Goodness from farm to plate
The only Bio-gro certified organic egg producers in the South Island are right here in Waimate district, at Arnstead Farm in Ikawai.
Neroli Williamson-Hellewell and Maurice Hellewell have a flock of around 1000 hens who live the life of riley in their specially sown pastures, and feed on organic wheat grown and milled on the property.
A small number of eggs are sold at the farm gate, but most are destined for stores around the South Island, and the Oamaru Farmers Market.
Neroli and Maurice also raise organic beef, and produce organic linseed for Waihi Bush Oil.
They’re co-founders of Organic Futures Aotearoa, which helps organic farmers grow and market their produce. Their beef cattle are predominantly Angus with a Wagyu bull used, grazed outside year-round on pastures including lucerne and cover crops .
The hens enjoy a movable feast around the property being shifted from paddock to paddock on pastures including red clover, chicory, plantain, and white clover. Their shelters are houses-on-wheels that are shifted around the paddocks with a tractor.
Maurice built the first henhouses using an old trailer chassis for the base but has upgraded the subsequent houses making modifications along the way for easier management. The flooring allows the manure to drop through which helps fertilise the pasture.
"The yolks are a lovely bright yellow which is a reflection of what they eat - no dyes are used here."
One of the family’s favourite recipes is for eggs scrambled with a little cream and topped with thin shavings of parma ham.
Contact: Neroli & Maurice, 03 689 2252
Arnstead Farm, 894 Ikawai Middle Road.