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Episode 15 - To Feed An Island


On the next episode, screening 25 June 2016 at 7pm on TV ONE:

 

To Feed an Island

 

When Gerald and Caity Endt packed up their city lives and moved to Great Barrier Island to start an organic market garden, they had only two kidneys between them. Caity had donated one of hers to her husband to save his life.

 

But a year later Gerald’s body rejected the donated kidney and dialysis became his only option. Uninterrupted electricity supply is essential for dialysis patients, but there is no mains power on Great Barrier.

 

However this extraordinary couple refused to give up on their land, their business or their dream. Gerald bought a back-up power generator, underwent intensive training and became the first New Zealander to live on dialysis on a remote island.

 

‘Six hours every second day for five and a half years, I was hooked up to the machine,’ he says.

 

‘But he never complained,’ Caity says. ‘He just got on with it. After every session he’d say, “Good, that’s another two days on the Barrier!”’

 

They had resigned themselves to spending the rest of their lives this way, but in 2014 Gerald received another kidney. Now he’s strong, healthy and back full-time on the farm.

 

Very full time, in fact, because the couple’s business, Okiwi Passion, is a seven-day-a-week operation.

 

When they bought the land in 2007 it had the winning combination of water, rich alluvial soil and shelter in the form of towering walls of bamboo.

 

Helped by Wwoofers, or Willing Workers on Organic Farms, to whom they offer training in organic horticulture and business management, they have built up a living growing high-quality fruit and vegetables, including sub-tropicals and heritage varieties.

 

‘We like to keep our customers interested, plus we’re keeping varieties going that might otherwise be lost,’ Caity says.

 

Most of their produce is sold on the island through a ‘pot-luck’ veggie box scheme and a weekly market, but in summer they export the surplus to Auckland, where it is distributed by local food suppliers Ooooby.

 

Gerald and Caity are forever experimenting with better ways to grow more efficiently without compromising precious soil structure. They minimise cultivation, use only organic fertilisers and mulch extensively, using chip from the omni-present bamboo.

 

‘Soil is a legacy from past, a taonga if you like,’ Caity says. ‘It’s something to be protected and passed on to next generation. I’d like to think in 100 years this incredible orchard may still be a market garden.’

 

 

For more about Gerald and Caity, visit: www.okiwipassion.co.nz

 

For more about Ooooby food distributors, visit: www.ooooby.org

 

For more about Wwoofers, visit: www.wwoof.co.nz

 

Credits:    

 

Narrator

Dan Henry

 

Camera & Aerial Photography

Peter Young

 

Field Sound

Don Paulin

 

Editor & Colourist

Mike Townsend

 

Sound Mixer

Ian Leslie

 

Music

Stephen Gallagher

Anaru Kupenga

 

Post Production Manager

Bailey Palmer

 

Production Manager

Robyn Best

 

Research

Vivienne Jeffs

 

Network Executive

Jude Callen

 

Associate Producer

Dan Henry

 

Director

Roz Mason

 

Producer

Julian O’Brien

 

On the next episode, screening 25 June 2016 at 7pm on TV ONE: To Feed an Island When Gerald and Caity Endt packed up their city lives and moved to Great Barrier Island to start an organic market garden, they had only two kidneys between them. Caity had donated one of hers to her husband to save his life. But a year later Gerald’s body rejected the donated kidney and dialysis became his only option. Uninterrupted electricity supply is essential for dialysis patients, but there is no mains power on Great Barrier. However this extraordinary couple refused to give up on their land, their business or their dream. Gerald bought a back-up power generator, underwent intensive training and became the first New Zealander to live on dialysis on a remote island. ‘Six hours every second day for five and a half years, I was hooked up to the machine,’ he says. ‘But he never complained,’ Caity says. ‘He just got on with it. After every session he’d say, “Good, that’s another two days on the Barrier!”’ They had resigned themselves to spending the rest of their lives this way, but in 2014 Gerald received another kidney. Now he’s strong, healthy and back full-time on the farm. Very full time, in fact, because the couple’s business, Okiwi Passion, is a seven-day-a-week operation. When they bought the land in 2007 it had the winning combination of water, rich alluvial soil and shelter in the form of towering walls of bamboo. Helped by Wwoofers, or Willing Workers on Organic Farms, to whom they offer training in organic horticulture and business management, they have built up a living growing high-quality fruit and vegetables, including sub-tropicals and heritage varieties. ‘We like to keep our customers interested, plus we’re keeping varieties going that might otherwise be lost,’ Caity says. Most of their produce is sold on the island through a ‘pot-luck’ veggie box scheme and a weekly market, but in summer they export the surplus to Auckland, where it is distributed by local food suppliers Ooooby. Gerald and Caity are forever experimenting with better ways to grow more efficiently without compromising precious soil structure. They minimise cultivation, use only organic fertilisers and mulch extensively, using chip from the omni-present bamboo. ‘Soil is a legacy from past, a taonga if you like,’ Caity says. ‘It’s something to be protected and passed on to next generation. I’d like to think in 100 years this incredible orchard may still be a market garden.’ For more about Gerald and Caity, visit: www.okiwipassion.co.nz For more about Ooooby food distributors, visit: www.ooooby.org For more about Wwoofers, visit: www.wwoof.co.nz Credits: Narrator Dan Henry Camera & Aerial Photography Peter Young Field Sound Don Paulin Editor & Colourist Mike Townsend Sound Mixer Ian Leslie Music Stephen Gallagher Anaru Kupenga Post Production Manager Bailey Palmer Production Manager Robyn Best Research Vivienne Jeffs Network Executive Jude Callen Associate Producer Dan Henry Director Roz Mason Producer Julian O’Brien


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