23 Oct 2020

The 90s File - Sam Tietjen

From Country Life, 9:16 pm on 23 October 2020
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Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

Almost two years ago, Sam Tietjen returned to his family orchard after training and working in mechanical engineering.

The 27-year-old has decided to stay - wooed by the outdoor lifestyle, the lunch-time trips to the beach and the flexibility of the working day.

And he's excited to have been given responsibility for the development of a 2000 tree avocado block.

The Tietjen family also grows citrus and grapes.

"I'd always done the odd job here and there and helped in the holidays but I didn't actually understand how much there was to the whole process.

"I thought I'd come back and it would be easy but there's actually been a lot of learning and it's taken a whole season to half understand everything and work out how to proceed.

"I don't know how Dad did it by himself for how many years."

Sam says working in horticulture is "grounding and interesting and exciting."  

Last year Sam was named the Gisborne Tairawhiti Young Fruit Grower Of The Year.