It’s been about a decade since we took the plunge and took on the lease of this little slice of paradise we call Wakaepa Farm — where the upper reaches of the Selwyn River flow right down to the bottom of our land. Evan & Maureen Frew have farmed the land for ages, and going into business with them has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Since the day we first stepped on the land, all the way up until now, we’ve grown to host 1100 Red Deer, 450 Velvet Stags, 2000 Periendale Ewes, and 100 Hereford and Angus Cows that graze on the fruits of Central Canterbury. Not to mention, we also share the farm with the local bees from Coalgate Honey, so there are plenty of hives that play a big part in keeping our crops healthy.
Nestled in the foothills, all 1200 hectares of Wakaepa run behind Whitecliffs — a little village of about 800 people living in the rural South Island climate. Our hill breeding property runs through here, while our flat land area is about a 15 minute drive along to Hororata. The latter is situated on the Central Plains Ltd irrigation scheme, which means we’re also able to collect the excess water from the Rakaia River. A landscape of picturesque rolling hills, we reckon the view doesn’t get much better than that.
There are plenty of places to get good meat, but the lack of local produce in Central Canterbury is what puts Wakaepa Farm in a prime position to cater for our community. We’re also big on sustainability and managing our carbon footprint — and so we should be. With a myriad of crop from kale to swede, plantain, chicory and everything in between, there’s always an abundance of produce available for our stock. All of our animals are farmed in a natural environment where they are sheltered from the hills and bushland, and are also kept in small mobs.
From the breeding stage to the final packaged product, every step is 100% controlled by us, and we’re pretty proud of that. We do as much of the work as possible ourselves, and then rely on our local businesses to support us with the finishing touches. Once our animals are ready, they’re put on a truck from the farm, straight to Ashburton Meat Processers, and then delivered to Blair and the team at Darfield Village Meats before being sent straight to your door. While still young, we’ve got a whole lot of growth to come. Join us for the journey.