The lodge site has been in our family since the late 1800s and was used to grow fruit and berries. We wish to maintain the property as a productive site growing fruit for our families, and guests and as a haven for bees and birds.
Our lodge uses ecological principles in everyday operation to minimise the impact on our environment. The lodge was built in 2009/’10 to be energy efficient and comfortable, while in harmony with our local environment.
The main lodge has a 60-tube solar water heater installed, using the sun’s energy to heat 500 litres of water for showers and kitchen use.
The lodge also has log fire heating of lounges and kitchens in winter, and wetback water heating. We use renewable resources including firewood (pine and gum) grown in our on-site woodlot, replanting for harvest in future years and as a carbon sink.
The fully insulated buildings, with mostly double-glazing, are comfortable to live in and energy saving to heat.
Composting of kitchen waste, paper, cardboard and garden waste allows us to produce organic compost for our tree crops and gardens.
We collect and recycle all glass, plastic and metal waste generated by our guests and ourselves.
Rainwater collected from the rooftops is stored in large tanks (40,000 litres). This is used for toilet flushing and garden water, and saves run-off of storm water into the city system.
Solar electricity generation: our office is partly run on 12-volt power sourced from the sun by solar electric panel and stored for use by battery.
On-site energy production: the large solar water heating array, log fires and solar electric power panels are the first stages of what is planned to be a larger on-site energy production strategy.
Energy saving: we use a combination of compact fluorescent and LED lighting coupled with light-sensing switching to minimise power usage. We also have large washing lines to air-dry laundry in our sunny climate.
We grow tree crops such as walnuts, oranges, lemons, feijoas and persimmons for the use of our families and guests, and other trees for bees and shade – honey locust, willows and native flowering shrubs.