Maca's Farm

Locally-grown Vegetables

At the market: Every Sunday in the Carpark area

Contact: Augie Macabontoc

Call/text: 022 590 2090 


Facebook:  @Maca's Green Farm

Augie's Story

Augie Macabontoc sells his locally-grown produce at Grey Lynn Farmers Market on Sunday mornings, beside the colourful salsa truck.

Tell me about your early life

I grew up in the Philippines and I still have strong connections to friends and family back home.

I worked as a registered nurse when I graduated from university and went on to work for a health insurance company.  That’s where I met Seychelle.

How long ago was that?

We’ve been together 13 years and have an eight-year-old daughter who was “made-in-China”.


Seychelle and I worked in an expat hospital in Shanghai for several years before returning to the Philippines and looking at other places we might live – nurses are poorly paid at home.

Did you work as a nurse when you came to New Zealand?

Eventually – but my first job was as a strawberry picker while Seychelle studied healthcare management.

This all seems different from your current farming life

We were lucky to be living in a nice place in Riverhead when Covid came, and lockdowns came. Working from home, I looked out over the spacious paddocks and started talking to family back in the Philippines about their farming challenges.

We started sending money to help them with their ginger farm and when they had a good harvest year, we talked to our landlord about farming on his land. He is very supportive and has helped us to get established, even lending us a tractor. And I love how our neighbours are very open, giving helpful advice - Riverhead is a very supportive community.

How does your family influence your farming?

Farming has brought us closer together. We regularly have long-distance discussions about the farming challenges we face. Currently, my father is visiting for a few months to help us out and provide some guidance.

Are you certified organic?

We closely follow the philosophy of organic farming but becoming certified is out of reach for us at the moment. We’ve recently expanded to 5-6 acres of land so that we can rotate the crops and avoid overusing the land.

What have you been growing?

We started with some basic items like onions, cabbages, and a few carrots. Now, we have expanded our range significantly. With winter approaching, we will be focussing more on brassicas like broccoli and cauliflower, as well as beetroot, kale and the end of the ginger and garlic crops.  We are taking a lead from what our customers ask for and the feedback they give us.


How do markets feature in your business?

We tried several markets before someone recommended Grey Lynn. It was a real turning point because the regular customers at Grey Lynn come rain or shine. It is a joy to see the same faces every week and know that they are keen to support our business. And we love the support from other stallholders.

Do you get any down time?

Not much – we are working most days. The last time we managed to have a holiday was a fun camping trip with friends. We fished, swam, played, and cooked – I’m hoping that we can do a bit more of that in future.


As published in Ponsonby News : April 2024