Bruce Wallace has been living sustainably for decades. Together with his first wife, Bruce ran a small croft on the west coast of Scotland where he also had his own fishing boat, earning a good living from selling crabs and lobsters. When Lori first met him in 1990, she was deeply impressed by his philosophy – he budgeted for the year, fished until he had earned enough to cover the bills, then took the rest of the year off. He argued that it was better to leave the crustaceans in the sea to grow for a few more months, and that he did not need more money – he would rather spend time at home with his family.
These days Bruce has stopped fishing, but still lives by the principle that “earning less and playing more makes for a happier life”. He is self-employed (part-time) as a tax agent, managing the accounts of several small businesses on the island. He also works (also part-time) in a local vineyard, enjoying the outdoors activities and camaraderie of a small team dedicated to one of his favourite hobbies – wine.
Lori Forsyth is a counsellor and kinesiologist, with a practice in Auckland (part-time of course). She has been involved in alternative approaches to health for 30 years, and has written two books on the subject. Her search has always been for holistic solutions and her philosophy is that good health is not dependent on just one thing (e.g. diet or exercise), but a whole variety of strands that need to be woven together in a way that creates overall harmony for the individual. For herself, beauty in her environment is an essential factor, and this core value has guided the decisions she and Bruce have made in creating their own haven in the eco village on Waiheke Island. Lori loves to cook. Producing meals from food that has been grown and raised entirely on the land is a passion for her.
Lori and Bruce grow all their own fruit and vegetables. They also have hens which lay eggs most of the year, cows which produce gallons of rich, creamy milk to be made into cheese, yogurt and butter; and a variety of ‘meat on legs’ which move from the land to the freezer at appropriate times. Beef, lamb, pork, goat, rabbit, duck, pheasant and even peacock are served regularly at the eco village.
In addition, the couple grow olives, most of which are pressed to provide their annual supply of top grade, organic, olive oil, while others are pickled – though creating enough to last until the next season is a challenge at which they have not yet succeeded.
Lori and Bruce designed and built their own mud brick house which was featured in NZ House and Garden in April 2012. See: <nzhouseandgarden.co.nz/Articles/TheWaihekeGoodLifers.asp?inMag=Y>