‘37 farms to plant out and the phone is still ringing’

Tammy Wright, of Mossburn, has just celebrated her company Fork and Spade’s 
Tammy Wright, of Mossburn, has just celebrated her company Fork and Spade’s first year and her services, including on-farm riparian planting, are in more demand than ever.
It has been a year since Tammy Wright established her landscape, gardening and riparian planting business, Fork and Spade, and since then she has got busier and busier.

Her work is her passion and she loves what she does.

"This time last year I had only just started and during spring I planted out five farms. This spring I have 37 farms to plant out and the phone is still ringing. It has just grown huge," the Mossburn woman said.

Ms Wright had just returned from Canada and, with previous local employment not working out, she decided to launch her company after seeing a gap in the market.

"My passion has been biodiversity and sustainability and I wanted to include that in my work.

"I love the outdoor lifestyle and I can work and keep fit on the farms."

A couple of weeks ago, she launched RiparianNZ, a support platform linked to her business.

She provides advice to farmers about riparian and wetland planting, using an electronic mapping system to highlight and illustrate her suggestions.

She will recommend the best plants to use for the sites, and what impact they are likely to have on the environment and water quality.

She also provides staff for planting and will source the plants from various nurseries.

"RiparianNZ is still a work in progress and I am looking at where to go with that."

In addition to the six casual staff members — all women — she will be looking for another 10 experienced staff to cover the amount of work expected in early August.

Having an all-women crew was a coincidence rather than by design. In addition to planting she provides ongoing site maintenance.

"A lot of farmers say they will get around to spraying the plants but don’t have the time, so we come and do it for them.

"Launching Fork and Spade has been a big step and it is encouraging that we have earned the trust from our clients."

She gained her horticulture qualifications through distance learning and then got a job in charge of about 20 men at the Queenstown Asplundh NZ depot.

"I was there for a couple of years.

"Asplundh put me through training."

When not working she is a keen barrel racer and has followed the rodeo circuit for the past eight years.

"I broke into the open division this year after making enough money to go from second division.

"However, I am going to have this summer off from rodeo as I have my wedding in November."

She is going to marry Glenn Taylor, who leases the farm they live on.

He runs a dagging company and is also a bull fighter, someone who distracts the bulls in the rodeo, much like a clown.

"However, I will be back in the open next season," she said.

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