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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

PRI &ST cover the FF

(Not the photo used by the Southland Times)

Food forest puts Riverton couple on the map


(Read the Southland Times article here.)

A Southland couple's "food forest" is expected to be a major drawcard for tourists after featuring in an international publication this week.

Permaculturalists Robert and Robyn Guyton had their Riverton forest garden featured online in The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia publication this week.

Permaculture is the design and maintenance of a multi-layered garden focused on producing food in a sustainable way.

"Being recognised internationally is exciting. There's a big following of permaculture and food forests across the globe," Mr Guyton said.

The publication had an international readership and already the article had attracted comments from people as far away as Ireland, he said.

"It's great for tourism, for young people looking for different ways to live their life. It will increase the number of tourists to Southland and Riverton."

The couple planted the first tree in their garden 23 years ago, making it a well-established food forest compared to others around the world.

Food forests are commonly developed in tropical areas rather than temperate regions such as Southland.

Mr Guyton said their garden had featured in national publications but this was the first time their food forest had featured on an international platform.

The couple said they regularly had visitors from throughout New Zealand, including a man who recently flew from Auckland to spend an afternoon in the garden.

The global exposure would open new doors and opportunities for the couple to expand their business.

"We'll be able to have interns for maybe six weeks - this is a big step in that direction," Mr Guyton said.

"I'm expecting we'll get requests . . . almost like a little natural university."

Venture Southland chief executive Paul Casson said it was fantastic step forward to healthier living and a good tourism opportunity.

"We've lost the art of growing and being our own food source.

"The modern-day forest is our supermarket and everyone is reliant on supermarkets," he said.

Tourists were more interested in getting back to basics and connecting with nature, and the Guytons' initiative was an example of diversifying the food tourism sector, Mr Casson said.

"I think it will bring more people to Southland to visit because they want something different."


Armchair Critic said...

Well done Robert. On the subject of tourism, has the cycle trail reached your place yet?

robertguyton said...

Can't see it for looking.