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Converting to organic
I am writing on behalf of Tangata Whenua Mai Tongariro Trust, who are interested in pursuing organic farming. We have access to approx 300 acres to utilise and in the past this land was used in the 80's to grow strawberries and raspberries and up until the early 1950's, the land served as gardens for the local whanau who grew crops of potatoes, kumara and other produce that was part of their staple diet.
My question is what do we need to do in order to get from A to B. What sort of research do we need to see if organic farming will be viable in this area? Where can we we find literature that will be of use to use? What does it mean to be "certified"?
At present, we have no information at all other than what I have seen on your website, so your help would be very much appreciated.
Because we are situated beneath the mountain of Tongariro, half way between Turangi and National Park, our area is still chemical free, except for the 1080 DOC dropped, which has not proven popular with locals, but that is another story.
I hope you can help us.
Deanna Isherwood, Trustee
This really requires some studying ( eg Distance programme in Certified Organic Production from the Christchurch Polytechnic) and/or some consultancy.
For a list of consultants, see the Organic Directory NZ.
To obtain course info from the School of Horticulture, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, contact:
PO Box 540
NZ 03-364 9074
International +64-3-364 9074
NZ 03-364 9019
International +64-3-364 9019
Reader feedback: The trustees need to do a soil test on the toxic level because both crop requires a lot of spray and fumigation of soil in the case of strawberries. They can grow carrots to extract the toxins from the soil and compost them, not eating them. Carrots have the ability to remove the toxins over a few years before they plant any crops for eating.