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Mike and Desiree Avey establish organic spraying business

August 26, 2016

Mike and Desiree Avey establish organic spraying business

Desiree and Mike Avey, of New Plymouth, are launching an organic spraying venture, MaD Contracting.

North Taranaki lifestyle block owners launching an organic spraying business say they are meeting a gap in the market.

Mike Avey said he and wife Desiree and a neighbouring lifestyle block owner had had trouble getting contractors to apply fertiliser on their properties because they were hilly and access was tricky. "We're small fry and it was probably too much hassle. "

So the couple decided to establish their own contracting business, MaD contracting  - for Mike and Desiree,  MaD if you don't use us -  to undertake organic spraying on lifestyle blocks, in orchards, gardens and shelter belts and to provide advice on pasture, soil and animal nutrition.

As the previous owner of a business selling dog training collars, Desiree Avey knew AgriSea founder Keith Atwood and approached him about the possibility of becoming an AgriSea applicator in Taranaki.

The couple are working  with AgriSea Taranaki field consultant Gavin Robertson. AgriSea, the Paeroa-based maker of seaweed nutrition and health products to the agriculture, viticulture and horticulture sectors, home gardeners, the equine industry and the human health market, is a certified organic company.

"It's a New Zealand company and we believe in the product,"  Desiree Avey said. "We prefer to talk about soil nutrition rather than fertiliser. We get the microbes in the soil working to promote worm growth."

Initially, they undertake a visual assessment of pasture or gardens to measure soil dryness, grass root depth and worm population.

She said getting the soil in balance could take a couple of seasons. "Once we get the soil right we can produce 25 tonnes of worm castings per hectare."

They have a side-by-side Kubota withs a 200-litre tank and 6m boom and a trailer that holds a 600-litre blending tank. In small spaces or on tricky terrain they can  apply the product with a hose.

They work voluntarily at the Westown Golf Club to showcase AgriSea products.

Their eight-hectare farmlet on Mt Taranaki's lower northern slopes is the site for Poukai Cabins, a bush retreat for private getaways. Native bush covers half the property, where they have beef cattle, a greenhouse for organic vegetables, berry tunnel houses, an orchard and free ranging hens.