The property is 4ha (10 acres) situated at the base of Mt Taranaki – 18km from New Plymouth, close to walks and mountain access. The sloping grass paddock was bought in February 2005, and I have been developing it ever since to a permaculture design which is in constant change.
The property is off the grid and the renewable energy system consists of a water turbine, solar panels, and solar hot water heating. We collect the drinking water from the roof and collect water runoff from the property into a lake and pump it up to a holding tank for gravity fed irrigation to the garden.
The macrocarpa (pine) house from locally felled and milled wood, has recycled windows and doors, and it contains a teaching and meeting room. Accommodation in also available in a bach as well as a small cabin (the ‘pod’) by the lake.
This is a self-sufficient organic property growing vegetables, fruit and meat for the household, and has extensive gardens and orchards planted over the past few years. I have also planted over 4,000 native, timber, coppice and timber trees, as well as setting up a native tree and permaculture plant nursery. I usually plant an additional 400 trees a year.
The menagerie consists of ducks (pest control), chooks (eggs, meat, gardening), sheep (selling and meat), cows (meat), Rocket the cat and Bella the dog.
The property is certified organic through Organic Farm New Zealand (OFNZ), and follow permaculture and biodynamic principles and practices.