Meet the grower

Meet the grower: Paul Holmes

Hawke’s Bay Roasted Butternut


We went to the fertile valleys of Hawke’s Bay for our creamily wholesome, golden and delicious Naked Locals Hawke’s Bay Roasted Butternut Soup with a dash of crème fraiche and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. This soup is particularly delicious served with a dollop of sour cream and freshly chopped parsley. As well as having a sweet, comforting taste, butternuts are also packed with vitamin A, E, C and potassium!

Paul Holmes is the man behind the locally sourced gems, grown in Hastings, Hawke’s Bay.

Where did your love for farming begin?
I grew up around crop production in the Hawke’s Bay and always had an interest in working with the land. I got fully involved about 27 years ago, and I’ve never looked back.

What signifies a good quality butternut?
Good quality produce involves colour, texture, size, taste and keep ability, among other things. A good butternut should be a solid beige colour with an even textured skin, they should also feel relatively heavy for their size.

For first timers that might like to start growing their own veggies, what are some top tips on getting started?
First timers should start with good seed/transplants and well worked soil. And don’t skimp on the inputs – watering, feeding, weeding, getting rid of bugs etc.

For people that haven’t visited Hawke’s Bay, can you tell us why it’s so special?
Hawke’s Bay has good soils, good water and good climate – a warm temperature and plenty of sunshine hours. This means it’s ideal for growing nutritious, tasty veggies. And the sunshine hours are good for making the people happy as well as the produce.

Why would you recommend buying local produce?
Local produce is best because we know what goes into it – it’s much harder to know how overseas companies are treating their veggies.

Favourite and least favourite vegetable?
I’m a veggie lover – they are all my favourite and I definitely don’t have a least favourite.