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Vegetable cropping block sprouts up for sale

Tags: Rural

A substantial highly-fertile vegetable cropping block – producing broccoli, onions and pumpkins – has been placed on the market for sale.

The gently-sloping 37-hectare property at Patumahoe in the Bombay Hills south of Auckland has a thick layer of nutrient-rich volcanic loam soil which has been sustaining commercial vegetable crops annually for 60-years.

A comprehensive catalogue of horticultural infrastructure buildings linked to the property are also featured in the package, including:

• A 63 square metre refrigerated cool store and associated chilling plant

• A 1,156 square metre galvanized iron packing shed

• Some 323 square metres of storage and workshop sheds

• A staff lunchroom and office

• Water bores, pumps and hydrants

• Three residential dwellings used as the owner’s abode, and for potential staff quarters. and

• Two portacom cabins

Patumahoe is in the heart of Counties’ vegetable cropping belt running along the Bombay Hills, in a region which produces most of Auckland’s vegetable crops. The predominantly rectangular-shaped block up for sale has approximately 500 metres of road frontage onto Hunter Road, with a further 350 metres of road frontage onto Gallager Road. It also has right-of-way access off Hart Road. The land is zoned rural production and is subdivided into 15 plots.

The freehold productive property and buildings are being marketed for sale through a tender process being managed by Bayleys Pukekohe, with tenders closing at 4pm on May 15. Bayleys Pukekohe salespeople Ben Jameson, Shona Brown and Shane Snijder said the farm’s root vegetable produce supplied both local and international markets.

“This is a stereotypical established owner/operator horticultural operation which has been developed over a long period of time, and is now offered for sale in a ‘turn-key’ state ready to take on production for next year’s onion and pumpkin crops,” Mr Jameson said.

“The rich soil type around Patumahoe is enhanced by the highly favourable environment and climate of the area – where 756mm of rainfall was recorded in the 12 months to the end of February 2018, and the average temperature over the same period was 17 degrees Celsius.

“The land has also been meticulously fertilised and nutrient enriched over the past six decades to ensure its ongoing high productivity levels. The current crops of broccoli, onions and pumpkin are complimentary in terms of harvesting months – ensuring efficient use of the cool store and packing shed assets, along with best utilisation of labour and equipment.“

Broccoli for example is at its peak over later autumn into early winter, while onions and pumpkins are harvested throughout summer and into autumn.

Mr Jameson said there was of course the potential to grow alternative crops on the land – ranging from cauliflower and lettuce, through to carrots and potatoes. Additionally, the block’s flat topography meant glasshouses could be built on the site for year-round production, or for growing alternative types of produce.

Irrigation for the horticultural block at 134/138 and 170 Hunter Road comes from a six-inch bore which has resource consent to draw up to 24,000 cubic metres of water a year from the Kaawa Aquifer. The property sits between 72 – 82 metres above sea level.

Ms Brown said that in addition to the land and buildings, the farm’s plant and machinery inventory - including a fleet of tractors, trailers, vegetable seeders and rippers, ploughs and hoes - was also separately available to purchase.

She said the three residential dwellings on the property included a two- bedroom cottage, a three-bedroom weatherboard and wood dwelling, and a four-bedroom abode.

“The configuration of dwellings allows for occupation by an extended family looking to take on the horticultural activities, or for housing managers and staff from an absentee owner perspective,” Ms Brown said.

The Patumahoe vegetable block comes onto the market hot on the heels of a Government report which has identified the on-going conversion of Auckland’s productive horticultural land into residential lifestyle blocks.

The report - Our Land 2018 compiled by the Ministry for the Environment – highlights that more than 35 percent of Auckland's most fertile soil has been consumed by lifestyle blocks. Prevalent among the change in land-use was property around Pukekohe – which has seen the number of residential lifestyle blocks increase by some 58 percent since the late 1990s.

“With residential developments ever-encroaching on horticultural land, combined with Auckland’s ever-increasing population and its parallel growing demand for food, this has seen the value of productive land in and around Pukekohe and the Bombay Hills increasing steadily over the past decade,” Mr Jameson said.

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