Fern Factor is a specialist fern nursery. We are a family owned operation which has now been running for 12 years.

It all began when Paul was living on the wild West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Living on the land and building a house, plus bringing up our beautiful daughter Arnika, was taking up most of my time.

Then, during 1990 we had a gold mining operation come and start bulldozing large tracts of land in our area to start open cast mining. I was initially devastated by this and then started thinking - what can we do..? So, we got our spades and started digging out all of the ferns before the bulldozer got to them. Our fern business was born. We built a shadehouse with a small greenhouse attached. The grand size of 8m by 3m! The ferns were potted on. But we needed to check out the market, so to Christchurch we travelled. It was here that I noticed a small niche in the market that was not being filled.

Later that year Paul found a much larger shadehouse (56m by 11m) in a small valley just out of Christchurch. We leased this for a days gardening a week and slowly but surely developed our operation. It was here in a skyline garage that I started to work on the process of spore propogation realising that I couldn't rely on wilding (taken straight from the bush) plants.

In March 1997, we bought our existing site, a 15 acre paddock. It is here that over the last few years we have built and continue to build our new operation. We now have a 2000m2 shadehouse with another 400m2 of greenhouse space. The new panel-construction lab and growth room is where we focus on the propagation. This coupled with a 300m2 computer-controlled high pressure fogged greenhouse, now gives us plenty of room to produce many thousands of ferns.

Meet the team: