Based in the heart of Rototuna, Hamilton, Earth Stewards is an Urban Farm that specialises in sustainably grown, certified organic vegetables and fruit.
The farm was founded three years ago by couple, Warwick and Claire, who have a passion for health and education.
“We want to educate the younger generation on where their food comes from and how to grow nutritious food themselves.” says owner Warwick.
The journey began 25 years ago when the couple opened a school in Rototuna, Waikato Waldorf School. During school hours the students would tend to a garden as one of their learning activities. It wasn’t until 3 years ago that a parent suggested to grow the garden and use the crops to feed the community.
With the farm being surrounded by suburban housing, the couple claims they enjoy “making the most out of each square meter.”
The purpose of the farm is to feed and educate the community on the importance of healthy eating and organic products. This is shown through their three main values – Create, Care and Nourish.
There are four women farmers on the ground who work together to produce growing strategies and methods to meet the needs for the different vegetables.
Earth Stewards farming approach uses the Biology First Organic Regenerative Horticulture practice. This includes a no digging method ensuring the soil is disturbed as little as possible, allowing microbiology to grow the vegetables organically.
"We focus on nurturing and feeding the soil, not the plants."
The farm also stays away from using herbicides on their produce, this leaving room for many weeds to grow. Although this practice creates more labour for the farmers to remove weeds when harvesting, it is a vital element to ensure the quality of the vegetables.
The farmers harvest the crops twice a week- once for the Sunday Farmers Market and again for the online orders and the in-person shop.
Earth Stewards have recently opened their in-person shop located at the Rimu House. The store is open every Tuesday between 3-6pm for online and walk in orders.