Fruit Tree Stories

Dalmatian Gum Diggers

During the past twenty five years of collecting old fruit trees and vegetables around the Kaipara harbour and the north, I am constantly coming upon old Dalmatian Orchards and gardens.

I have come to have a lot of respect for these people, for the way they survived incredibly harsh and sometimes awful conditions, and for their wonderful skill as gardeners.

Kazakstan Apples

On one of our bus trips in Jordan to visit Permaculture sites, I happened to be next to Ethan Roland. Ethan has visited the original Kazakstan apple orchards, and has been super inspired by the place, the very old man who is the caretaker of the orchard, and the apples. I asked him many questions and came to have a bit of a picture myself of what it looks like there.

NZ Heritage Berries

We hold a growing collection of NZ heritage berries including raspberries, currants, worcesterberries, gooseberries, blackberries and blueberries. These are berries that have been valued, grown and passed around by our ancestors here in New Zealand. We’d love to hear from you if you know of any heritage berries: gooseberries, currants, worcester berries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries etc. They are an important part of our cultural heritage and in the past they have played a vital role in meeting our nutritional needs. We hope to expand our collection of berries as they are so valuable and suitable for home more!

Mavis Smith Of Totara House

In my 25 years of collecting plant material around the Kaipara and the wider northern areas of New Zealand, it has been an absolute honor to become acquainted with the elderly gardeners I have met, many of whom I have written about in the new edition of Design Your Own Orchard, due out about the time this catalogue comes out, and many of whom have become friends…read more!

History of Peaches In New Zealand

Peaches  have been around in the land of Aotearoa for a long time. They have been my inspiration and I’m always on the lookout for them and their stories. Logan Forest is also a passionate peach man and he has put the following dates together from his years of research around the Kaipara ,which give us probably as good a picture as we can now ever have on how and when they arrived….read more!

Peach stories

All of our fruit trees have amazing stories. Here are stories about some of the important peaches in our collection 

Plant Collection Trip to Pouto

It is so special to sit and feel and be able to ‘see’ the old ship captains visiting and settling in New Zealand in the 1790’s – 1830’s. I’ve seen and touched these special places all around the Kaipara Harbour over many years: Batley, Whakapirau, Kaiwaka, Matakohe, Tinopai, Ruawai, Dargaville, etc. I’m sitting on the wooden deck of Logan Forrest’s bach at Pouto which at high tide has water under it, looking across to the site of possibly the first European settlement on the Kaipara…read more!