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Hamlin Road Organic Farm

26 June 2024

Hamlin Road Organic Farm

Tucked away in rural South Auckland, Hamlin Road Farm thrives as a beacon of hope and transformation. This ten-acre organic farm, part of Pathways Health Limited, provides meaningful work and a connection to nature, particularly for those battling mental health and addiction issues.

For nearly a decade, the farm has used Living Earth Organic Veggie Mix to support their organic gardening practices. This nutrient-rich mix has become a cornerstone of their success, providing a fertile foundation for their crops.


A Sanctuary of Healing and Growth

Alex, an organic farmer at Hamlin Road Farm, captures the essence of the farm’s mission: “The farm is a space that gives people a chance to, one, get back into some meaningful work, and two, which is really integral and important to me personally, is to give people the opportunity to get back in touch with  Papatūānuku (nature).”

For Alex, who grew up in Taranaki surrounded by native bush, the transition to working on the farm was a return to his roots. After ten years in the tech industry, he rediscovered his passion for gardening and ecology. Now, he channels this passion into cultivating an environment where others can heal and grow.

“Using an organic product, you know that you're not going to have a detrimental effect on that ecosystem or that environment that you're putting all that time and effort into developing, whether that be, you know, a raised bed indoors or a huge system like this,” Alex explains. This philosophy underpins the farm’s commitment to organic gardening, ensuring that their methods support the environment and the people who work with it.

The farm has a strong relationship with Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau. There has been a distinct correlation between how employment as a health outcome has long been known to be a great outcome for people and recovery. The ongoing funding that the farm receives from Counties towards this goal is an integral part of the farm.  

Empowering Lives Through Nature

Sarah Hewitt, the team coach at Hamlin Road Farm, has been with the organisation for over 12 years. Her journey from nursing to farm management is a testament to her dedication to supporting individuals with mental health challenges. Sarah's role involves not only managing the farm but also mentoring a team of seven staff and supporting around 15 to 20 individuals with lived experiences of mental health and addiction.

“The best part of the job is seeing the progress in people that come here who haven't worked for a long time or haven’t had a great experience within work. For some people that's quite significant and quite quick. And for other people it's longer and slower and that's okay. But being a part of everyone's journey is really special here,” Sarah shares.

Hamlin Road Farm offers NZQA training in horticulture, equipping participants with practical skills and real-life work experience. This training ensures that when individuals leave the farm, they are prepared for open employment, bringing with them a sense of pride and accomplishment.

“We've been using Living Earth product on and off for the last ten years. It’s such a beautiful product. It's really viable, it’s got great nutrients, and we've definitely noticed a real improvement in what we're growing,” says Sarah.

The versatility of Living Earth Organic Veggie Mix makes it ideal for both indoor garden beds and outdoor plots. It is particularly beneficial during the transplanting process, where its nutrient-rich composition supports significant growth and development.

“When you're transplanting something little into something big, you can actually see quite significant growth when it hits that Living Earth Veggie Mix from our seed-raising mix. We are absolutely delighted and really happy with the product,” Sarah adds.

A Community Effort

Hamlin Road Farm’s origins trace back to 2002, when Pathways acquired the land and sought community input to shape its direction. The farm was designed with the collective vision of Pathways staff, service users, whānau, businesspeople, and community members. Over the past two decades, it has become an integral part of the South Auckland community, providing valuable work experience, skills training, and a path to permanent employment.

Hamlin Road Organic Farm is a fully functioning commercial enterprise with organic certification through AsureQuality. The farm produces a diverse array of organic produce, herbs, sprouts, and seedlings, supported by seven large shade houses, extensive outdoor garden beds, a citrus orchard, and a propagation house. Additionally, the farm offers a contract lawn mowing service, further embedding itself in the community.

A Vision Realised

Hamlin Road Organic Farm is a living testament to Pathways’ dream of transforming mental health and addictions through fostering strong, compassionate, self-supporting communities. The farm’s success lies not only in its high-quality organic produce but also in the lives it touches and transforms.

As Alex puts it, “Getting to see how people transform during their time here, you can't beat that.” The connection between nature and well-being is a daily reality at the farm, nurtured by the rich soil of Living Earth Organic Veggie Mix and the dedicated hearts of its team.

Living Earth is proud to support Hamlin Road Farm in its mission to cultivate both healthy crops and healthy futures. The farm's commitment to organic gardening and community well-being exemplifies the transformative power of nature. Together, we are growing a better world, one seed at a time.

Visit to learn more and to purchase some of their award-winning produce (for collection from the farm).