Located just outside of New Plymouth, we have one hectare [2.5 acres] which looks south to Mount Egmont/Taranaki and north over the city of New Plymouth and towards the Tasman Sea. Of the 2.5 acres, only one is developed for horticulture, with some 1300 metres of raised beds. A third of these raised beds are used each year, with about 18,000 garlic planted...thereby providing a three year rotational cycle for the garlic.
The garlic [Allium sativum] is producing about 500 kilograms per annum, which is sold at the New Plymouth Farmers Market.The garlic variety is Printanor silverskin [softneck], a hybrid developed for New Zealand conditions. An experimental crop of 'elephant' or 'ophio' garlic has started in 2007, and is now a marketable crop.
The garlic is grown "spray free" which means that they are individually weeded throughout the growing season. Organic growing principles are used throughout, but we are not organically certified. No spray is used on the raised beds, however some sprays are used around the property for weed control.
Between each and all of the raised beds is planted lavender, to provide a windbreak for the garlic. There are 1400 lavender plants, half of them are Lavandula "Grosso" and the other half are Lavandula "Super". The lavender was planted in 2005, and are producing approximately 15mls of oil per kilogram of flowerheads.
In 2010 we started growing (herbal) teas. These are mints, chamomile, lemon balm, lemon verbena, and mixes with green and black teas. We are growing both green and black tea and have started harvesting the green tea and are about to start harvesting the black tea. See www.lovelavender.co.nz/herbal teas.
The site receives about 1.2 metres of rainfall each year, is well drained, and exposed to the predominately westerly winds, with an average wind of 12.5 knots.
The principal weeder/dirt farmer is Rex Hendry. He stood down from full-time employment in 2005 after 35 years work, and started to grow garlic and lavender. Companion Sally is managing director of the (herbal) teas and assists with the lavender and garlic harvests.
804 Egmont Road,
Phone: 06 752 2012
Mobile: 027 636 5460