Manuka Oil

Manuka Oil

  • High quality production of East Cape Manuka oil
  • Organic growing of Manuka by using mulchers and young sheep to manage weed control, no pesticides or other chemicals are used
  • Plantations are harvested with highly mechanized technically efficient procedures
  • The oil extraction is taking place in a custom-made distillery right on the farm
In the course of our diversification, we have established 30 ha of Manuka-plantations on flat land. Another 150 ha are planted on steeper land for the purpose of honey and harvest by excavators with slashers. Since Manuka is part of the natural indigenous vegetation, climate and soil provide optimal growing conditions. We use the harvested Manuka branches to produce pure East Cape Manuka Oil.
Our goal is to produce a high-quality product as close to nature as possible. Manuka is easy to care for and a robust plant that often appears to be a pioneer species. The first two years after planting is the most critical period. Here the plant competes with other fast-growing weeds.
To help the Manuka Shrub to grow under these conditions we take two steps. Firstly, we mulch between the rows to let the plants have more light and reduce the weed pressure. In addition, the mulching material keeps the soil moist and suppresses the emerging weeds. The second measure is to graze the plantations with young sheep. These serve several purposes at once. On the one hand, they provide natural fertilization of the soil and on the other hand, they “mow” the grass between the trees where you cannot get with the mulcher. Conversely, the bushes provide shade on hot days and protection from the weather on bad days.
The harvest is done with a harvesting machine, originally designed for lavender, which is mounted on a tractor. This allows variable cutting height and ensures a clean cut of the bushes, which is important for the regrowth. Afterwards, the material is shredded into small pieces and ends up directly in a “cartridge” at the back of the tractor. The shredding of the material improves the handling and the oil extraction later on. The “cartridge” is then taken to the distillation plant where it is gently transformed into pure Manuka Oil. The distillation unit is located close to the homestead of Waikura Station. The leftover residues are ideal natural weed killer.
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