Awaroa

Current Owners: Helen van Asch

Area (ha): 91

This is a 91ha freehold property at Dashwood owned since March 1981 by Helen van Asch. It was formerly known as Lennox. The land is fairly flat and lies between the Molesworth Road and the Awatere River.

Awaroa was the name chosen for the property by Miss van Asch and a friend as it is Maori for alongside the river.

Miss van Asch originally had Halfbreds and Merinos (replacements retained) and fattened a few bobby calves. Nowadays all grass farming is favoured. Paddocks were resown in 1988 to help build up humus in the soil. In 2002 Awaroa became fully certified organic and as well as farming livestock, linseed has been grown to supply the Waihi Bush organic flaxseed oil market. Wiltshire sheep are being farmed for the prime organise lamb market. Miss van Asch is also considering expansion into growing blue borage (vipers buglass echium vulgaris) for the organic cosmetic market. This could start in January 2010.

The previous owner (1964 -1981) was Mr Keith Berryman who had a Border Leicester Stud, also a Suffolk one, as well as a flock of crossbred sheep - latter mostly bought in. Green feed, rape and Lucerne were used as supplementary feed.

Mr Stanley Irving was the owner of Lennox from 21953 - 1964. Prior to 1953 it was owned by the Snowden family and for some time after the Dumgree ballot of 1912 until 1919 by Mr Frank Adams.

The homestead and buildings were, for the most part, built by Mr Snowden himself. Miss van Asch has made an addition to the woolshed which now holds 180 - 200 sheep (1984).

Lower ValleyGillian McLeod