Entries by Theresa Sjoquist


Sweet spice – Vanilla from Tonga

Photos: Copyright Heilala Vanilla On 31 December 2001 the island of Vava’u in Tonga was struck by Cyclone Waka. In winds of 190 km per hour, tree trunks snapped, houses were reduced to matchsticks, and crops destroyed. From that destruction however grew something sweet. This is the story of Heilala Vanilla. Today Heilala Vanilla is […]


Low-tech Living in a light-earth house

  No fridge, the laundry by hand, and wheelbarrowing composted humanure around are not everyone’s lifestyle cup of tea, but for Wolfgang Hiepe and his wife, Sabine Drueckler-Hiepe, it’s a good lifestyle. Learn why they’ve prioritised resilience and independence over convenience. Wolfgang and Sabine emigrated from Germany in 1987, full of verve and the pioneering […]

, , ,

Beauty and the Feast

A passion for our natural heritage, an imaginative artistic vision, and some determined scrounge-hounding has resulted in the destination café that is Eutopia, in Northland’s Kaiwaka. Here’s to checking the coffee and finding out what’s behind the scenes. First opened in 2001, Eutopia Café had fallen into disrepair when Marijke Valkenburg and her husband Robert […]


Rich Pickings at a Feijoa Winery

Tracing 49 years of Lothlorien, from its orchard beginnings to its evolution into the only organic feijoa winery in the world. From Detroit to Makarau In August 1971, amidst the foment of civil rights, Vietnam War protests and the new push towards organic food, twenty-year-old Dale DeMeulemeester left his native Detroit, USA, headed for New […]

, ,

Tools for Permaculture Living

This couple’s resilient lifestyle and business have been inspired by their global travels and desire for true sustainability. Tess and Marco Partridge run Crafty Gatherer, making gardening tools and domestic implements in the Papamoa Hills, Bay of Plenty. Marco is a skilled builder with a penchant for craft. He has an inventive eye for implements […]