The Biological Husbandry Unit (BHU) was established in 1976 by Bob Crowder, an academic working at Lincoln University (LU). After Bob’s retirement at the end of the 1990s the BHU was re-launched in 2001 as a charitable trust as a joint venture between Lincoln University and the New Zealand Organic Movement.
The BHU farm and research activities were initially managed by Dr Tim Jenkins as part of a duel academic position at LU. Funding from MAF Sustainable Farming Fund and AgMardt that enabled the position was largely research based developing and promoting techniques for commercial scale organic agriculture. As the position developed the extension aspect of this was able to be expanded with well attended workshops aimed mostly at small farmers/growers and the development of a large published (web and print) resource of practical and technical information for commercial growers. Academic material was also developed for formal LU courses. The BHU employed and hosted summer students and overseas interns as well as working with LU and visiting researchers.Tim moved onto commercial research, extension and product development in August 2004 but has continued to write regularly in several publications including regular columns in OrganicNZ magazine and Canterbury Farming Newspaper. He now co-directs the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Ltd and is a research associate with the BHU.