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When we embarked on the project we had the benefit of the learning gained from a Northland Polytechnic horticulture course run locally and for free. However, we were also reliant upon the support and advice of friends who were experienced in horticulture and organic methods. We had visited other fig growers who willingly shared their experiences and ideas with us. Importantly we had the advice of Mr Eric Cairns (Tree Croppers Association) who had considerable research knowledge and experience on growing figs in New Zealand. Eric Cairns propagated 300+ fig trees for us.  


We quickly recognised the long-term benefits of using organic growing methods where practical and we have been committed to growing our figs in healthy soil. This has been very labour-intensive and we have put a lot of work into producing a robust fruit that is ready to eat from the tree and retains its natural flavours.

The idea of growing figs was initially inspired by a cultural family heritage linked to Dalmatia on the Adriatic coast.  The Dalmatians who first came to New Zealand and worked in the gum brought their culture and the fig tree with them.


 When we started to further research the idea, our imagination was captured by the portrayal of the fig as a romantic and sensual symbol throughout history. In all the literature there is nothing bad said about the fig. In fact the fig features positively throughout the eons and has been associated with good health and protection by the Greek goddess Demeter.

A saying apparently attributed to Mohammed the Prophet,' If I should wish a fruit brought to paradise, it would certainly be the fig'.​


The orchard was established in 2008. The idea of growing several hundred fig trees came from the desire to expand on the experience of eating and cooking figs beyond the dried imports and essentially to bring fresh figs to the dining table of New Zealanders. We had a lot of commitment to make the project work using organic principles. At the time we had little knowledge or experience in a venture of this kind but we knew we were capable of learning and capable of the intensive physical labouring that would be required.

In 2010 and we mulched the first 150 trees.  We still had a lot of enthusiasm but we also had considerable learning ahead of us. Essentially, we needed to understand how to co-exist with the elements, the weather and mother nature.

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