Glen Eden

  • Ponatahi Road, Martinborough, New Zealand



Glen Eden Farms Ltd is a 1430ha diverse farming business located near Martinborough, in central Wairarapa.   


Area:     1430 incluha total over three separate farms.  All within 5min drive of each other.

1270ha effective – home farm Glen Eden 650ha, newly purchased Ngakouka 500ha (partially leased and 3km from the home farm) and newly leased Awatane 270ha (6km from home farm).

We have expanded significantly in the last 12 months.  We are in the process of increasing stock numbers and understanding our new properties.

Climate: We usually experience a typical Wairarapa climate, summer dry and winter wet, though the winters seem to be getting warmer.  Long term annual rainfall is 830mm average.

Soils:     We have a range of soil types and land classes, from dry stony hill country to flat irrigated river silt, with irrigated clay flats, dryland clay flats and easy clay hills.


By the end of June 2023 we expect to be running between 11500 and 12000su.  This number is highly flexible given our climate.  We use numerous methods to match pasture supply and demand, such as trading stock, feed crops, irrigation, grazing on and off and feeding supplements.  


In the past, we would finish 8-10,000 lambs per year to 20-21kgCW, with all supplied to Atkins Ranch.    Lambs are supplied pretty much all year round. We have been a finalist in the past in their supplier of the year awards.  Our newly expanded business should be able to finish 14-15000 lambs at similar weights.   We have a small group of store lamb suppliers, where we source 80% of our store lambs depending on the season.

We buy in 3-400 2yr bulls and 2-300 2yr steers in the spring.  Most of these are gone either to slaughter or sold store at 550kg.  We also buy yearling steers in the summer if feed allows.

Home bred calves are carried through to sell before their second winter ideally but are a flexible stock class in that we could sell them as weaners or yearlings as well.


We grow a variety of cash crops which are predominantly grown under irrigation on the river flats. This season we’ll harvest approximately 120ha of cash crops such as; maize grain, sweetcorn/maize seed, squash, ryegrass seed and red clover seed. Some typical yields are; maize grain 13t/ha, squash 25t/ha, grass seed 2t/ha.

In addition to this, there are about 160ha of various high-quality animal forage mixes, such as chicory, rape, plantain, and red clover.                                                                                


Our environment is important to us and we try our best to protect key ecosystems and employ practices that don’t adversely affect the soil & water, such as minimal intensive cattle wintering and extensive use of direct drilling.

We have an 18ha QEII native bush block which we actively managed & a 4ha wetland that we have fenced off and where we have planted many natives. Most of our water ways are now fenced with full conventional netting fences and have been planted with natives. 

We are part of the Ponatahi Ecozone which is all those landowners in the same watershed as Glen Eden that feed into the Ruamahanga River. We are approaching environmental issues as a catchment and help each other out with planting days and water testing.


We have 180ha of river silt beside the Ruamahanga river (good trout fishing) and of this, 150ha is irrigated under 2 centre pivots.  Our groundwater consent to take water allows us a maximum of 104lt/sec from 1st Oct to 30 Apr each year.

This irrigation is predominantly used for arable crops, with some lighter soils used for feed crops.  Each year we plan which crops to grow, considering many factors, such as markets, weather risk, availability of contracts, paddock history etc.

Irrigation means that we can achieve good yields from these crops, and gives certainty in establishing grass after harvest.  This lets us buy stock with confidence as we know we will be able to feed them properly and secure a good margin.

Our new property Ngakouka has a large irrigation dam with approx. 120000m3 of water.  Currently this has an old K-line type setup but we’re waiting on quotes for a center pivot that would do approx. 35ha.


We have an on farm accommodation business called Whitimanuka Retreat.  This has been running for 3 years and is occupied 70-75% of the time.  It is situated in the middle of the farm beside our QE11 bush and is fully self contained and off-grid. Guests access the retreat via our farm road so from time to time we do see them on the farm road.  It is important that our guests enjoy their stay at Whitimanuka so we do try and avoid that area of the farm when it is occupied.  However, farm tasks need to be done and we do our best to meet the needs of the guests and our animals.  We will discuss the requirements of the retreat as part of your induction. Susannah takes care of the day-to-day running of this business. Check it out at

We also have a relatively new star-gazing business located on farm, also accessed from our farm road.  This is run by our business partners Sam & Hari.  They look after all the day to day needs of this business and pretty much just use our farm as a dark sky site.  As it’s predominantly a business run at night, we rarely see customers so this has very little impact on the day to day running of the farm.  Check it out at

We were lucky enough to be on Country Calendar a couple of years ago.  Check it out here