The main agricultural event of the southern year finally rolled around and Growplan was there. This is a great show in the mountains with great weather – well, either great or awful. This time great. I went hoping to meet farmers needing advice on riparian, shelter and screening and timberbelts, nutrient runoff, design of the home garden and more.
A 3:30 start from Southland to arrive early and set up the tent with posters and to get breakfast (yummy steak pie and giant choc cookie at The Doughbin) before the day starts. I’m here alone so won’t have much of a break till day’s end at 5. I never go more than 100m from my site and almost always in eyesight – loo trips and runs for hot drinks are brief, often passing by the Boer goats en-route:
The whole site is 800m long with 100’s of trade stands, I saw about 10 of them very briefly but no matter as I came away with six farms to call plus a complex garden for a steep hillside home. And something new this year, other consultants visiting to ask me to work with them on everything from conservation subdivisions to soil and site repair – my previous post exploring land restoration.
I’ve had site W7 for three years now and intend to keep on with it, Wanaka’s the only regular show I now attend as it’s consistent, has a wide demographic (it’s also a Friday\Saturday show which makes for a more serious business show) and it’s in Wanaka – autoplay video – there’s everything here from wild to mild, and a very different, more natural, much more chilled place than Queenstown.
I really want to stay at the Queensberry Inn again, it was a great place to unwind between show days with no distractions; no tv, very little net access and half a bar on the cell; just how the mountains should be enjoyed. In the morning just before I left I saw a NZ falcon – Falco novaeseelandiae – following thermals along a ridge which is as good a start to the day as any.