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The Fruits of Our Labour

summer strawberries at wanaka lavender farm

Wānaka Lavender Farm's harvest season is well and truly over and we were blessed with a good yield of a variety of produce once again, despite not being a fruit and vegetable farm. Our fruits, nuts, veggies and other goodies are mainly collected and shared among family and friends, but that doesn't mean they don't add another fun verdant element to our gardens for guests to admire.

In our Farm Stories, we aim to answer questions that we often hear being asked in our farm shop. This month is no different, so excluding lavender and other floral plants, what do we grow? Let us show you the incredible bounties of our farm. Although not planted in abundance, we appreciate every little crop!


There are many fruit trees dotted around our 22 acres, some standing tall and obvious to all who walk by, and others quietly growing in hidden corners of our gardens.

Chinese Quince (Pseudocydonia)

A fruit that garners way more attention than any other is the Chinese Quince. With its hard interior, bright yellow colour and funny shape, guests struggle to identify this one and often give in to their curiosity by bringing it to a staff member to check. We tend to leave the Chinese Quinces to their own cycle and do not harvest to eat. If you were to eat it, this fruit is usually cooked and made into a jam, jelly or paste; it has a different flavour profile to your usual quince.

chinese quince tree, yellow fruits on the ground with fallen autumn leaves


A sacrificial cherry tree sits on our farm amidst the resident animals, offering a tasty meal for the birds that pass by or nest in our leafy shrubs. As delicious as we're sure the cherries are, we are happy for the birdlife to enjoy this harvest. There is no better sound than happy birdsongs filling the aromatic air surrounding the flourishing lavender fields.

And more!

Some other fruit trees include apples, plums and pears. Over the years we have experimented with these harvests and included them in many of our own concoctions. Currently, our homegrown apples feature in The Nutty One tea, served in the tearoom and sold in the shop for anyone to enjoy at home. In previous years, we have made lavender and plum jam with our plums, and we continue to use the pears in dishes and desserts at home with family.

ripe apples growing on a tree at the farm, central otago


Strawberries thrive in our veggie garden over the summer months. Wānaka Lavender Farm does not grow enough to be on offer to visitors, but these sweet berries never fail to offer a bountiful harvest for the Zeestraten family.


Walnuts & Black Walnuts

Every year, we collect wheelbarrows of walnuts! These are dried and roasted and consumed at home as delicious snacks, or thrown into decadent desserts and salads.

Black walnuts look a little different as they have a tough green exterior shell that needs to be removed to expose the nut itself. Though the balck walnut can be dried and cooked, it is a little time consuming with the peeling process.

black walnuts coming out of their shell in a tree

Herbs and Veggies

Mum's Herb Garden is a thriving patch of earth at Wānaka Lavender Farm and we've shared more about it in another Farm Story. From thyme and parsley to rosemary and sage, herbs are nurtured and picked with love here. Some are used in our teas and products, whilst others are taken home by mum, Corry Zeestraten, to use as seasoning or make DIY crafts such as eco-dyed journals.

Over at the opposite end of the farm, a rotation of veg can be seen through spring, summer and autumn. For the Zeestraten family, especially the younger members, having fun and indulging in the ripe crops is a delightful bonus of owning a lavender farm. To name a few favourites, they grow corn, potatoes, leeks, pumpkins, lettuce, cabbages, tomatoes and spinach!

Our friends, family, team members and guests all delight in witnessing nature's cycle and it's always an exciting time when harvesting season comes back around.


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