You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
The former Riverview Growers site near the one-lane bridge by the Kakanui River mouth just south of Oamaru changed hands in February last year.
Its the place where Alan and Jane Naish pioneered the famous Supertom grafted tomato plant in 1965.
Brian and Margaret Buschl bought both the business and the trade name in 1996, continuing to grow thousands of tomato plants and employing up to 12 staff in the peak season to work in 11 greenhouses.
When the Buschls sold up, Gary and Jo Story took over the premises.
They have been in North Otago for 17 and a-half years and were keen to live by the sea.
Mr Story grew up at Foxton Beach, at the mouth of the North Island’s Manawatu River and is now a full-time paramedic at St John Ambulance in Oamaru.
The Storys have been dabbling in horticulture mostly as a hobby so far.
They figured that if their neighbours were already growing tomatoes, they would try something different so they were not in competition.
Their goal was to sell fresh produce at the Oamaru Farmers’ Market and at their gate.
‘‘We’re keeping everything as natural as we can,’’ Mr Story said.
‘‘We’re using organic sprays and using seaweed to make our own fertiliser.’’
Raw ingredients nearby were plentiful and neighbours were delivering horse manure from their paddocks.
The Storys grew eggplants that ‘‘went reasonably well’’ last summer — although they could have done with more horse manure, Mr Story said.
They grew watermelons in a glasshouse, and some of the crop weighed more than 5kg.
The dark purple passionfruit they planted in a glasshouse last Christmas had grown extremely fast and were now setting fruit, although Mr Story was not sure if it would ‘‘hold on over winter’’.
They have also planted 30 tamarillo trees in greenhouses and hoped they would have fruit this Christmas.
Cape gooseberries were another unusual fruit that ‘‘took off’’ as soon as they were planted at Kakanui.
Mrs Story plans to grow flowers, including lilies and alstroemerias.
‘‘We’ll build it up over the next few years,’’ Mr Story said.
The couple had begun to pull down the oldest of the glasshouses, which were past their prime.
They were investigating the best way to recycle the materials, Mr Story said.