Named after Jan’s Copenhagen family homestead, Colunda farm is located on the Thames Coast 14km north of Thames. The freehold farm was subdivided in 1900 and now covers 35hectares. Initially meat and milk were produced for local goldminers and the farm has evidence of past mining The coastal hill country was long cultivated by Ngati Tamaterau and the soils on the farm ridges are well developed. This has made protea cut flower growing possible despite the clay soil.
Continuing with cattle grazing was not an option in 1992 and we opted for donkeys as a weed control, grazing and recreational land use. Inspiration came from Chamberlain’s Ponui Island New Zealand donkeys 30km across the Firth of Thames.
Ecotourism became the focus. The farm has a number of large farm buildings and the house faces west from a sunny ridge 100m above sea level, with a huge view of the Hauraki Gulf and Plain. Visitors were transported by tractor and 16 seat trailer to the top of the hill for the view, billy tea, picnics, walks, donkey rides, emus watching, one or two Belted Galloway cattle and 40 species of birds half of which are endemic.
Thirty percent of Colunda farm is pasture, 15% is in Pinus pinea (nuts), Acacias and specimen plantings of Araucaria, Cypressus and Pinus. The remainder is regenerating native forest including an expanding QE11 covenant. Most of the 80 year old Pinus radiata has been removed.
Access to the house is via a well maintained drive from Pohue Creek Road, but there is also access from SH 25. The farm is fenced in 25 paddocks with stock water pumped from the bordering Pohue Creek. The eastern boundary is with the Department of Conservation Forest Park.
The house is 26 years old, 165m2 3 bedrooms, open plan and strongly built. There is 60m2 of decks and 50m2 of carports surrounded by tool, firewood and propagation sheds. Two 22,500 litre tanks store rain water for the house, which has a wet back fireplace and solar water heater.
We have used biodynamic techniques to manage Colunda farm since 1992 and the location has provided us with ready access to main centres.
Your interest can be directed to Jan and Gary Blake 13 Pohue Creek Road, R.D.5 Thames, 3575, or Tel 07 868 2336 or firstname.lastname@example.org