We've just been here a year - we wanted to stay longer but family commitments are calling. This is the third time I've lived here though and I love it, although back in NZ I teach Japanese so I can keep pretending I'm still here in a way. Our daughter is at junior high school here and in just the year has managed to get better at speaking Japanese then me - which is a bit demoralizing.
You're lucky to be in the UK, I'd like to spend some time there too. A pity about the job situation though, I guess things are going to be tough everywhere. Good to get home and grow things instead! Thanks for the tip on the Matatoa nursery, I'll take a look at it.
Hi Karen - your place sounds great! You're lucky to have the old fruit trees. I'm in the process of making a wish-list of trees from Edible Gardens to put in this winter, but it will take a while before I'm bottling anything. Got lots of Agee jars in storage in anticipation though!
The fruit hanging outside my neighbour's house in the photos are persimmons. They are the astringent sort which when dried ( about 2 months outside in the sun) get very sweet and taste a bit like a cross between a date and a dried apricot. We're surrounded by old folk here who do things the old way still -it is very interesting to watch, as you don't see this kind of thing in the cities.
Our house got moved to Martinborough in June, after we'd come to Japan so we haven't seen it in place as yet. Which is a bit frustrating but something to look forward to. I spending a lot of time reading about permaculture and planning what is going where....
Are you working in horticulture in England or just having a change for a while?
I'll hunt around to see if I can find more photos - we're in chaos packing up though so maybe not. I've been to the market in Martinborough a few times, great flowers and perserves.
We're lucky to have the Whangaheu River along one boundary, but when it floods it doesn't feel quite so good. But we've cleared most of the willows which seems to have alleviated the problem and are in the process of getting it planted up with natives in a regeneration project. We do have great spring water too, so at least are fine for irrigation purposes. And a tank for the roof water and a small dam are in the plans too!
Do you have a house to return to in Carterton or will you be starting somewhere new when you leave the UK?
Hi Karen - great to have another member in the group! The funny thing is that I'm not actually in NZ either - we're living in rural Japan right now. I joined the Wairarapa group though as we're returning in April to get serious about growing things. We're surrounded by rice paddies here, and the most amazing vegie gardens I've ever seen - I'll have to add some photos for you to look at. It has been inspirational seeing how people garden here and I've got lots of ideas to bring home. I'm looking forward to talking gardening with you in the future!