The man and I are still of the opinion that the move North is the best thing we have done.
Life up here has added a new dimension to our thinking. We are no longer in a hurry. We have slowed down and are far more patient.
Today we headed North to a small place called Oromahoe. This area lies just shy of the turn off to Paihia on State Highway 10.
We went to this small settlement to visit the Northland Kauri Timber Ltd. We weren’t however after kauri, rather we were after eucalyptus, and they had it.
The entrance to the sawmill is marked by a variety of signs at its gate: sawmill, cheese, kindergarten. What these things had in common was yet to unfold.
We drove up the long driveway passed a field of sows and piglets, a paddock of horses, and a few houses to the sawmill.
The man parked and went into the office. It was smoko time and the workers were sitting around having a brew. The man explained why he was there. Unfortunately, the workers couldn’t help him.
Let me explain.
This is the North and it is a Friday. This means the owner had gone off hunting for the weekend.
Apparently, the owner’s partner would have been able to help, but as it so happened, she was off at a funeral. The workers suggested we come back later.
Now we are realists – this is a country community, chances were that the funeral’s after match function would be long.
We decided to go to Paihia for a cuppa and come back about 1-ish.
At the duly appointed time we returned.
The wake must have been a good affair because the owner’s wife was still absent.
The man and I decided that instead of getting wood, we would settle for cheese this trip!
We drove less than a 100 metres to a small, boutique cheese factory. On this short journey we passed a honey place on our left. Our interest was piqued: up this driveway was a kindy, a cheese factory, a sawmill operation, a working farm and now a honey place.
At Fieldays a couple of years ago, we saw a pretty fabulous portable sawmill in operation (the man and I have a weakness for portable sawmills) and it was named Mahoe Sawmills (http://www.sawmills.co.nz). You guessed it – the cheese company was called Mahoe Cheese… was there a connection?
So we asked the young man in the cheese shop. The answer was yes. It was his uncle’s business and he pointed further down the drive.
He further explained that this 110 hectare property was his grandparents’ originally. Grandma and Granddad had approximately 7 children, give or take (the grandson was pretty vague on this). A lot of these children are now running their own businesses on the land.
The grandson is the third generation working there. How cool is that?
We bought our cheese and purchased some organic sausages. Yes, these too are a product of this land.
We left inspired.
We will return for the wood! And more cheese* which is delish, meat and honey.
ON our next visit, we might even venture further down the drive to the portable sawmill company. We have an obsession to feed, after all!
*The cheese is sold at the Whangarei Farmers’ market too.