Another vision of beauty

The year before last, T’s fishing took us to some great French rivers, and this year his interest in organic gardening and permaculture have taken us to Riverside and Blockhill.co.nz.

At Blockhill, Melisa and Olmec are 8 years into their sustainable, low environmental impact project, and we were bowled over by their efforts to turn a grass hillside into a verdant and bountiful garden. Unlike Riverside, they’re pretty much alone, so free to pursue their ideas, only subject to the limitation of having just two pairs of hands (most of the time).

Melisa and Olmec

Nonetheless creativity, and ingenuity were evident everywhere.

house detail

glass dunny

and harmonious relationship extended to the ducks, chickens and pigs that share the place –

melisa feeding pig

(only slightly compromised by the duck’s bossing the rooster, and the pigs competing for affection and social standing). Nevertheless all creatures great and small seemed to get along pretty well.

The agricultural model encourages diversity and foraging, with marrows found under clumps of jasmine and marigolds and water pumped by solar from the river below slowly cascading down through planted beds.

Alongside permaculture skills, their personal interests extend to publishing children’s books, innovative engineering and IT.  It’s a captivating, creative place, and we very much enjoyed the hospitality, fireside conversation and starry night sky.

boys and pig

Respect and best wishes to all at Blockhill.

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