Last year James Jubb created a little gem: a video series appropriately called My Southland Story. Its goal is simple. To tell the stories of Southland and why it’s an amazing place to work, live and play.
He wants the world to know that if you’re willing to work and to fall in love with the landscape and lifestyle, then you too can live the Kiwi Southern Dream.
James himself has a good yarn to share about how he became one of Southland’s most passionate advocates.
Kiwi Saffron’s Steve and Jo Daley are as down-to-earth as any couple you’re likely to meet. He’s originally from Te Puke – think Kiwifruit and beekeeping. She’s from pioneer Southern farming stock. With those backgrounds, as you can imagine, they’re not afraid of a bit of work.
And that’s just as well because as well as caring for cows on the farm, beekeeping and contract fencing, Steve and Jo are the hard-working duo behind this small, but increasingly successful, organic saffron company.
The little Buzzstop honey sign sits on Queenstown’s busy state highway. The traffic streams past unaware that just over the paddock lies a sweet, rural delight. Recently, I went to visit Nick Cameron of Buzzstop Honey Centre to get the buzz on his latest venture.
A Tale Of One Woolshed
The old girl was sagging at the seams. 70-years worth of bird droppings encrusted every beam. An ancient smell of sheep wafted up through the open floor grating. Even in the thin winter light, Nick could see the thick piles of dung below. He kicked at the thin, slippery boards which covered the floor.
“Whose crazy idea was this, anyway?” he grumbled.
“Yours, mate” the others chorused, hoisting the wheeled scaffold through the gaping doorway.
Nick clambered up the ladder, heaved the first bucket of hot soapy water and disinfectant up behind him and took out his scrubbing brush. It was time to start work.
The Athol Valley Market is a welcome addition to the summer scene in the Upper Mataura Valley villages. I went along to talk to local organiser Amanda McMillan about her latest venture.
Athol Valley – A Community Market
At the heart of a local market is the sense of community. People want to come together and support their local artisans and businesses. It’s less about dashing in and out to grab groceries and more about lingering to chat and chill.
And that perfectly describes the laid back vibe of the Athol Valley Market and its host The Hide. In fact, Amanda and Hide owner Meegan have a shared goal to support local enterprises and the diverse community found within the Upper Mataura Valley.