NTS Grower Wins Sustainable Agriculture Award

Heinz and Angela Gugger proved to be perfect candidates to embrace and benefit from the biological approach. They had not farmed prior to their current enterprise so the had no  pre-existing paradigms to shift. They attended the NTS four day Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture course several years ago, liked what they heard and applied the principles to their farm. Mary Valley Orchards has gone on to become a showpiece of biological orchard management and this week they won the Sunshine Coast Environmental Council award for sustainable agriculture at a ceremony affectionately called “The Froggies”.

Heinz and Angela are originally from Switzerland but moved from successful marketing careers in the US to the Gympie region, as a family inspired lifestyle change. Heinz has utilised his marketing skills to gain maximum benefit from his produce and he has created more demand for high quality persimmons than he can currently supply.

They have used precision nutrition and biological activation techniques to gradually reduce chemicals to the point that there are now no fungicides, pesticides or herbicides used on the farm. Miniature cattle, geese  and chickens are used to control the inter row and energy agriculture techniques are utilised, along with foliar nutrition, to help manage pests.

Heinz has become a regular presenter at the NTS courses as he can offer an invaluable insight into selling your product on your terms. The missing link for many farmers is marketing. It is fine to produce a superior product but that product must then be sold and it is always better to be a price maker rather than a price taker. Heinz shares the simple strategies that can help growers jump this final barrier on the path to increased profitability. He can be contacted directly at www.holisticfarming.com.au

  • Teresa Seed

    Your link for Heinz Gugger has not worked for me, and I can’t find him on Google… any ideas?

  • wiz

    I enjoyed the note about your farm. I would have liked to see more.

    However, the link to you website didn’t work from Concord, NH USA :(.

    Grame in case you are reading this: I very much enjoyed your book and your latest two articles. Otherwise you
    site comes across as a bit too pushy for your proprietary products. Sorry, but I thought it might help to have
    some feedback.

    warm regards from getting cold Concord, NH USA


  • Graeme Sait

    Hi Teresa, His new website may not be operational yet. Sorry! You can contact Heinz here: 07 5488 4315

  • Graeme Sait

    Hi Wiz,
    Thanks for the feedback. We try to supply as much helpful information on the website as possible but it also serves as our retail outlet so we obviously need to include product information. I never thought of this as “pushy” but it is interesting to see it from someone elses perspective. I trust that your winter is not too unpleasant. I will think of you on Xmas day as we sunbathe on the beach!
    Warm regards

  • wiz

    Hi Grame,
    No snow here yet….. Warm year; current average temp around 0 deg C. One local farmer still has green house broc. up 3 feet :). I am more a soil guy and have been doing some stuff under lights with sea water as the “fertilizer”. So far working pretty well! I have been looking at how to restart dead land? i.e.- the origins of the humic acid family of substances. The form of carbon seems to be key? Maybe raw sugars, local fungi and sea water/rock dust? I suspect there are examples in the local environment if I knew how and where to look. Mineral balance is obviously key but pretty hard to do when things are not homogenious. Maybe tissue tests and weed species would be a better bet?

    Do you know of any published libraries of examples of soil test -> plant tissue tests -> animal tissue tests? It would seem like the measurement technology is now available, but I don’t know of any experiments that can be repeated. Also a general lack of hard data.
    And I don’t happen to have a mass spectrometer in the back room :).

    warm regards from cold Concord, N.H. USA

  • Graeme Sait

    Hi Wiz,

    It sounds like you are doing some interesting work. There is a large manual available that covers leaf test data but it only covers ideals for commercial crops. I don’t quite understand what you are seeking here?

    Warm regards

  • http://www.foodconnect.com.au Alison

    Try http://www.holisticfarming.com.au instead… it works, but looks like the site is still in its infancy!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. This is very incredible and nice post. Please share more like this.

  • Brenda

    FYI the link needs a .au at the end to work, it will then take you to the site.


  • http://julia.seaview@bigpond.com Julia

    Here it is in 2013 but the Holistic Farming website, with plenty of time for settling into change, seems to be nothing to do with holistic farming – but more interested in providing links to some very anti holistic sites such as chemicals from China and pesticides online.
    Are you sure this man won an award for sustainable agriculture – or have you got the wrong man? Or maybe I have just got the wrong website.

  • Graeme Sait

    I think you are on a different website. The holistic farming one isn’t available any longer. Sorry about that.

  • roborthudson

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