.
“There are times I have to ban the s-word in the house.”
Lucas Evans lives and breathes seaweed. It took one introduction to it while he was on holiday in New Zealand, for the fascination to grow and blossom into a decade-long journey.
Originally from Australia, Evans went on to learn everything he could about growing and selling algae and crossed the ditch to settle in Coromandel. He’s now the co-founder and chief executive of his own seaweed company, Premium Seas. . .
GO NZ: Cycling the Alps 2 Ocean trail with Adventure South – Elisabeth Easther:
The 356km of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, from Tekapo to Ōamaru, can be tackled no matter the season… just make sure you wear your waterproofs.
People asked if I was crazy when I told them I was headed to the South Island to ride the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. It was June and the weather was packing up all over the place. A fortnight prior to departure, Twizel, one of our waypoints, recorded a nippy -8C and just one week out, Ashburton was hit by some of the worst flooding on record. But cyclists are optimists by nature – you have to be to pedal in Auckland – so, when I finally set off, I resolved to accept the weather, whatever it was. Besides, on a fully supported tour with Adventure South NZ, if worst truly came to worst, I’d still be cosy and cared for.
Here’s why you don’t need to wait for good weather to tackle the ride yourself. . .
Basil farm yet to reach its full potential – Marian Macdonald:
It’s already a very profitable business that produces more than 30,000 bunches of fresh basil a week but Honeysuckle Farm also has a commercial kitchen and a site ready for planting macadamias or berry crops.
The 91.55-hectare property is close to the coast at Avondale, midway between the Sunshine Coast and Rockhampton.
Woolworths is an important customer for Honeysuckle, which also sells basil puree as an ingredient.
Owner Jenny Grant says the business, which has its own commercial kitchen, has the potential to generate significant margins by value-adding the puree with products like pesto. . .