New Berry Season!
Why are our strawberries are so good? Learn about our safe use of agrichemicals, OXFAM trailwalker, Mini Golf and our animals and more in our latest news!
Hello and welcome to another fantastic berry season!
OXFAM Trailwalker 100KM Walk and Run
Oxfam TrailwalkerLast April saw us enter a team in the 100km trail walker. Our Team “Merry Berries” included Paul and Monica Julian, Diane Plant, and Mike Plant (Dianes brother). We covered the 100km in 16.5 hours which we were really happy with. By the way we all do 100km together. It’s not a relay!!! We raised $10,700.00 mostly from donating 10cents from every Julians Berry ice cream. We have entered again this year and again 10 cents from every Julians Berry ice cream will go towards Oxfam who raised 1 million dollars to help our neighbours in the pacific islands with things like clean drinking water, sustainable farming and broadening their income earning opportunities.
40 Years of Family Fun
Julians Berry Farm cafeJulians Berry Farm and Café has been home grown since 1975. What was started by Joan and David Julian down Shaw road all those years ago has grown amazingly in that time. I still remembers mum making and selling homemade jam, I remember one of my brothers running away to the raspberries with his sleeping bag and we all followed and slept in the raspberries for a few hours.
We used to have a trampoline that the customers would use while their mums and dad’s picked their own berries. There are so many customers today that have memories of visiting the old Julians Berry Farm when they were younger with their parents. We may be a little bigger and our profile may be higher, but we still grow a wide range of berries that are available for pick your own. We still make our own jam like Joan used to as well as Julians Berry Ice cream, smoothies, sundaes and Berry Coulis.
Julians Berry Farm and Café Home grown since 1975
Grown Nature's Way
Why do our strawberries taste so good?
Well we believe it is because they are grown in Rangitaiki plains soil drenched with Eastern Bay sunshine and sprinkled with 100% pure New Zealand rain.
Some of you may remember that we have tried growing strawberries hydroponically. That is a system where the plants were covered from the sun and rain, the plants are on raised benches and you use water to carry the nutrients to each plant. The objective was to get early strawberries and help extend the season. While we did get some early strawberries we found the taste was just not good enough. Now we grow exclusively in the soil and are trialling different varieties to help us extend the season in a more natural way.
New Zealand Gap
Fresh produce at Julians Berry FarmNew Zealand gap is an audited quality assurance programme manamaxged by horticulture New Zealand. The vast majority of growers of any crop belong to this programme and Julian’s Berry farm has been accredited for nearly 20 years. We are independently audited annually and they cover every aspect of our farm management. Traceability, agrichemical use and storage, food safety, staff training, health and safety, equipment maintenance. We are proud that we have met and usually exceeded the audit for such a long time.
Grow safe is a certificate that ensures that growers use agrichemicals safely. We resit this certificate every 5 years. This keeps us up to date with changes in the world of agrichemicals. Paul has been grow safe certified for over 25 years and has a lot of experience with handling agrichemicals.
Before we use agrichemicals we try and use other methods for example for weed control around our orchard, we do a lot of hand hoeing around the base of plants. We have found this improves the health of the plant as we minimise the effect of herbicide contact with our berry plants. In the strawberries we lay a lot of barley straw to stop weed growth. Also the black mulch stops a lot of weeds.
We have pheromone traps that we use to catch insects. These help us identify when there is a problem so we only need to spray when we have a problem not every 2 weeks just in case as was the like the old days! Also replanting every year helps keep the strawberry beds disease free and reduces the need for agrichemicals.
The mini golf is now in its third year and the gardens are really looking good and we are very proud of what we have built. Every Thursday we have a mini golf tournament from 4pm to 5pm. All ages all abilities are welcome. Spot prizes given out!! $5.00 entry. This is a great deal as it is way cheaper lots of fun and you are likely to win a spot prize. Normal mini golf prices are children $7, adult $10, pre school $4, Family up to 5 $30, group discount of $5 per person for groups of 10 or more.
Mini golf is a great activity for all ages and great fun for kid’s parents and grandparents.
The animal farm is as popular as ever. Children of all ages love animals. And when those animals are cute baby lambs and adorable fluffy rabbits it is even better. The animal farm is an interactive area so there is a lot of hands on patting cuddling and feeding. We also have chickens, alpacas, horses, and cockatiel’s. Animal food is available for purchase and soap and handwashing facilities are provided.
Looking forward to another great season!!
Paul and Monica Julian