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Situated in the beautiful Akatarawa Valley 30 minutes outside of Wellington, New Zealand is Mandi Lynn’s blueberry farm. A 26-acre certified organic paradise. Mandy is full of bubbles and absolutely passionate about what she’s doing. She acknowledges destiny has brought her here and she’s not turning back. Mandy started off not knowing anything about her trade when she arrived on the farm five years ago from America, but had the dream. [Mandy Lynn, Blueberry Farmer]: “I’d never have thought in a million years I’d be in New Zealand as a blueberry farmer. I was trained to be a nurse.” She wasted no time and read books on organic farming principles, permaculture and biodynamics. Time passed, the seaons changed and the crop was doing all right. But Mandis berries reached new heights after a Nepalese sherpa from Mount Everest with a mysterious farming technique turned up on her doorstep. [Mandy Lynn, Blueberry Farmer]: “When Nima first started talking to me about this I was like, what? It just seems so crazy, I mean I’d read about it, but I was like ah…this sounds like a lot of voodoo, you know. And eh…the first year we did it I was like…I went in to go mow the lawn about a month afterwards and I was like, oh my God! The growth was just insane, I’d never seen it before.” Where Nima came from he had never seen a blueberry. But he just sort of has this way with plants, that and a very special recipe. [Mandy Lynn, Blueberry Farmer]: “This is a piece of poop that’s been stuck in a cow horn and it comes out and it’s only an amount like this, a small amount and it’s kind of homoeopathically stirred.” But this isn’t their only method of success. It took every crop famer’s worst nightmare to invent the next. [Mandy Lynn, Blueberry Farmer]: “The first year that we bough it we had a 100 year flood rip through and it was about a six foot wall of water.” But with the flood came a new, primitive, but smart solution: partially hand weeding around the root of the plant instead of removing all the weeds. [Mandy Lynn, Blueberry Farmer]: “This method we developed after the flood because when we had gone in and diluted everything the ones that we done that to got washed down the stream. The ones that had the weeds left on them just kind of swayed even the berries stayed on. I have no idea how it happened.” As for the future of the farm well as long as it stays afloat Mandi and Nima will be here, sharing the fruits of their success with visitors and anyone else wanting a little Mt. Everest style know how. Gina Shakespear, NTD, Wellington, New Zealand.