The idea of Roots Shoots & Fruits was born over thirty ago upon our return home from Africa, where we had marvelled and survived for a number of years, to find my dad using Trichoderma. What was this new and amazing product that contained living organisms?
Our farm was on an island named Speewa (The aboriginal name for passing down stories of the dream time). It was a special place, 100 hectares of mixed farming with everything from poultry to dairy, sheep & cattle with fields of vegetables and fruit orchards too and my grandad had a vineyard down the road. My dad was always well ahead of his time in terms of technology on our farm, as was his father’s father. He was years ahead of others when putting in underground sprinkler irrigation used to grow top quality lucerne hay for export to the blood stock markets in Japan…. other farmers were still into flood irrigation and conservation and sustainability were not catch phrases then, little only something that people actually worried about and pursued. To our fascination my dad utilised an army of lady birds once when I was a kid, there was a severe outbreak of aphids on the Lucerne that we got up to bail during the night, just when the moisture level was perfect. This all was during a time when herringbone dairies had not been heard of, but we had one…. So, I suppose I should not have been surprised to learn about the new yet to become revolution my dad was into …. breeding of microorganisms for root growth, improved nutrient uptake and protection from disease.
I was fascinated, saw the results and was hooked. It wasn’t until a few more years later when we moved back to New Zealand that it became apparent to Tim and myself that these sorts of technologies had not arrived, neighbours were still using DDT and mixing chemicals with their hands, for goodness sake. Tim’s family have been farmers for generations originally situated in the mid Canterbury region; farms of small seed such as clover, sheep and cattle, right on the banks of the mighty Rakaia. Selling up in the early 70s they moved to a remote Wairarapa hill country station where they cleared gorse and scrub, running a fiery breed of Perendale sheep. later buying a flat run off, on the outskirts of Masterton where they once again cropped, fattened and shot ducks.
Tim’s father Royce had a passion for the environment and saw planting trees as a way forward during his tenure on the local council and an investment for local rate payers and the community. Royce with his wife Judith retired the hill country station bought in the 70’s to trees where it is still functioning as a silver culture forest, producing quality timber today. Dotted around the forest on the most difficult terrain can be seen the specular sight of electricity being generated from a modern-day wind farm.
Our parents were visionaries and it was our time. Tim and I were so disillusioned with the tools on offer to producers in New Zealand that we opened Roots, Shoots & Fruits, which has not looked back. There are now, numerous other companies who have moved with the times looking at the benefits of biological growing and we are still proud knowing we were the first and possibly the spark.
Our company Roots, Shoots & Fruits has two main aspects – Microorganisms and Mineral nutrition both of equal importance when striving to improve Soil health, Plant health and in doing so YOUR health. Modern day chemical agriculture has not only taken its toll in terms of killing off beneficial organisms allowing pathogens to flourish but also many years of commercial production have seen a decline in mineral density of our food by maybe as much as 50%. So, in other words we need to eat 50% more food to obtain the same mineral nutrition as our parents and grandparents did fifty plus years ago. We are eating our way to obesity and with more and more auto immune and mineral related diseases emerging, we hope we are not too late to make significant change.
We have been very fortuitous to have come across JH Biotech all those years ago on my dad’s farm. JH Biotech is a research and product development company made up of a group of like-minded scientists who have come together from countries all around the world in their common pursuit in the development of biotechnology and mineral nutrition. JH Biotech are ahead of the wave developing products for agriculture, animal and human nutrition. They knew that biotechnology would and is revolutionising agriculture worldwide. Developed under pharmaceutical conditions, there is no brewing up out the back shed in 44-gallon drums, as I have witnessed some companies doing, who wish deal in these technologies.
JH Biotech was, in their early years, contracted to Saudi Arabia (Yep the Saudi’s had the money). Saudi Arabia employed the University of California to product screen globally for the best products so that they could grow food in their deserts. After coming off that contract JH Biotech products became available to the world.
Biomin is one of the flag ship products in the range, it is a Glycine chelate. Patented technology that has no equal globally, allowing unhindered movement of minerals throughout the plant to areas of need. Addressing mineral unavailability and providing nourishment in our food and wine and most importantly allowing growers to profit through quality production due to its efficiency and effectiveness.
Biomin do not sit on the leaf giving false positive readings of mineral levels. Rather, Biomin enter all parts of the plant due to their very small atomic weight and move freely unhindered both via the phloem and xylem (they are systemic) like a trojan horse. Glycine is utilised as the chelation agent and Glycine being the smallest amino acid, is in fact what plants themselves are made of. This is new technology. Biomin are not chelated with synthetic substances forcing plants to use time and energy to extract this waste (like plastic bags within whales). Synthetic chelation such as EDTA and other forms of large molecules are old technologies. We believe growers should be informed of and given the choice of utilising new advanced tools, sparking the desire to become visionaries for our future and leading New Zealand to become the food bowl for the world.
We hope that you will become one of the many members of the Roots, Shoots & Fruits family who are concerned about our earth, our food and who take pride in their production, growing the very best for the best.
Kaitiakitanga – guardianship and conservation