Paramata Lodge - a wilderness b&b surrounded by natural forestry

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Lifestyle choice – progress at Paramata Lodge!

Paramata Lodge won’t be open until we get back to Covid 19 Level 1 in New Zealand. But you can still put us on your bucket list to visit and stay. Here’s one reason for joining us!

Today the NZ government extended our compulsory four-week lockdown in Level 4 by another week which will end Tuesday 28 April. We will then go into Level 3 for two weeks. I’ll let you know what happens after that.

Today I went to the supermarket for the first time in five weeks. The week before the lockdown we did not shop, but decided instead to test ourselves and see if we could go a month without supermarket shopping and without any preplanning. We did! I ventured out only once and that was to Ross for petrol for Neil’s farming equipment!! 

 I feel a real accomplishment not only because we could do it, but because it was healthier to do, it was relaxing, better for our planet by reducing our carbon footprint, and it was more enjoyable & more delicious! Granted we have the lodge and some bulk supplies in store like coffee and wine, salmon and bacon but we didn’t consume these up. We ran out of milk, yoghurt and butter first, changed to herb teas including home grown lemon balm and mint. I went back to milking the goat, & made some cheese. Our butter replacements were delicious, olive oil, chicken fat (just like uncle John used to do), homemade mayonnaise, and my yummy basil pesto for our fresh bread & salad lunches.

Then we ran out of rye and wholemeal flour so began cooking whole grains for bread, brown rice and buckwheat resulted in a somewhat “Vogel” style loaf. Having plenty of time is the key, that’s what makes it enjoyable but I realized that I didn’t NEED to go to the supermarket. When I was out of ground cinnamon I only had to think! Out of the cool store came my cinnamon quills for poaching pears or making glühwein, I crushed some in my Asian mortar and pestle then put them in the coffee grinder, Voila! A most wonderful smell, fresher and more delicious than the ground packet! Another item droped off the shopping list! Did you know you can make baking powder from baking soda and cream of tartar? A good reason to not throw away those packets of things you don’t use often! Even better waste management comes into play!

Then there’s the garden. Today I picked 5 vegetables, green beans, tomatoes, a cucumber, zucchini and corn. But there’s more to choose from; carrots, kale, silverbeet, celery, lettuce, artichokes, leeks and herbs. In the winter store we’ve got garlic, potatoes, onions and pumpkins. Plus parsnip, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower coming on for winter. Who needs to shop?

Is there really any reason to go back to a lifestyle of greater hecticness, where we thought we had made life easier, but we didn’t make life better. We couldn’t appreciate our efforts because we spent them on driving fast, shopping quickly, buying too much and rushing on to the next job while at the end of the day feeling as if we’d not achieved enough! Haven’t we found that quality of life is key, and that means more time to enjoy planet earth, and live sustainably with it. First up, going to Hokitika once a month instead of once a week to shop is now my lifestyle choice. We’re working on progressing our sustainability to match the luxurious and unforgettable experience of Paramata Lodge! Join us!

Kathy Gilbert

April 2020