Holbrook Forest Garden
The Holbrook family have bold plans to convert their 2.46 hectare farmland padd ocks into an organic food fo rest and flower farm. Planting began in earnest in 2016 with visionary Heidi at the helm.
The farm was originally part of Carterton’s Carrington Estate. Apple Tree Cottage, now operating as a Bed and Breakfast used to house the farm workers in the 1890s. The family home was relocated from Dannevirke in 2016 and is currently being renovated.
The surrounding land was formerly a sheep and dairy farm. It has taken lots of preparation to get the soil ready for growing. Soil tests followed by layering of seaweed, green crops, compost, arborist mulch and aeration have been their starting point.
The vision for the property is to have the surrounds in native bush, the layering of a food forest with the organic flower farm integrated in a permaculture style. Over time, a boutique brewery, picklery, tree house accommodation and natural swimming pond will be added.
Contact Heidi Holbrook
For images, go to https://wairarapagardentour.co.nz/holbrook-forest-garden/
Myanmar Young Leaders Introduced to NZ Food Forest
A dozen handpicked young leaders from Myanmar will return home at the end of this month armed with copious information on food forest growing after a study tour visit to the Holbrook Food Forest in the Wairarapa. Growing Organics' member, Heidi Holbrook says the concept of layered canopy food growing was new to the group, even though they come from a once well-forested country.
“Several of them are very interested to take these ideas home for further development” she says.
Holbrook has offered ongoing support to the group and has provided them with detailed information about how to start and maintain a food forest.
“For people from a country like Myanmar (formerly Burma) food forest growing makes perfect sense – much more so than offering them our traditional grazing models of food production. Food forests extend their natural forest environment with structured canopies that offer more intensive and diversified seasonal cropping. Done right food forests become self sustaining living food larders.”
The group has been studying in New Zealand for the last six months and has looked at our democratic processes, human rights, and explored economic development models so they can contribute to a peaceful transition to democracy in their own country.
The Myanmar Young Leaders Programme aims to build a network of skilled leaders who will contribute to the peaceful development of Myanmar and establish strong links with New Zealand. During the programme they gain a wide range of knowledge and skills to enable them to build the capacity and effectiveness of their sponsoring organisations
The students return home at the end of this month. Victoria University of Wellington, Union Aid and the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs work collaboratively to fund and deliver the programme.
Anne Opie, Certification Committee chair of Growing Organics, says it’s been exciting to introduce young leaders with influence to new models of growing safe, sustainable food. Growing Organics is the Wairarapa branch of Organic Farm NZ.
Information about our other members will be added soon.