About Cranberries Westland (HRA LTD)
Cranberries Westland is a small cranberry farm on the Old Christchurch Road near Hokitika. We have about 3 acres of the block under cranberries and hope next years harvest will bring about 2500kg. Cranberries take about 5 years to get from planting to full fruiting in this climate so we’re continuing to prepare beds and plant cranberries annually. Our plan is to have a stand-alone commercial enterprise by 2028. We’re having the most success with the Pilgrim variety- though we have small amounts of a few other cultivars.
We supply fresh and processed cranberry products locally and nationally.
As far as we are aware we are the only commercial cranberry farmers in New Zealand. We are always interested in catching up with others interested in the industry- so do get in touch!
This is a short video Marj& Tony Allan made about the process of harvesting fresh cranberries. In a nutshell… this is what happens on our farm at harvest time.
The second link here is info about Cranberry growing in the US. Millions of tonnes of Cranberries! Worth a watch if you’re interested. The lovely girl explains the plant’s growing cycle, what the berries are like and how they are flooded for harvesting.
This is the story we get asked to tell…
Have you heard the one about the farmer, the artist & the cranberry farm?
Once upon a time, there was a farmer called Kevin who had a small deer farm in the centre of the Central North Island. Every Autumn he went south and west to catch up with old friends and spend time in the mountains of South Westland.
One winter Kevin decided to go traveling. He went to visit old friends in Africa and Europe and found himself helping to build a house at the bottom of a hill in the West of Ireland. That’s where he met Kate. Kate is an artist and lived in a little house on the top of the same hill. After a while, Kevin thought Kate should meet his daughter Aimee. Aimee also liked Kate and they invited her to New Zealand.
When Aimee was all grown up they decided to move to Westland and they settled near Hokitika.
Tony & Marj Allan had developed a small cranberry farm nearby and Kevin and Tony soon began talking about the fascinating business of farming cranberries. Tony & Marj decided to sell the cranberry farm & business.
Kevin grows the cranberries, runs the farm and does contract work. Kate makes art, works with groups and is often found in the office and the cranberry kitchen.
Together they make Cranberries Westland happen.
January 2018, Handing on the torch…
Just before Christmas Kevin and I took ownership of Tony & Marj Allan’s wonderful
project- Cranberries Westland.
Its a fascinating and extraordinary business- this business of growing and processing NZ Cranberries.
We’re settling into life on this lovely little Cranberry farm here on the Old Christchurch Road in Hokitika.
Kevin has been working alongside Tony since the harvest in April and I came on board a little later- spending time with Tony in the kitchen and Marj in the office.
So off we go- into the new year and the excitement of a new business venture.
Customer, friend, grower or just interested?
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Kate Buckley & Kevin Mac Gregor
In the beginning…
Marj and Tony Allan were business owners on the West Coast since 2001 when they began Kawhaka Lodge, a flyfishing lodge outside of Hokitika. The team have hosted guests from around the world to enjoy the beautiful area and the comfort of their cozy lodge. Avid gardeners, they recently put the ten acre lifestyle block next to the lodge, to use as a commercial growing project… and created Cranberries Westland.Limited
After researching possible crops including blueberries and black currant and receiving advice from Hort research, the couple learned of the benefits of the newly available cranberry plant to New Zealand growers. Introduced to West Coast growers in recent years, the cranberry has proven to be perfectly suited to the climate and weather conditions of the area.
Particularly attractive to the Allans is the high yielding fruit requires little maintenance after the beds are established, and the life of the cranberry beds lasts many generations, providing maintained correctly. They hope to see the crop grow in popularity in Westland to become a staple crop, like the grapes of Blenheim.
Currently, Cranberries Westland has tested all four of the major varieties available in New Zealand in trial beds, and are currently trialing new varieties which will be available in due course to the local market. The first commercial beds have been established in part of the block, . We are currently planting more beds each year as prunings become available.
We now have an established market for fresh cranberries in New Zealand , which is growing every year.