Students get a taste of local industry


Nayland College horticulture students had the opportunity to visit two local businesses in the horticulture and viticulture industry, learning within the context of a real business experience.

Science and Horticulture teacher Esther Hancock used the opportunity for her students to gather information on understanding the production process and the factors that affect profitability. The students will use this information to help complete an achievement standard.

First stop was JS Ewers Ltd, an Appleby market gardening business that employs up to 200 staff, has 13 hectares of glasshouses and 250 hectares for outdoor production.

Indoor manager David Price explained the technical growing process including information on heating, plant nutrition, and staffing. Within the packhouse, manager Josh answered questions on costs, career pathways and risk factors. JS Ewers run a summer internship for Year 12 and 13 students and support formal training and apprenticeships.

The class then travelled to Seifried Winery Estate. Seifried Winery is  a total supply chain business, involved in every step of the production process: from propagating the plants, growing, and harvesting right through to marketing their product. 

Owner Agnes Seifried gave students an opportunity to taste-test different varieties on the vine as well as freshly extracted Pinot Gris juice, describing the taste differences and how this affects the final product. Being able to see a harvester in operation and  juice being extracted were just two of the experiences the students had before touring through the winery amidst oak barrels and metres-high tanks.

Horticulture Careers Manager for Nelson Tasman, Robyn Patterson, said “Linking schools with our local industry provides opportunities for students to learn in a practical context about the many facets of horticulture. There are so many potential careers available in production horticulture, from growing crops through the supply chain, to providing marketing and technological support. Innovation and creativity are required to keep the horticulture/viticulture industries competitive and producing top quality produce.”

Further information on Horticulture Careers can be found on

By Robyn Patterson