Our 1ha Paradise is Up for Sale

We’ve had 15 wonderful years in this beautiful little corner of the world, but now the kids have all gone and we’re ready for our next thing. Gosh, it’s going to be hard leaving our handmade house and all my gardens – my heart and soul are in this place, but at 51 – if I’m going to go, now’s the time.

We are 10 mins south east of Levin township on 8,260 sqm of flat land, tucked behind the Kimberley Bush Reserve down a no exit rural road – a peaceful hideaway not too far away from the action – the best of both worlds.

Morning. The view from the kitchen and deck

Across the road is the bush reserve to explore and a 5 minute walk though nikaus + lovely bush to a secluded swimming hole. For a bigger swimming hole and awesome dive bombs, its a 5min drive to the local hole. Waikawa beach is a 15min drive for floundering and surf casting, or stay home, sit on the deck and soak up the peace and beautiful views out over the hills and garden. Paradise!

The House

The entry used to be an aluminium sliding door! The laundry is behind the red windows, and is an add on to create more space in the house. The stained glass window was rescued by a friend from a skip, as are the other gorgeous windows in the front door, deck door and our wardrobe.

Our sweet little 100sq m house has been a labour of love and is full of beautiful timber + character. We’ve gutted it and rewired, re plumbed and insulated and relined it from top to bottom.

Matt’s been a master of finding beautiful local timber to use – the kitchen shelves are the discarded kneelers from a local church, the beam across the kitchen is the beam from the washed away local bridge, the kitchen floor is a totara log rescued from becoming firewood.

I feel intimate with every board! We salvaged as much original trim as we could. Wood is precious. We reused all the original doors and door frames – sanded and oiled them, and though there are little imperfections throughout, its far preferable to soul-less, new pine/ MDF stuff don’t you agree! We kept a little piece of the original house in every room to keep the thread alive. Rather than replacing the floor we decided the old floor was full of story, that gorgeous patina that tells of all the feet that have walked through.

All bedrooms are ply lined with new gib ceilings. Living areas are ply lined with new timber ceilings – macrocarpa in the kitchen and poplar in the living area. The house is consented.

Master Bedroom

Walk in wardrobe, 2 sets of french doors – one north facing leads onto the deck, one west facing leads to a conservatory bathroom with overhead shower and claw foot bath.

Bedroom 1

Built in wardrobe and shelves

Bedroom 2

Walk in wardrobe. French doors out onto small deck. Afternoon/ evening sun.


Double glazed windows

Separate shower

Extra large built in shower, baby corrugated iron walls

Separate toilet

Open plan living space

Large metro woodfire plus wetback keeps the house toasty and water hot. French doors open onto deck.

Bedroom 1 is behind the fireplace – so toasty in winter! Hallway shelving above the firebasket.
We carpeted here because we all love to do yoga! Television is samsung smart tv and remains with the house.

Kitchen + Dining

Double stainless steel sinks, Stainless steel bench, Open timber cupboards, Beautiful timber joinery, Fisher and Paykel oven with gas hobbs and electric oven. All appliances stay with the house.


The pantry is walk in and huge – just what a productive property needs. 2 power points on the macrocarpa slab bench top. Mac shelves. The lower shelves are made of slats for good airflow to store pumpkins, potatoes, onions et all. The grate in the floor helps keep it all cool. Pull switch for light – I adore those pull switches!

The Laundry

We moved the laundry out of the house to create more space. It’s a cute little macrocarpa add on, on the deck to the left of the front door. Lined with shelves for all the preserving jars, washing machine, dryer, upright freezer, double concrete sinks – all staying with house.

Boardwalk entry to house. Inside the red window is the laundry

The Decks

We live on our wonderful deck! Roll down sides mean we can cosy up when its windy or cold.

The wood oven is proper – cooks pizza in 2 mins, amazing for whole fish and slow cooked meat, baked spuds in the embers and is still warm the morning after for breakfast scones or eggs. Slab benches either side are awesome for food prep, cooking and buffets. A gas ring is sunken into the bench (below the salads in the photo above) and gets used heaps for preserving/ cooking through hot summer weather. A portion of the bench is hinged so it can lift up when you want to cook and slot back down to become bench when you want to buffet. The bi fold kitchen windows open out onto a handy bar making it easy to pass food/ utensils et all back and forth.

There are 2 power points on the deck – one at each end, spotlights over the wood oven and lighting over the table as well as a light above the day bed. We hang hessian over the clear light in the summer to provide shade. These hessians are cut to shape and come with the house.

East side – the spot for morning coffee
Daybed for soaking up winter sun. The door between piano and bed goes to the bathroom conservatory. Behind the washing line are the mandarins and oranges. The old totara gate you can just see through the windows begins our walk down the road, through the bush and to the river.

Water Supply

Spring water is gravity fed to 2 25,000 tanks. Legal easement over the farm land secures this beautiful, safe water source in the bush clad hills. Water is filtered through state of the art UV filtration system after it leaves the tank. The rainwater also feeds into the tanks.

The Food

We have created a food mecca! It was many years before we could plant anything as there were big norfolk pines and lawsonia trees all throughout. Matts removed them and raked the area with his digger to clear out all the roots, removed all the run down sheds and fencing, then set too with the rake on the digger to clear out all the rocks – what a mission! But worth it to lay a good foundation for the food gardens. We used all the rocks to build the beautiful stone wall around the potager.

There are x16 6m vegie beds that keep us in vegies year round. The leafy greens are now in a self seeding cycle – no need to plant cress, rocket, chard, perpetual beet, endive, chicory, parsley, miners lettuce, corn salad anymore – they all come and go year round according with their season. Many flowers are the same – cornflowers, poppies, marigolds, nasturtium, borage to name but a few.

The concept plan showing the layout of our land from my latest book “The Edible Backyard”. NB The cool store is no longer.

An asparagus bed runs on the west side of the vegie patch and the 6x9m greenhouse and berryhouse lay on the south side between the vegie patch and chook house/ run. Raspberries and figs and currants grow in the berryhouse. I have reduced the amount of raspberries due to many less mouths at home and use the space to grow bird loving peas and greens instead. It could easily convert back though. The greenhouse houses our delicious grapes, a passionfruit, lemongrass and an inground wormfarm as well as all the heat loving vegies. The skin on the greenhouse is 10 years old now and coming up for replacement.

The outside sink is super useful for washing vegies before they come into the house and soaking seedling trays pre planting.

Nashi are a family favourite – Hosui and Kosui are espaliered along the gardens edge. A young persimmon on the garden edge is starting to bear well – in its 4th year now.

Between the vegie garden and the deck is the potager garden. It grows medicinal and culinary herbs, perennial leeks, lemons, kaffir lime, a cacophony of flowers year round and heritage roses. Our bonfire circle is part of this garden – a popular spot and often sat about on an evening.

The deciduous orchard on the north side of the house grows heritage apples – Mayflower, Granny Smith, Captain Kidd, Tydemans Late, Liberty and Hetlina. Plums – Omega, Luisa, Hawera, Kereru and Billington. Peaches – Sanguine, River peach, Kotare Honey and Pears – Nashi Nijisecki, Belle du Jumet, Seckle, Doyenne du Comice and Beure Bosc. A new Lemonade is a recent addition.

All underplanted with comfrey and loads of spring bulbs and a big selection of herbs, perennial vegetables and useful companions. The ground cover has evolved from solid dock to lots of clovers, chicory and plantain. Comfrey lines the inside of the fences for harvesting for compost, mulch or liquid feed. Natives surround creating privacy from the quiet road – mainly kawakawa, flax, manuka and corokia.

You can drive right around the house – super useful at times! The eastern shelter is coming along nicely – itll be great to eventually remove the windshelter on the edge of the vegie patch.

The property is in a well sheltered nook. Rare easterlies are our biggest wind. Providing temporary protection from this, is the windcloth on the eastern side of the vegie patch, but as my shelterbelt of titoki, flaxes, 4 hazelnuts, 2 seedling peaches, Trevatt apricot and manukas establish, this will be able to be removed.

South of the eastern windshelter are our 3 avocados, which we are now self sufficient in – Hass and Hashimoto, from October through May. If we stayed we’d build a cabin down this end of the property, such a lovely private, sunny corner. Tahitian lime, lemonade, guavas, mints, yams, lemon myrtle, elecampane are some of the very useful understory here.

2 Walnuts – one beginning to produce and one newly planted sit between the avocados and the sheds, behind the chooks. We had plans to create a driveway that would go through the back paddock (which I wanted to plant in maples for syrup) and under the walnuts out to the dream cabin in the avocados. Perhaps this is something the next people will develop!

On the western edge of the property behind the washing line, facing north is a small citrus grove. Its been a long time coming as I patiently waited for shelter to establish first. Last year I planted 2 oranges here to join the x2 4 year old mandarins which are starting to produce well. A new feijoa has joined my poorly old Apollo feijoa which I probably should have removed long ago but keep hoping it’ll revive because I love Apollo feijoas. Horseradish flourishes in the understory – such an amazing crop.

Along the southern boundary, the natives are well established now affording complete privacy from the neighbours.

All fruit tree varieties and rootstocks and harvest times available for the new owner, plus my future plans.

The Chooks + Pigs

ply chookhouse ediblebackyard nz

We are running 7 chooks right now and they come with the house. We have 2 chook houses. A main one behind the greenhouse that feeds into the greenhouse, berryhouse and vegie patch – they live here winter and spring. In summer I move them to the run beneath the southern shelterbelt so as to escape summer heat beneath all the natives and have fresh ground – they love their jungle run.

cows are here

The small paddocks are set up for pigs with housing, troughs and electric fencing. I dreamed of wooden fences but didnt yet get round to them. Our neighbour occasionally uses the pasture for their beefies, an excellent source of manure.

Compost Toliet

The compost loo is always a highlight! Its beside the garden shed, just a few steps away from the house and I way prefer it over and above the house toliet. No smell, no water wasted, an awesome source of fertility for citrus and avos and such a gorgeous space to sit and ponder 🙂 Even at night I enjoy to wander out under the stars. When the septic tank has eventually done its chips we would have replaced the inside flush toliet with a compost one. I’d never have a flush loo again.


The firewood shed is full of wood ready for winter. The garden shed is on the end of the firewood shed. Water filtration unit and pump behind the chopping block.

A 53sq m shed with concrete floor, power and padlock-able doors. A double carport is attached.

The property is fenced with gates and lots of easy parking within the broad lime chip drive or outside the gates where base course provides a solid year round footing for any vehicle.


Internet is broadband. I run my video consults and business online and it works fine for me. Vodafone gets best coverage here.

walking in the gate to the vegie patch at ediblebackyard

Buyer Enquiry Over $1,100,000

Viewing by appointment only. We ask that only those serious about the purchase apply.

To book a viewing, please email me with possible dates and your name + phone number.


  1. Trish Sarr says

    Your home/land/growing things are a place of peace for me — I shall hold memories of visits there in a special pocket, available for viewing at any time. Were I younger…..

    But I’m not, so I shall only wish you the very best mix of sunshine and rain, and look forward to hearing from you in your life’s next stage.

    Arohanui, Trish

    • Thanks darling Trish, you’ve been with from almost the beginning of Edible Backyard! Yes, we’ll watch the new unfold together. much love Kath x

  2. wow people

  3. Tony Winter says

    What a great home & garden you both have built & is a credit to you. I often wondered what your property was like & now I can see it in all its glory.
    All the best in your next journey & thanks for all you have done to help save our planet & especially NZ.
    I will continue to feast on your monthly info as well as all the info you have generated for us all to use, & I am very pleased that you will continue to do the ediblegarden!

  4. Gosh Kath I had a tears come my eyes reading you are selling up. I enjoyed the trip around your lovely home as I have wondered what your place would be like; if I was starting out on my sustainable journey I would definitely have been interested.

    Your Edible Backyard emails are a definite highlight to me and are very grounding in this crazy world. I, and I expect all your followers, look forward to hearing what you and Matt are going to do next.

    Take care

  5. Theresa Polglase says

    Hi Kath. My name’s Theresa

    It’s a shame, for us, that you’re moving but, no doubt, mixed & then good for you!

    Sorry if lots of people are asking you this but : ) if you’re talking about having recently planted a Lemonade Apple tree, could you please share with me where you got it? I really want to plant one but we’re having trouble finding one.

    If you have time to share when best to plant it – Spring, right? What position is best, is it good to plant it with another Apple/Pear tree, what care is good, I’d appreciate it. I know about Comfrey. I can look up what you’ve said in the past about planting & caring for Apple trees.

    Thanks! I’ll buy you a Kofi/Coffee/? now.

    All the best with everything, T

    • Just hunt around Theresa you will find one, hop online – try edible garden.
      Pop citrus into the search bar of my website and find all the info therein …. or apples or whatever you need
      And yes, plant citrus in spring!

  6. Suzanne says

    Oh my. All that in only 15 years. You have done an incredible job! It is a paradise indeed and I hope you find a deserving buyer. I hope it comes with a copy of your books do that the new occupant can keep it going!

  7. Robyn Abbey says

    What a treasure to pass into the world. All the very best with your next adventure.

  8. Dr Viola Palmer says

    It’s going to be a lucky buyer Kath. Where will you go ?

  9. Julia O’Sullivan says

    Oh Kath, how could you leave all that? What an amazing property.. and what a lot of work you have put into it. Best wishes with your future plans.
    By the way I love your books.

  10. Oh goodness what a magical place you have built, I’m sure it will be very hard to walk away from but I wish you the best with your sale, I’m sure the next people will love it as much as you do.

  11. Kevin Darragh says

    Hello Kath,

    Jill and I did a similar review here, we came to a completely different answer! What’ you feel is right for you guys go for it ! All the very best.

  12. Hey Kath,
    What a surprise to see you are selling your wonderful home.
    What a fantastic job you have made of it, how can you let go of it?
    I couldn’t., especially with these strange times ahead for us all.
    Where are you going to go to now, a shame to see you leave.

    Let me know what is happening, I am tempted myself, but I have too much already and wish to see our good work go further.

    Jacob De Ruiter

    • Its so good to let go when the time is right Jacob! And when its right – you just know. All the best, and thanks for all your wisdoms, Kath

  13. Wow that has to be the best real estate copy I have ever read! There will be someone out there who would jump at the chance to own this well thought out (and famous) garden. I wish you and Matt a speedy sale to the right person, and success in your search for the next property to transform. Crossing fingers the Edible Backyard business will live on. Best wishes, Andrea

    • Thanks so much Andrea for your kindness….. you’ll be seeing me still, as it all unfolds. (My love of detail is exposed 🙂 )

  14. Natalie says

    Hi Kath,

    I’m not in the market to buy your beautiful home unfortunately but good luck with a great sale process.

    Will you be doing any last tours of your garden? I always hoped to have the opportunity to come and look and learn!


  15. I only recently discovered you so I am glad to hear that you take your business with you. No doubt you will find a new adventure somewhere and this time I will follow you along the journey. You have created a special home and I am sure the new owners will cherish this and build new memories.

  16. DAVID kEPES says

    Hi Kath,
    What a legacy……….
    I contacted you a few years ago regarding a property I was developing in the Marlborough Sounds, I’m still at it, have tried to take on board some of your advice. I have just built a glasshouse and am deliberating whether to bring in topsoil for the planting beds, I have already put in well rotted sheep manure; any advice.
    If ever you are in the South Island you would be welcome to use our little Sounds bach as a base……
    Best wishes and good luck with the next adventure.
    David Kepes

    • cheers David, thanks so much! What an awesome offer!
      Bringing in soil is best approached with great care. What was the soil growing? You can easily import many problems this way from herbicide residue to weed problems
      Do you need it is the question. Do your DIY soil test – worm count, smell et all. https://www.ediblebackyard.co.nz/diy-soil-test/
      Know that with the addition of organic matter you can create wondrous soil.
      Options: gather loads of organic matter (seaweed!) and make compost piles OR sow a greencrop now and slash pockets in it for planting seedlings into, steadily chop and dropping the greencrop as the seedlings grow.
      Use a full spectrum mineral fert like Fodda at planting.