My name is Richard Watson and started growing seed when I was given what was later to be renamed the Benhorn carrot, this was in the late 1980's and two years later I joined up with Kay Baxter who had only just set up koanga Gardens as a volunteer heirloom seed grower.
Through the 1990's I leased land in around Rangiora area which helped build my knowledge and understanding of the complexities of growing seed but it wasn't till myself and my family bought 5.1 hectares in the Amuri basin that I was able to increase both the number and the volume of seed lines.
The Amuri area is by New Zealand standards a extreme climate which this makes it an ideal climate for seed production as it allows for the selection of the strongest plants to withstand such a climate there for i believe these seed should preform well in other areas. No animal manure is used in either the garden or compost system not for any other reason than its not an easily sourced locally. Soil nitrogen levels are maintained by having a high turn over of nitrogen fixing legume crops, i try to grow every second to third crop a legume. All my seed lines are selected for yield and taste while all fertiliser inputs are all natural via a composting systems where seaweed and carbon in form of pine logs from plantation thinning are used, including all recycled garden waste. A new fertiliser is now being used which i believe is the best natural product on the market for those garden who are not only wanting to maintain or improve soil health but are concerned about not wanting to increase soil cadmium levels which can be a problem with other natural products such as blood and bone, rock phosphate and superphosphate. Anyone interested can contact firstname.lastname@example.org