Gam­ble led to renown in bio­dy­namic agri­cul­ture

Hawke's Bay Today - - LOCAL NEWS -

Agri­cul­tural iden­tity Peter Proc- tor passed away at his home in Have­lock North on Fri­day, aged 89.

The in­ter­na­tion­ally known and pub­lished icon was a well­known bio­dy­namic agri­cul­ture au­thor­ity and ac­com­plished a lot in his life.

Peter had a se­cure job as farm man­ager at Ho­hepa Farm, Clive, when he de­cided to take up an un­cer­tain role as field ad­viser for the Bio Dy­namic Farm­ing and Gar­dening As­so­ci­a­tion.

That was in the mid-1980s, and for years he was prob­a­bly the only full-time ad­viser to or­ganic farm­ers in New Zealand.

Peter some­times would say, after vis­it­ing a well-es­tab­lished or­ganic or bio­dy­namic farm, that “they know what they are do­ing, and don’t re­ally need me”. But when he tele­phoned to say that he was com­ing to the dis­trict and asked if they wanted a visit from him, the an­swer was usu­ally “yes”.

In those days or­ganic or bio­dy­namic farm­ing was a par- tic­u­larly lonely task and of­ten at­tracted deroga­tory com­ments from neigh­bours, so tak­ing it up re­quired courage. This was where he ex­celled — he had a very sunny per­son­al­ity and was a won­der­ful source of en­cour­age­ment and en­thu­si­asm, es­pe­cially for those iso­lated most of the time from oth­ers of a like mind. He was on the road, many weeks at a time, trav­el­ling from North­land to South­land, and vis­it­ing up to 100 farms a year, all of whom paid for his time and travel and very of­ten for many re­turn trips. On occa- sions he made vis­its to farm­ers in Aus­tralia also.

His unique qual­i­ties meant that when he re­tired from the NZ ad­vi­sory work in the mid­nineties, there was no one who could re­place him. But re­tire­ment didn’t mean that he stopped, and from then on he made many vis­its to In­dia with part­ner Rachel Pomeroy, where they helped farm­ers to use new meth­ods and to re­dis­cover some of the older ones pre­vi­ously known. The film One Man, One Cow, One Planet doc­u­ments some of that work, and he spoke about it with Kim Hill on Ra­dio NZ in Septem­ber 2009.

Kua hinga te to­tara i te wao nui a Tane. ■ Peter Proc­tor’s fu­neral will be held in the Ho­hepa Hall, 363 Main Rd, State High­way 2, Clive, at 1pm to­mor­row. This will be fol­lowed by burial in the Whar­erangi Ceme­tery next to Ho­hepa School in Fryer Rd, Napier, at 3pm. Af­ter­wards all are wel­come to gather for re­fresh­ment, to share mem­o­ries and to cel­e­brate Peter’s life. — Andy Black

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.