Free rangers

Our lives prior to Royalburn were purely metropolitan. While Carlos is from an unbroken family line of farmers, years had passed. The plight of the farmer and the ebbs and flows of rural towns had become inconsequential. Our lives had become embedded in the city, our work entrenched in keyboards and screens – a far cry from soil and plants.

Food has always been, and will always be, Nadia’s life. Combined with Carlos’ deep-seated roots to the land, we were drawn to being involved in the journey of how food gets to our plates. Professionally our work had been in food media, cooking shows, cookbook publishing and the recipe and ingredient delivery business My Food Bag, of which we’re co-founders. From a deep desire and sense of responsibility to grow and produce good food, the itch to return to the land became a reality in 2019 when we took over the reins of one of New Zealand’s oldest farms. 

We’ve since been on a steep learning curve, becoming more grounded in the present; in each season and the weather forecasts, forcing us to celebrate or curse whatever nature brings. Farming gives an unedited, raw version of the world. One must learn to accept that some things are out of your control, and that there is life and there is death. Each farming day comes with delights and sorrows.

Our learnings are only part of the Royalburn story; our team help carry our vision and are truly on the frontier with their expertise and hunger to farm more beautifully. From beekeeping to butchery to composting, we are extraordinarily proud of the questions asked and decisions made around the wellbeing of our soil, animals and crops. It’s about respect, care and continual improvement. 

We’ve only lived a couple of chapters of the Royalburn story. We know it will be a never-ending learning curve and that our drive to continually do better will never cease, but we’re excited and enchanted with the beauty and blessings that each season at this special place brings.