Small and savvy in the Naki
For internationally renowned biointensive gardening educator and restoration grazing consultant, Jodi Roebuck – it's all about respecting the environment to yield results – both for the farm and financially.Roebuck Farm, located 11.6km south-west of New Plymouth, is a sustainable and profitable small scale working farm boasting a thriving market garden loaded with lettuce, rainbow microgreens, rocket, kale, mustard, carrot, radish and more. It's intensive, chemical free and bringing home the bacon to Jodi's family of four.
Jodi and his wife Tanya Mercer specialise in biointensive farming – growing more food in less space. The couple's three hectares produces high-value, fast-growing greens with short days to maturity, achieving more return per hectare. They also run educational opportunities, including interactive on-farm activities for people interested in sustainable food production on limited land.
For this Taranaki couple, soil health and quality are top priority with all growing, harvesting and pasture management undertaken with this in mind. They've planted companion crops between varieties of cash crops to lighten the pressure from insects and pests. Weeds are removed by hand with help from a range of different tools, and not a spray in sight. There's also a large amount of shelter planted on the hillside to help protect the farm from wind and reduce erosion.
Leaders in the field
Taking an eco-friendly approach has reaped environmental, social and economic benefits for the owners of Tirau's Dennley Farms.
With their sights set on a low input, low footprint farm and animal welfare at the heart of everything they do, owner-operators Adrian and Pauline Ball aim to improve people's perception of the dairy industry by leading by example on their 194ha Waikato dairy farm.