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Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University ​hey they run my name is Jordan and welcome to the first film of the living the change series for this series we're traveling around New Zealand in our van bluey sharing the inspiring stories of people making change to a more sustainable way of life in his first film were visiting Andrew and Beth at their permaculture property in the Bay of Plenty I felt this void in my life like there was something missing so when I was living in big cities it was like I had to get away to connect with nature but when I wake up in every morning I come outside and I'm immediately in nature here I don't have that void anymore I've just got this instant connection and satisfaction I'm Andrew Martin and today we're here at our permaculture property in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand we've got five acres and we've planted hundreds of fruit trees which you'll see later so this is our main garden just close to the house in zone one so yeah you can see we've got a lot happening here we've got you know two kale and spinach silverbeet beetroot bok choy rhubarb zucchini and how I started this is basically a sheet mulch so I got some newspaper cardboard some manure and some food scraps and then build it up and interest put straw on top and then just plant it straight into it and since then I've just kept adding to the soil with compost so yeah I studied business and I was involved in finance and more specifically stock market so we used to help people manage their money and we're in the organization's I work with we used to manage and hundreds of millions of dollars for people I think I just did business because it was one of those things that I thought would lead to something and sure I've been successful in in a certain regard given us the web thought to be able to buy some land and that sort of stuff but I felt myself being drawn into this this materialistic world because all the people that were around me had material possessions and it was all his wanting and creating of attachment and wanting and wanting more stuff it can be contagious this consumerism materialism lifestyle I wasn't from that background from sort of a conservative sort of upbringing then all of a sudden I'm involved with you know guys that are driving luxury cars and then living in expensive house in Sydney suburbs a lot of guys I work with you know multimillionaires and they were trapped into a system and they thought that an extra you know ten or twenty or thirty million would make them happier and I worked out early on the piece that that is not the case and I think a lot of people think that the more money they have the more happy they're going to be and it just doesn't work so the idea is to you know have native plants a mixed among fruit tree so we've got you know natives here we've got we've got a tamarillo here I've got Monica and carnie Corrine and Peter spawns natives we've got a cabbage tree here this is a pine nut so those are really expensive nuts you get in the supermarket this is one of those that takes about ten years to get an e/m fruit on it or any nuts so that's a long term project and then we've got over here we've got a fig tree which is fruiting quite nicely and another carob tree here and then for the for the monarch butterflies we've got a couple of Swan plants which they really enjoying we might be lucky to see one here he comes now there was a lot of little moments of realization but I saw a few documentaries and movies that were about some of the bigger picture issues but when you're in the corporate world and you're so busy with your life and achieving certain things it's hard to get off that train Beth my wife and I we sort of had grown over the corporate lifestyle in the trap of having and wanting more so we thought okay let's just cut our ties from what we had known and we'd been working in for many years and we we thought okay let's just start afresh so we'd been to New Zealand a number of times previously and we just thought that's a great place to just start and we'll look at alternatives and live a simpler more sustainable life and just explore what's out there it was then the realization sort of hit home I started to research more read you know hundreds of articles and watch hundreds of documentaries and all sorts of stuff then I started to really understand wow we've got some serious issues here and no one's really talking about this stuff and and it's quite scary in here we've got our chickens we've got two breeds we've got a brown shader which is these ones here and then over here we've got our cons and over here if we have little chicks that have just hatched in the last two days you can see them down here okay the chicken yard here you can see there's lots of weeds and little shrubs and whatnot and we've planted some there's about 10 or 12 feet Java bushes around the edge to give them some protection as a walnut tree down there but you know the chickens love it they can get in here and hide under here escape from predators because when we first had them was cleared and we did have a problem with eagles and hawks so we'd lost a few chickens but cause that was easy for the Hawks to see them and come in and attack them but now we haven't had a problem and you can see this little hidey holes everywhere for the chickens here and they love it in here they just hide through here and over here you can they even lay eggs in the hidey holes and here's one here there you go the first thing we did is simplified our life so once you


simplify your life frees you up to do a lot of other things so we just thought okay what can we afford and live within that limit and that way it frees you up a lot more so downsizing and tiny homes is excellent because it really gives people the freedom to to make decisions about their lives and that's sort of what we've done we've we've consciously made that effort not to live outside our means and once you do that it's really powerful hey so I always wanted a pond and every a lot of permaculture people will talk about ponds and Erin has ponds and it's functional it's got some great uses so the idea is I built this pond to feed the the beds which are actually under about two feet of grass at the moment so what happened is I thought okay I'm going to have a go at digging the pond and I started digging it out and I just kept going for a couple hours and then after four hours I had a pretty big hole it's probably a meter and a half deep and then the second day I just kept going and dug down and within two days about four or five hours each day I had a pond and then I just got a liner and put it in the pond and you couldn't I couldn't believe my luck the next day had belted down rain and then the pond was full so in two days I've gone from having no pond to a completely full pond which is awesome apart from working on on the garden that's that takes a good part of my day I also write for a few blogs and have written a few books and I also consult with business local government and community groups on helping raise awareness around some of the big picture issues so I do what they call as a vulnerability assessment so once I analyze the data and identify gaps then I come up with recommendations for councils to move to a more sustainable model I'm fortunate I'm in a position to be able to do this a lot of people don't have the actually of being able to have time to research and come up with ideas and solutions so that's what I'm what I'm trying to achieve I saw a documentary back in 207 called a crude awakening and they were talking about the oil shock and resource depletion on peak oil and that really got me interested in the whole energy side of things I read lots of books on energy and much lots of documentaries and lots of articles and it just seemed that permaculture kept popping up as a solution then I started to research permaculture and realize that it was an integrated approach to how we're living so at the moment our current society it's it's a fragmented approach to living so everything's compartmentalized or separated whereas permaculture is a holistic approach to how we're living integrates food environment with your lifestyle and taking care of you know people the planet and the natural resources so I really that really hit home and I just really thought that was that was one of the solutions for moving forward over here we've got some grapes and we've had these in for about a year and a half and this is our first decent yield of grapes as you can see here and what we do so we let the the next-door neighbour graze our front two paddocks and in return I can go over to her place and I get some pine needles which the blueberries love because they love acidic soil so I sprinkle the blue the pine needles around the blueberry so it helps mulch them and helps give them nutrient and it also keeps the weeds down so what I'm trying to I do mow and I don't don't like it but I just try to mow the pars also side the paths and so what we do is we leave all the all the weeds and the ground cover there because it you know a to waste a resource but what I like to do is just walk up when I'm out in the garden and just pick a bit of weed and just drop it around there it gives it a gives a bit of a top up and a bit of a feed and then you know it just protects it from the from evaporation and it's just constant soil building so a lot of people come over to our property and have a have a look around they go what about all or your fruit trees do you get pests and stuff like birds eat them and I said yeah sure but we don't mind that you know so here first and you know we're a part of nature and you know we've had we have comments from other people that live around near us on the farms and they say they can't believe how much wildlife and bird life is here and their properties just you know a few hundred meters away have almost no wildlife aburn life so you know we're attracting bird life and wildlife through just letting nature be as opposed to wanting to control it start growing food that's where a lot of this these initiatives start food is central to the way we live our health and a whole ecosystem environment so if we can start doing something small like even if you if you just live in suburbia and you've got a small block you can start growing food even if you're an apartment you can you know windowsills pots whatever you can start and that's the first step once you engage with growing and experiencing nature then things start to happen you and it's like a like a flower it starts you know growing getting bigger and then then that leads to something else so get out there and explore because there are options we just have to have the capacity to realize that we're not stuck and we can change and and just just do it I love Andrews story because it contradicts a belief that underpins our society that owning large amounts of money and having expensive material possessions are what lead to happiness we've been fed this live by businesses and governments in order to make profit and to perpetuate the growth economy that's contributing to the destruction of the earth by each one of us refusing to believe this story our society tells us together we can create a world where the deep satisfaction we all desire comes from our connection with community and nature rather than from material possessions in the face of the crisis the world is facing today a new way of being is emerging where we're connected to nature and exist in harmony with all other forms of life and it's up to us to pioneer the transition to this deeply satisfying nourishing and true a sustainable way of life I definitely feel happier and less


stressed when you're working in the corporate world it's very competitive and I tell you there's there's not much competition out here apart from a few weeds which I get too upset with but now I've learned to let go and now eat some of the week I definitely feel better and I feel more flexible I don't have any aches or pains anymore and I just feel more connected and more lively I eat much healthy now I don't eat any processed foods we had a lot of vegetarian meals and it's all fresh organic produce so we we also live a less consumerist lifestyle so we don't need as much stuff so I haven't got this constant craving for more and more things to make me feel satisfied or happy this lifestyle working on the land and doing permaculture it feels more rewarding and like I'm putting something back with a lot of current society it's take-take-take and and with this sort of life so I feel like this is long-term I'm putting something back so there you have it we have home grown salad fruit salad a green salad and some eggs and I can't believe still that I don't have to go to a supermarket we've grown all this ourselves in just three years I'm still amazed so anyone can do it so I hope you all enjoyed the first of many films in this series and this project wouldn't be happening at all if it wasn't for the generous support of our crowdfunding backers so thanks so much to everyone who donated and I want to say special thank you to the simplicity Institute bread's tiny houses Michael Albertson Lou Ridsdale and Quentin Wilson if you want to find out more about the project you can click here and it will take you through to our website or if you want to watch another film about a permaculture farm you can click here so thanks for watching guys and I'll see you all in the next film you The Schools of Public Engagement.

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