26 Jan 2018

Growing Greens

From Country Life, 9:30 pm on 26 January 2018
Logan Kerr, Dominique Schacherer and Penny Sewell,

Spring Collective is a co-operatively run organic market garden. Photo: RNZ Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

In 2017 three friends pooled their resources and their talents, secured an eight hectare block in Leeston and started growing vegetables.

Penny Sewell, Dominique Schacherer and Logan Kerr now grow at least 20 crops on the property.

"The main reason why we joined up is to share the workload and concentrate on the crops we are good at growing. It's a lot of time, work and money starting up a company especially when you've got no previous ownership of land or anything like that," says Logan.

Dominique says they are already looking for more fertile land to lease.

"We're using every bit of land that we've got available so we've had to not grow some crops this year so...we do need some more land so we can plan long term rotation and rest land in cover crops to feed the soil and build the soil up."

The market garden employs three full-time staff and during the summer months everyone is busy harvesting and selling.

The business supplies fresh produce to the local community through farmers markets, veggie boxes, restaurants, and organic wholesalers.

"Things are looking really good at the moment. It's a quite new venture for us, we haven't quite done a full year of growing together collectively, but it's looking really promising and I think we need to look at how big we want to get as there's a lot of potential," says Penny.