Walking through one of the four large greenhouses that make up the market garden enterprise owned and tended by Shane McCulloch is rather like being immersed in the steamy jungles of Southeast Asia. Which is altogether appropriate given that McCulloch’s crops of choice are an eclectic mix of Asian vegetable staples that are hard to find in the usual selections of New Zealand supermarkets.
Green tendrils twirl and twist up strings, and thick forests of leaves form almost impenetrable tunnels of vegetation dripping with other-worldly fruits.
McCulloch is one of those gardeners destined from birth to be a great horticulturalist. He caught the gardening bug early, learning at the side of his grandfather in his large vege garden. This early exposure evolved into a full on takeover of his parents’ garden (the gardening bug skipped a generation in the McCulloch family and his mother was quietly grateful for his enthusiasm in the garden).
McCulloch went on to study horticulture at polytech and then did an internship in the very greenhouses he now owns in Whanganui East.
He bought the property from the previous owner, then started out with the standard capsicum and tomato crops.