WHO WE ARE
Jan McIntosh is an experienced television director and producer, who started her television career at TVNZ. There she created ‘The Palmers Garden Show’, a long-running high-rating series in prime-time.
“I’m a passionate organic gardener. In our city garden I grow much of what my family of four eat, and I supplement it with produce from our local Farmers’ Market.
“When I read news reports about people not being able to afford to buy veges and fruit, I wonder why they’re not growing their own. Not only does it cost less, sometimes nothing at all once you’re set up, but you also get the link that fresh organic veges and fruit are key to good health.
“On top of that people start behaving more communally. If they’ve got spare produce they’ll give it away to someone who can use it. The same goes with seeds and seedlings. You can see the potential. It costs nothing to give it away, and yet you’ve done so much good.”
“Whenever I tell people I could help them create an organic vege garden,
they just want to know more.”
Rob Velseboer runs the company ‘Heirloom Organix’ with Murray Joyce. They are BioGro Certified Organic and grow and sell organic vege and herb seedlings at Farmers’ Markets and some garden centres.
Rob and Murray started their horticultural ventures planting an orchard of heritage fruit trees which they found grew best using organic principles. Growing organic vege and herb seedlings was a natural progression. Along with selling their fruit, it was a way of making a living from their land.
“Organic veges and fruit just taste better and they’re better for you. We subscribe to Soil and Health’s catchcry—healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy people”, says Rob.
“It’s really important for people to just get out there and get growing. We support the ‘Garden to Table’ venture because it’s teaching kids basic skills they may not learn from their parents. Kids learn not only how to grow veges, but how to cook them. They love eating what they’ve grown themselves. We support community gardening too because it gives everyone the opportunity to grow their own food.”
“Only if we all get back to growing food in our own backyards can we make a difference to our health and strengthen communities. It’s small steps towards creating a sustainable world for future generations.”
“I had great fun designing the website. It needed to be approachable and vibrant, so I took a tiny thumbnail sketch I had done and just blew that up. We developed it from there. What else I do—I work with Don, from Inky Smudge, to create websites; I illustrate, design and teach design. I’m going to do funny little drawings of the gardens as we go—I can tell you, I’m looking at my own garden quite differently now!”
“I’m the editor and I didn’t know you could create an edible organic garden anywhere, but it seems like you really can. We used to just grow a few herbs and lettuce but now we’re growing bigger vegetables and some fruit. It took a bit of a push for my partner and I to get started on really taking care of our garden, but after working on the videos, all the knowledge was there and now we are well on our way to having a constant supply of fresh veggies on hand. There’s something very cool about growing your own food and digs into the ancient part of your soul about “living off the fat of the land,” I dramatise haha, but it is very nice indeed to eat a fresh veggie or piece of fruit that you’ve grown yourself, because it will always taste better!”
“I’m the stills photographer. I used to be the local vet, and I’ve always had chooks and a vege garden. I got my first camera when I was 8 years old. My Dad was into photography and he had a dark room. I completed my Masters in Photography at Elam School of Fine Arts last year. Taking stills for OEG combines all my passions – photography, organic vege gardening and being vitally involved in my community.”