Ben and Romany
Ben (Balarama) and Romany (Rati) began stewarding Veda Organics farmland in Motueka Valley in 2010. After working together to run restaurants in Christchurch, they had their first child and decided it was time for a lifestyle change. The two earthquakes sped up their city life exit and the pair found themselves as first time farmers.
With help from neighbours and farming friends, they learned to drive a tractor and when to sow different crops. They are both Bhakti yogis and their spiritual practices translate into growing food in collaboration with nature and symbiosis with animal life. Ben's background in vegetarian cooking and Romany's background in naturopathy and yoga also contribute to the desire to grow ethical, healthy food.
Veda Organics does not use industrial animal slaughterhouse industry byproducts. Instead, they work with goats, sheep and cows to manage paddocks and increase soil fertility, as well as ethically produced compost and fertiliser. After years of searching, Romany and Ben have found suitable inputs that are free from industrial animal byproducts. Hooray!
They view the farm as a way to live a lifestyle they love and serve their community with ethical, nutrient dense produce.
Ben’s dream is to be a farmer (you are doing great Ben!) and Romany hopes to continuously improve the quality of their produce.
Romany and Ben value communication and trust in their small farm team. All feedback is important because each person has their hands in the soil and noses in the plants.
Although Peter would like you to believe that he stumbles around the farm aimlessly talking rubbish, he does a bit more than that. Peter came to New Zealand from Austria as a WWOOF farm volunteer long ago, worked in the dairy industry for 17 years and decided he wanted a lifestyle change. In 2017, he came to WWOOF at Veda Organics for a few weeks, and enjoyed the experience so much he decided to stay. He loves caring for cows and helps with harvesting produce too. You’ll recognize him from his role at our market stand where he enjoys having interesting conversations with you all.
Helen joined the Veda Organics farm team full time in 2019. She decided to transition from a career as a food and plant researcher to doing hands on farmwork. She helps grow your food—sowing seeds, weeding, fertilizing and harvesting. Helen contributes her practicality, sense of humor and love for gardening. Thanks Helen!