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Wanaka A&P Show celebrates rural enterprise

Wanaka A&P Show celebrates rural enterprise with new Acres of Ingenuity campaign

The Wanaka A&P Show today launches a new campaign that celebrates unique rural enterprise across the Upper Clutha in the countdown to the 2020 event.

Four local businesses will front the Acres of Ingenuity campaign, selected during a recent competition focusing on diversification in farming and land use.

Salmon farm and restaurant Hook, e-bike and hot pool attraction LandEscape, cherry growers and exporters New Zealand Cherry Partnership (trading as New Zealand Cherry Corp.) and honey production company Taylor Pass Honey Co have been chosen to feature in the campaign for the 83rd annual Show, held March 13-14 next year. They will also feature prominently at the March event as part of a special Acres of Ingenuity display.

Wanaka Show event manager Jane Stalker says all four enterprises are utilising their land in unique and varied ways in an effort to create a viable – and sustainable – business.

“While this was not intentional during the selection process, all four winning businesses have a common focus on sustainability and they have thought outside the square on how best to use their land,” she says. “Most farmers are passionate about the environment and here are some great examples of agricultural-based businesses contributing to the Upper Clutha ecosystem.”

Prior to opening in Albert Town in February 2019, Hook has been in development for 10 years by owners Hayley and Graeme Lee. Because it didn’t have the acreage to become a standard beef and lamb operation, the diversification from traditional farming methods was formulated in the early days of development. Hook encompasses a highly sustainable approach to waste and farming alike, with an emphasis on zero impact upon the environment.

LandEscape is a working sheep and crop farm over 115ha in Hawea Flat but owners Rik and Juliet Deaton are in the process of developing part of it to become a hot tub and e-bike tourist attraction, comprising 15km of gentle and scenic purpose-built cycle trails, eight natural-style outdoor hot tubs and, ultimately, six stargazing glasshouses. They are working towards the whole operation becoming a net energy exporter.

New Zealand Cherry Partnership was founded by the late Bob Robertson and his friend Henry van der Velden. It now owns the largest netted cherry orchard in New Zealand and has been involved in growing, picking and exporting cherries since 2005. The company has just launched Ruby’s Gold Fortified Cherry Wine – an innovative product made from non-export grade cherries that would normally be fed to livestock or go to landfill. Produced with the assistance of Bannockburn winemaker Debra Cruickshank, each 375ml bottle is made from 1kg of fresh cherries, allowing the taste of New Zealand to be enjoyed year-round.

Originally founded in Marlborough more than 30 years ago, Taylor Pass Honey Co now has 10,000 hives throughout the South Island, including more than 4000 hives in the Central Otago and South Westland area with a Wanaka base since 2014. Taylor Pass Honey Co has moved away from being a bee-keeper/farmer operation and now sells directly to market, creating different honey products and distributing around NZ and across the globe. Throughout the honey-making process, the company has been able to re-educate farmers about pollination and their role in the ecosystem.

Stalker adds: “As part of this campaign, our goal is to give these businesses a platform to promote their incredible work and bridge the gap between urban and rural communities by showing all of our attendees how the farming industry has evolved to include some innovative, dynamic and resourceful operations.”

Traditional farming practices will also be celebrated with the World Merino Excellence Conference and World Hereford Conference set to take place at next year’s Wanaka Show.

“We are honoured to be hosting these tremendous events which are important forums for discussing and learning about the traditional farming practises that are the backbone of the New Zealand economy,” Stalker adds.


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