If ever there was a man to host an audience, it’s Nigel Wilson. Talented wood worker, skilled deer farmer and serious gastronome (among many other things), Nigel is never short of a lively yarn or two.
So when Covid-19 practically killed the New Zealand venison trade and Nigel was left scratching his head on his parents 350ha deer farm at the base of Mt Thomas, it was time to bring those people skills to the fore.
“It was pointed out to me that we didn’t need to sell things, we could sell an experience,” explains Nigel. “We have a working deer farm, over 14,000 Siberian black cherry trees growing wild and an organic garden here.” Pair all that with Nigel’s passion for hosting and his partner Glenda’s epic skills in the kitchen (did someone say NZ Masterchef finalist?!) and you have yourself a Garry River Farm Tour.
Whilst each tour is unique, the gist is that visitors make their way to the picturesque property where they will be whisked away on an informative tour of the farm (spontaneous hilarity and lively discussion guaranteed), before returning to the farmhouse for a gourmet BBQ lunch comprising the venison, cherries, wood and produce from the very land with which they’ve just become acquainted. “As well as our own ingredients we incorporate a lot of products from the many fantastic producers that surround us here in North Canterbury,” says Nigel. “We love to share what we have here and show people what we do in this incredible part of the world.”
With a story around every corner and a taste sensation in every forkful, this agritourism venture is an exciting addition to the MADE NORTH CANTERBURY family. Garry River Farm Tours will be available for bookings from September 2021.
If you want to get your hands on some of Garry River Farm’s venison, then drop Nigel an email directly.
Why North Canterbury? North Canterbury has it all. History, arts, great food and beverage… We don’t need to go anywhere else!
What’s your favourite thing to do in North Canterbury? My favourite thing to do in the world is head out to Black Estate for their incredible Pinot & Pie. So good. We love to spend the whole day out that way cruising around looking for art galleries and second-hand stores.
Name your top three North Canterbury brands (other than your own, of course!): Derelict Brewing: Sam is a great guy and we have a mutually beneficial working relationship. Grown, in Sefton: These guys work so hard, and they deliver their veggie boxes all the way out here which are always excellent. Greystone Wines: Great people and great wine from a great spot.