Alan Hutchings has been involved in the horticultural industry from an early age. Helping his Dad develop a 10ha bare piece of land into a kiwifruit orchard started what was to be a lifelong passion for growing. Alan’s industry knowledge is wide and varied. Starting out in kiwifruit managing orchards and going on to create contract picking and pruning teams. Alan has grown a variety of fruits including Pepino, Babaco, Honey Dew melons, Pitaya, Watermelons and other tropical varieties.
1985 was when Alan first came across the Horned Melon, his fascination with the fruit was to be long standing. After purchasing plants from Mike and Heather Turner in Te Puke he produced his first crop in 1986. He has continued to grow horned melon ever since on varying scales and at times contracted as a consultant for other growers.
In 1998/1999 Alan purchased a 6ha property in Te Puke with a 1.2ha double skinned hot house. He travelled to Nicaragua and bought back with him plant material of the fruiting cacti known as Pitaya. It was in the hot houses that he started the mass production of Pitaya.
In 2008 Vanessa joined forces with Alan and has been hands on growing, picking, packing and exporting horned melon into the USA and Japan. Vanessa also takes charge of all the export documentation and answering your emails. Vanessa holds a NZIM Certificate, Level 5 Diploma in Business and is nearing the completion of Level 6 New Zealand Diploma in Business. Equally passionate about ensuring the produce is of the finest quality whether dealing locally or with overseas markets.
Both Alan and Vanessa promote natural agricultural practices and believe this is what sets us apart from other growers. We may not be the biggest grower, but we are proud to be efficient, sustainable and operate in an honest manner. This stuff is just as important to us as delivering top quality produce.
Harvest is a time of energy, fun and festivities with an assortment of family and close friends helping us in various shapes and forms. It is this good ole Kiwi attitude that reminds us why we do what we do.
And how could we forget "Spud" - an important member of our small team.