On the 21st of March it was the Autumn equinox in New Zealand, a time of balance and reflection.
It's a time to acknowledge the equal length of day and night and to embrace the shifting of
seasons as the leaves begin to change colours and the days grow shorter.
At Tomtit Farm we begin to breathe a sigh of relief as we prepare to close the book on this
somewhat hard season of growing. At this time of year we usually have fields overflowing with
an abundance of fresh produce, from juicy tomatoes and crisp cucumbers to plump pumpkins
and sweet kūmara. It is usually a time to revel in the harvest of the land and to give thanks for
the gifts that Papatūānuku has bestowed upon us.
But this year we find ourselves in a place where the crops look tired and the harvest is not as
plentiful as usual due to the challenges of the unpredictable weather this season. From a late
season crippling frost, to too much rain, not enough sunshine hours, damaging winds and
multiple floods in the Waikato, all of these pose a threat to the delicate balance of the growing
As a small-scale farm we are hugely affected by these unpredictable weather patterns and the
effects of climate change. With a high dependence on natural resources, we must be resilient
and learn to pivot our business to adapt to changing circumstances. As the season throws curve
balls we continue to come up with creative ways to keep our heads high and stick to what we
know and love best, which is growing, caring for our soils, and making food available to our
Despite these challenges, we give thanks for the produce that has been harvested, appreciating
that we are very lucky to have a harvest and are able to share kai with our community.
Reflecting on the season that has passed is a nice way to connect Papatūānuku and to
acknowledge the hard work and dedication that went into the harvest.