Earned the right
I came to Taranaki in 1954 to work as a carpenter, but in this rich farming country it was difficult to resist that inner call to work on the land. I began working in dairying, first for wages and then share milking. My ambition was to have my own land to diversify. In 1979, I leased a property bordering the Mount Taranaki National Park and continued with dairy farming, but also experimented with growing hazelnuts and chestnuts. Then I found out about blueberries.
My enthusiasm knew no bounds. If my wife Priscilla hadn't stopped me, I would have put the whole farm in blueberries. The area's climate, with its cold frosty winters, is ideal, promoting a good berry set and bumper crops. I soaked up all the information I could find about the fruit, including its medicinal properties. Unbeknown to me, I was getting a reputation for being an expert blueberry grower. In the mid-1990s, we employed eight girls in the berry-picking season, and our six children helped out during their school and university holidays.
In my retirement, I live on my memories of hard work and achievement, and of the many people I met who came to pick their own year after year. I was a Polish orphan child refugee without even a distant relation that I could say I belonged to, but now I feel I have earned the right to belong here in New Zealand.
Marian Adamski with the fruit of his labours – a blueberry harvest