Friend of a Farmer(s)
I was fortunate to meet Shane nine years ago while WWOOFing in New Zealand, and I immediately knew he was someone who made things happen. Back then, we discussed my year of WWOOFing around the world and how energizing it was to explore the world through agriculture. A native Kiwi, he decided to take his first overseas journey and join me in several countries and farms along the way, including Hawaii, Scotland, British Columbia, and the French Pyrenes, among a few other spots. While WWOOFing together, we talked a lot about his dreams of one day owning his own farm, which he described in such detail that I could almost smell the basil growing.
It was no surprise to me that when Shane met his wonderful partner, Ben, they would go on to build the farm of their dreams, Puramahoi Fields, in sunny, idyllic Golden Bay. Trey and I were so glad to be able to visit them during our time in New Zealand, and while I was certainly impressed that Shane had made his previous daydreams a reality, Trey and I were both astounded at what he and Ben had managed to accomplish in only two and a half years.
Not only has Puramahoi Fields cornered the market of a very progressive community of eco-conscious consumers as the preeminent organic producer of dozens of staple vegetables, they also managed to become the purveyor of specialty veggies for most of the restaurants and cafes in Takaka, the culture-soaked town on Golden Bay. If this weren’t enough, Shane and Ben used the off-seasons to build a beautiful home on their land with very limited help from the local craftsman. Their industry, expertise and enterprising spirit inspired us both, and we were eager to catch up with them both as we pitched in a little one day in the fields.
While tucked away near the north-west tip of the South Island, we truly hope to be able to visit Puramahoi Fields again and spend more time helping out and learning from Shane and Ben on the farm. No doubt, we’ll continue to be inspired from afar by what they achieve in pursuit of their dream.