Dixon's No Dig Story
Our market garden began in 2016 on a bare block of recently purchased farmland above Manuka bay, just out of Cheviot. We had no idea of the full growing potential of this piece of land in the early days but quickly discovered the magical micro-climate, with few to no winter frosts, reasonable rainfall and temperate soils. We had landed ourselves a growers dream... with challenges. Our farm is on a moderate to steep hill face which has made for more work. Everything on the farm is done with hand tools, so the early development days of terracing garden beds and forming new gardens was labour intensive. We see it as a small labour of love for the returns the farm is giving us in productivity.
Our market garden is small and very intensive. We have 1/4 of an acre in production. The ‘No Dig’ philosophy that Cam follows is an eco organic regenerative model. We strongly believe that mother nature knows best - and we let the soil biology do the hard work. We feed the soil and look after it by always having living plants in the soil. This succession planting plan is a detailed operation as we always know what is growing, what will replace it and how the soil has been fed, keeping the life source of carbon constant. The soil is always covered with crops, cover crops, and a thick layer of compost. The no dig theory and practice reduces weeds, maximises the soil life and grows nutrient dense food which benefits all of us. We follow organic principles and use no chemicals whatsoever in our operation, we are completely natural.
Having started the garden from scratch on bare farmland, the last four years has seen a lot of activity. We are now in our third year of selling our produce and are looking to extend our garden. Our dream is to live here off the land on a fully sustainable working small farm. Watch this space!