04 Oct 2015 - Jo Gilmore
Flaxbourne Olive Grove - 2015

In the short time we have lived here, we have completed many projects with the help of many helping hands from the tourists who have signed up to 'HelpX'. I'm not sure we could have done it all without their help.

In the spring of 2014  we had our first trip down to Christchurch to the Farmers markets after 3 months off during the winter months. 

It was during those winter months that most of the jobs were completed - the hen house was the first big job which had been waiting since before Christmas 2014. 

Alain from France made a wonderful job of it, along with David's help of course.

Then glasshouse went up, this will help us get early basil in for our pesto.  Thanks to Aude, Lukas, Brendan and Robyn, we managed to build it in horrible weather, battling with the wind and rain on some days.


The next project was to try and finish the 'Certified Kitchen'. We started it way back in May after the harvest. The council wanted us to improve what we already had by installing a 'clean' room where we could make the pesto and bottle the oil. This we wanted to do within the pressing shed. 

With the help of Canadian 'HelpX-ers' Lee Baillie and partner Jill MacLean, we managed the basic build before they had to resume their travels. The painting and finishing had to wait. There was many other tasks to get on with through the winter months - getting the pruning done for one thing, which gladly wasn't as much as last year.

We have now completely finished the new kitchen and its been passed and certificated by the council. 

So now we wait for the basil to grow for the making of the pesto. We should have some for the end of November Markets.

Irrigation is another big task on our list. We have pipes all over the place but all a little too small so in time they will all have to be replaced with larger pipes as all the trees are larger now and require more water.  

We are supposed to be in the middle of an 'el nino' at the moment, causing a drought situation, so we have to be prepared for several dry years. The olives don't mind so much but the hazels need water, and the gardens for the tour groups, so it will be a busy few years I think. Luckily we have our own wells but that does rely on the rivers flow.

We are trying to go organic or at least reducing the amount of herbicides we use around the trees, so we are currently trying out a planting scheme under the olive trees in some parts of the grove. The aim is to have wild flowers growing under the olive trees to help with encouraging bees and the right species of insect to predate on the wrong kind of insects. We hope to have an even more beautiful olive grove for people to look around. 

Watch this space for our latest news or log on to our Facebook page - Flaxbourne olive oil.

Sunday November 8th .... The Nelmac Garden Marlborough Fete, on Seymour Square

 - from 9am until 3pm.

We will be there with the olive oil and the ceramics. I have a new range of garden pots now made especially for the fete. 

It should be a great day. The weather will be good so come along and enjoy a great day out.


The Nelmac Garden Marlborough Fete was a great success. We enjoyed a fine warm day with little wind. The visitors were abundant and everyone seemed full of the joys of the summer.
We thank everyone who bought our olive oil and pottery, hopefully we'll see you again some time soon.
We are down in Christchurch for the usual markets again this coming weekend, Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th - Ohoka, Riccarton Bush and Downtown Farmers Markets. This time with our new seasons HAZELNUT PESTO. So come along and try it.