The Farmlet // Lincoln
Laughing Pukeko leases land as part of the Stepping Stones program administered by the Biological Husbandry Unit, an organics trust located on Lincoln University’s campus.
The BHU is fully certified organic by Organic Farm New Zealand, which uses BioGro NZ organic production standards. The BHU is also registered with MPI and complies with strict food safety rules set out by NP1.
Plants grow themselves – I merely try to provide the best environment for the plants to grow in. I use regenerative and organic practices on the farm, and find that soil health is at the heart of what I do. One of my main goals in farming is to steward the ecosystem and whenua/land, leaving it in better condition than when I started.
Organics is much more than being “spray-free”, and encompasses the following IFOAM definition: “Organic Agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic Agriculture combines tradition, innovation, and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and good quality of life for all involved.”
Regenerative Agriculture is similarly rooted in principles that largely promote soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness. The tenets of soil health, according to the Rodale Institute and partners, includes: “builds soil organic matter, conservation tillage, cover crops, crop rotations, no synthetic inputs, promotes biodiversity, rotational grazing…”
Laughing Pukeko’s farmlet is tiny by most agriculture standards: a mere 1/2 acre! I make every square meter count by intensively growing vegetables, using minimal tilllage, integrated pest management, and lots of hand work. Being present near the soil allows me to observe natural processes and then actively & thoughtfully engage with the ecosystem if need be.
Founding Farmer // Head Coach
Combining a background in design with qualifications & experience in organic farming and horticulture, I’ve cultivated an interest in helping others fully realise the veggie garden of their dreams! In addition to farming, I enjoy preserving and cooking, and exploring all that Te Waipounamu has to offer. A native New Yorker, I’ve called New Zealand home for many years.