Jayden Blomfield is providing all the fresh produce that his family and several others need right now from his 400sq m suburban backyard - and he says anyone with a garden can do the same.

The 4.2kg kumara he recently dug up is helping draw attention to his belief in the potential for more of us to feed ourselves from organic home gardening.

"I had this open mouth when I dug it up, I was like 'woah'," said Blomfield. "I didn't expect any kumara, I just chucked a supermarket kumara in mulch and didn't do anything to it."

But Jayden's giant kumara was no fluke.


The stay-at-home dad has spent hours teaching himself the skills of regenerative agriculture on his 400sq m garden plot.

Jayden and his wife moved into their newly built home in Tairua in Easter 2019, bringing in sheep to get the grass down and planting out in winter.

"You can achieve a lot in a short time," he says.

The giant kumara grown in Jayden Blomfield's back garden. Photo / Supplied
The giant kumara grown in Jayden Blomfield's back garden. Photo / Supplied

He follows permaculture principles which mean everything has a purpose in the garden - from the pretty flowers that feed bees and insects to the pumpkin and that renowned kumara that he planted as ground cover to keep the soil moist.

"It's given us veges as an added bonus."

Inspired to encourage others into sustainable local food production at home, he started the Summer Lane Project, allowing him to sell excess locally, and a Facebook page and Instagram site sharing advice on the things he's learned along the way.

"Part of what we wanted to do here is show you can feed yourself and your family in a small space. Friends love it. I've got people messaging me now. They want locally grown and tasty fresh produce."

Jayden says there is some initial outlay in getting set up, which included a home-built glasshouse and tools like his compost thermometer.


He uses coffee grinds given away by local cafes and most organic matter goes through the compost before getting put onto vege beds.

With compost he says the ideal is to reach 60-65C for minimum a week then a gradual cool down period, and he learnt through trial that he didn't have enough green/nitrogen and had too much brown/carbon in the mix.

Since that time, his homemade compost has enriched the soil and a locally-delivered load of pine mulch kept the garden cool and moist through the drought, requiring little need for watering.

"Small backyards - especially with a few fruit trees - can provide all your fresh produce, and I think it's doable for everyone," Jayden says.