Back to Basics: The grass is greener - living the simpler life in rural New Zealand

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Our columnist Lydia Harvey has taken her no more supermarket challenge to the next level by upping stakes and moving to a new property to live the simpler life.

Source: 1 NEWS

When we started opting out of mass consumerism earlier this year we didn't realise we were opting into something much more important than a consumerism-free life.

We were opting into simplicity.

This year has been a year of big changes for our family. It's seen us take up the challenge of not shopping at the supermarket, living a waste-free lifestyle and tackling health challenges.

Now we're added another challenge to that list - moving to the country.

We are now living a far similar life on a beautiful piece of land not too far from Whanganui.

Lydia's new property has a beach close by where her children love to play.

Lydia's new property has a beach close by where her children love to play.

Source: 1 NEWS

Our new home is half the size of our old place, but it boasts land twice the size giving us the space we need to produce more food from a much bigger garden.

Not only has this place given us the luxury of growing more food, it's also given us an authentic simpler life.

No longer are we reliant on electricity to cook our food, with our new coal range we cook our meals and heat our water without using electricity.

Coal range in Lydia's new kitchen.

Coal range in Lydia's new kitchen.

Source: 1 NEWS

We've even managed to get rid of the TV which means we have more time to spend with the children at dinner times and to teaching them the basic skills of baking and gardening.

Without a TV or living in town you would think we would become rather isolated, but we've found that this is having the opposite effect.

Our place is becoming a central hub for like-minded people who drop by and help us with community projects or just to share dinner.

Together with this small team we're grafting trees, saving seeds and building bee hives throughout the community.

Our new neighbours are jumping on board too with their small organic orchards and gardens.

It may seem we have given up much to live the simpler life but in fact we're gaining so much more.

From Lydia's garden - Date and Caramel Loaf

Lydia's Date and Caramel Loaf.

Lydia's Date and Caramel Loaf.

Source: 1 NEWS

150 grams softened butter
2 eggs
1 cup of dates boiled in 3/4 of a cup of water
3/ 4 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence/extract
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 1/3 cups of high grade flour
Combine well and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for approx. 25 minutes.
In a saucepan combine 50 grams of butter with a tablespoon of brown sugar and lightly boil. Pour over cake when cake is almost cooked.

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