Episode 37 - Greener Pastures
On the next episode, screening 29 October 2017 at 7pm on TVNZ 1:
Bill and Sue Garland have used the same methods to farm for nearly 50 years – and that’s paying off handsomely.
They raise lamb on their farm, Rahiri, at Kairangi near Cambridge in the Waikato and that lamb is in demand by a leading grocery chain in the USA that specialises in organics and naturally- raised food.
The Wholefoods chain takes all the lamb they can produce.
“It makes us really proud to see our lamb in the meat counter alongside some of the best meats in the world,” Bill Garland says.
And Sue Garland says she couldn’t believe how well their lamb was marketed in the store when she went on a trip to the States.
“I’d hardly been out of the Kairangi district and I was blown away by America let alone the size of the supermarket and the amount or produce. Our lamb looked beautiful,” she says.
The Garland’s lamb is naturally raised - that’s the appeal to US consumers.
“We don’t use any antibiotics, growth stimulants, or genetically-modified organisms,” Bill Garland says, “and they love the fact are animals are grass-fed.”
The couple also meet the supermarket chain’s animal welfare guidelines – they raise their stock with as little stress as possible.
“Animal welfare is hugely important. I’ve got up in the middle of the night in a storm and moved stock to get them out of the weather,” Bill says.
“Wholefoods also expects good shade and shelter.”
And on that score the Garlands have made it their mission to enhance the native bush on Rahiri.
Bill estimates that over 50 years they would have spent close to a million dollars fencing off bush and replanting it.
“We were determined to pay for that out of income – we were warned we’d go broke if we tried to borrow money to pay for it.”
Bill says they did it by retiring the land that was poor for raising stock, planting it in bush and forest, and intensifying stock numbers on the good land.
But it’s not the lamb that has paid for that work – it was the bulls they raise.
“We don’t much like raising bulls; they’re hard on paddocks and fences. But they pay the bills,” Bill says.
Sue’s been as active on the farm as Bill who at 71 is not thinking of retirement any time soon.
“We just wish we were 30 years younger,” Sue says, “We’ve loved it!”
For more about Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, which borders the Garlands’ farm, visit:
For more about Wholefoods Supermarkets in USA, visit:
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