One of the most rewarding components of my job is the interesting array of people I work with.

A perfect case in point is an agricultural scientist by the name of Jim O’Gorman, otherwise known as the Dirt Doctor, Jim has a small property in Kakanui, just south of Oamaru overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Just gorgeous!

He once told me his mission is to discover ways of successful plant production utilising the simplest of tools. Something that he could pass onto third world societies where food production is challenging.

Jim sent me an email the other day with some great photos from his tomato green house. The variety is Potentate which was very popular in the 1960’s. It is open pollinated, not grafted, and not a hybrid. The photos show a beautiful crumb structured soil which is getting deeper each year.

Jim explains: Nothing unusual huh?  Except…

  • Tomatoes have been grown biologically in the same soil for fifteen years.
  • The yield is greater than ever.
  • There is no whitefly
  • One only plant lost out of 150 (stunted)
  • Straight after tomatoes the house is planted in potatoes
  • The house is looking healthy

I should add here that Jim obtains biological assessments on his soils every year and we have noticed a continual improvement which supports his success.

His only fertiliser, pest and disease management are applications of his own composts and compost teas. The quality of his produce is so good that it is regularly requested by the Chef of Govenment House for state dinners.