Little Farms doing big things in direct-to-consumer local produce vegetable box business

Little Farms doing big things in direct-to-consumer local produce vegetable box business

Started in Masterton and now based in the frost-free area of South Wairarapa, Little Farms is a direct-to-consumer organic vegetable box business that sends out 100 boxes a week at its peak in summer.

Founder and Chief Grower Alex Morrissey told REX hosts Rebecca Greaves and Hamish McKay that she couldn't believe that no one was providing direct-to-consumer bulk vegetable orders for regular people.

"We live in a rural area where there is lots of organic food grown but you couldn't buy it," she said.

"It was mainly sent in pallets to Auckland or Wellington so the locals couldn't actually get access to it."

Little Farms grows greens like spinach, lettuce and kale all year round while also providing seasonal fruit and vegetables throughout the year. During winter months, produce such as leek, beetroot, cabbage, and carrot are available, while fruit is more prevalent in summer.

Morrissey explained they receive orders on a Monday evening, harvest the orders in the following days and send them out to customers by Thursday, in the most direct way possible.

"It's a very direct-to-customer, no wastage kind of model."

Although she owns her own market garden, Little Farms has formed a collaboration with seven other local Wairarapa growers who have allowed them to expand their market and increase the volume of produce they can sell.

"It's definitely become a lot more of a big picture, logistical thing but it's awesome because it means we are supporting seven growers now."

Part of the initiative at Little Farms is to encourage sustainability and resilience when it comes to local produce and not needing to rely on large multinational companies like Supermarkets for food.

Morrissey said pushing towards a future where local communities are self-sufficient and able to cultivate most produce needed in a generally healthy diet within their own town or neighbourhood is something Little Farms is really focusing on.

"The only way for a region to be truly sustainable is if most people have the ability to grow some food for themselves so we are less reliant on supermarket systems and if we get cut off we are more resilient.

"Maybe not everyone wants to garden, but if there are big-ish market gardens in every neighbourhood then as a community we can feed ourselves which moving forward is an awesome thing to be working towards."

Conventionally, in gardening, you would till your soil every spring ready to plant everything but Little Farms takes a slightly different, arguably more efficient approach. 

"We essentially layer organic matter on top of it, smothering out the weeds rather than pulling them out.

"We're adding organic matter to the soil which is adding nutrients and we're not disturbing the soil structure which means the microbes and worms keep doing their thing and don't get destroyed."

Check out more information about Little Farms at or on their Instagram account here.

Listen to the full chat between Little Farms Founder & Chief Grower Alex Morrissey, Rebecca Greaves and Hamish McKay above.

To check out more episodes listen to the REX Today Podcast anytime on your favourite streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Rova or tune in to REX Mornings live on Magic from 5 am to 6 am every weekday.

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