Jennie and Bob have been selling Biogro Certified organic fruit since 1986. They currently grow over 20 varieties of plums, 7 varieties of blueberries, table grapes, kiwifruit and 3 kinds of feijoas on their 2.5 hectare Windsong Orchard.
Originally Windsong Orchard had nectarines. When Jennie and Bob began overseeing this property for Bob’s brother, they were already organic growers so converted it using organic growing practices. Nectarines are difficult to grow organically and they observed how well a plum tree on the property grew, inspiring them to graft plums onto the nectarines and eventually moved from managing to owners of the property in 2006. The certified organic orchard allows Jennie and Bob a “good living with a small footprint”. Jennie says in some respects they are “selling memories” – growing and supplying old and tasty varieties of plums that people remember from their own childhood. The table grape varieties they grow often invoke memories from older folk of stealing them from neighbour’s vines.
Jennie and Bob are passionate about Farmers’ Markets per se and were founding members of the Marlborough Farmers’ Market. Jennie was also involved in setting up the Farmers Market NZ Association. Their daughter Naomi attends the Nelson Farmers’ Market for a few weeks each year at the height of their harvest.
Farmers’ Markets are Windsong’s favourite sales venue, and they love having a midweek Farmers’ Market to make sure their freshly picked fruit can get to the customer as fresh as it can. Many Nelson customers, in particular, often look for certified organic produce which makes a nice boost for them. Windsong Orchard are proud to be a small family operation. They are the ones picking, packing and selling the fruit so they feel sure that the ripeness and quality of the fruit is top. Hearing back from happy customers makes the trip over the hill so worth it!