Welcome to my home on Parker Road… a place where you will find 4 pet sheep, bottled fed from lambs, two brown lace chickens that lay our eggs, three most loved cats, that sleep on our beds, 800 feijoa trees currently laiden with part of our family income, and provider of the ‘work ethic’ we see in our boys, three maturing Kauri trees getting nutrients from our children’s placentas, Rusty, who is now with us in spirit, that the boys have grown up with, always part of our orcharding story, Nana who has entered her 82nd year, Aunty Margie, her daily life supported by her family, Caleb (14 years) who can run our packhouse on his own, and loves to blast the trumpet from the deck! Harrison who trained like an ‘all black’ in one of our paddocks, who plucks his electric bass in competition to the trumpet and Liam who swings and climbs like a monkey up to the tree house, with his friends who live next door .
Many things make up a home, too many to be listed here. This is our home, once Rusty’s home, built in the 1950’s – whilst we have renovated, we still walk on the very same floor and sit around the old brick fireplace, Rusty built. Our children know of no other home. Taking this away from them would be taking part of their heart.
In 1998 Paul and I build our first home situated on the orchard overlooking at that time the Granny Smith Apples, presented in lines… all a little tired but made a great crumble! Our children were born, with family to nurture and support and daily walks around the neighbouring subdivision and street began many of the long lasting, strong friendships that we have today. In 2002 we made the commitment to transfer the old trees into a viable ‘feijoa’ orchard, planting some 800 trees across the 7 acres of land. It took us several years for the crop to mature and an income was established. We continue to export our fruit to California and Australia with many local children helping in the packhouse.
I grew up in Waiatarua, where my parents and brother still reside, attended Oratia School until 1982, and participated in both Brownies and Sunday School. I’ve been to numerous Stark Brown Picnics, as a child, as a parent and now in a DP role at the school. Many of the people I went to school with, my children have now befriended their children and our friendships have continued to become stronger. Our children attended the playgroup, the soccer club, Oratia Air Scouts and the Sunday School… just as I have and that’s special.
Oratia my valley, that’s where I belong, Oratia my valley, that’s where I call home…