|Kutash Organic Gardens is set in the beautiful Ida Valley, Central Otago, New Zealand, heart of "Lord of the Rings" country.
First established in 1998 by Lon Johnson. His dream, to turn the old Moa Creek School grounds into 10 acres of organic market garden. In 2004 Lon met Gilly Darbey a blues/folk singer from the UK, when she was touring in NZ and performed at the Cardrona Festival. They immediately found that they had a mutual interest in the organic philosophy and shared a dream to live that lifestyle. An unusual start to a romance talking about compost!
Lon noted recently that we make our living out of dirt and noise!
Set 500 mtrs above sea level and known as "freeze or fry country" the Central Otago weather is always a challenge but it also brings with it many benefits, not least of which is a naturally low number of pests and diseases. Some plants actually relish the climate, they grow more slowly and become more dense, thereby increasing in flavour. Our main crop, garlic, really loves the extreme climate and is extremely pungent and high in health giving sulphides.
Over the past year with the help of woofers, Willing Workers On Organic Farms, we have been able to see our dream coming true, we couldn’t have done it without them. We are now starting to market products made from our vegetables that carry those full flavours with them, not to mention the superiority of organic vegetables in the taste stakes.
We make a wonderful "Walnut, Garlic Pate", and “Pickled Garlic” that is proving a great hit at the farmers markets in Dunedin, Queenstown and Cromwell. The pate is also vegetarian, and gluten and dairy free. Along with the intense flavours comes an intensity of health giving vitamins and minerals, the benefits of which are numerous, with an added bonus of knowing that everything is grown naturally with no artificial or chemical sprays or fertilisers.
Our philosophy being that the more goodness you put into the ground the more goodness wil