Going Back To Where It Started...

It would be accurate to say that my wife Bena & I have been interested in sustainability for as long as we both remember.  For the major project of my design degree, I chose to design an efficient domestic water heater (water heating is the biggest single consumer of domestic power - representing between 30-50% of the average households total power usage) and Bena included environmental architecture papers while completing her degree in interior architecture...

 

However, like so many people - we spent several (in my case nearly 15) years working in NZ, Australia & the UK within fields that although we enjoyed aspects of them - they weren't in full alignment with our values and we simply weren't passionate about them!  

 

Putting this one glitch aside, back in mid 2009 you could say that life was going well...  We were back in NZ living with our two young children in a cute little cottage in Raumati South North of Wellington.  My Wellington based business Hearth Ltd was growing (despite the start of the economic downturn) and I was only needing to work thirty or so hours a week to generate a good income and we had finally finished renovating our house - so for all intensive purposes, things were pretty easy!  It was around this time that Bena and I first saw the BBC documentary "Farm For The Future" which started us down a new path...

 

 

By the end of 2009, we were telling our family and friends that we were winding down my business and moving to Taranaki.  The truth is that we didn't want to commit to a big investment and several more years that my business needed for a new showroom, so we decided to make family the most important thing in our lives and move closer to the children's grandparents (and hopefully give me an opportunity to change industries...).  We packed all our stuff in a truck, rented out our place in Raumati and by the 1st of Feb 2010 we were headed to Bena's home province of Taranaki.  

 

We even lived most of the first year in Taranaki at a family owned house, in the tiny town of Kaponga (were Bena grew up), with me commuting the 45 min drive into New Plymouth each day to a showroom that I had helped a local business set up.  While living there, Bena & I started our Permaculture Design Certificate and armed with this changing outlook and our newly created "Property Wishlist" we started looking for land...

 

View of Mt Taranaki from cottage in Kaponga

 

 

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