Mick and Sue MacKenzie have been selling their plants and produce at the market almost from the very start of the OFM in 2001. Both of their backgrounds have been heavily orientated around plants. Sue works in the botany department of the university as a technician looking after all their glasshouse plants and Mick has his own gardening contracting business. Sue works for Mick as well for about 20 hours per week.
Their expertise and obvious passion for all things plant based is evidenced by their quarter acre property in Caversham where they have lived for the past 26 years. North West facing and well sheltered from many prevailing winds their property is a credit to them. They have several glass houses and a sloping section with terraces creating flat areas. Everywhere you look there are plants and they all seem to be thriving!
Sue and Mick love experimenting with new plants – both edible and ornamental. They research magazines and books and use their networks to discover new species. While they aren’t certified organic they work with organic principles and don’t use any pesticides. Their plants are healthy and this can be accounted for by the excellent soil which they feed with homemade compost and liquid blood and bone.
Not only is the variety of what they grow astounding, the fact that they can grow some things in Dunedin at all is incredible. They have tamarillos fruiting freely, feijoas, cape gooseberry, figs, grapes, limes, lemons, saffron, nuts, lemon grass, chillies, eggplants, heaps of berry varieties, winter veg, potatoes, pine nuts, yams …. The list just goes on and on!