The residents of Greytown, New Zealand, a stylish little destination an hour from Wellington in a North Island region called the Wairarapa, are used to visitors falling in love with their home and staying for good. In fact, the Victorian colonial town is so charming that director James Cameron and his wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, did just that—purchasing a farm and opening their own business, the charming café and gourmet grocer, Food Forest Organics.
Vegans who switched to a plant-based diet after seeing the 2011 documentary Forks Over Knives, the Camerons were smitten by the fertile rolling hills of the south Wairarapa, after spending time in the nineties. By 2012, they moved in, and the couple now own almost 4,000 acres of land, surrounded by farms and vineyards, and the properties of well-known neighbours, including The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.
Once a dairy farm, Cameron Family Farms now sustainably produces a wide range of organic vegetables, oils, and honey. On Greytown’s Main Street, shoppers can easily spot the farms’ retail side, thanks to the life-size sculpture of a moa (an extinct flightless bird once native to the area) out front. Inside, simple wood shelves are stocked daily with seasonal organic produce and Cameron Family Farms products such as walnut oil, olive oil, and Manuka honey. Additional pantry and home indulgences include dairy products, gluten-free products, gourmet chocolates, organic coffee, Pukka Herbs Tea, cookbooks, baking ingredients, and organic locally-grown lavender bath products. The Food Forest Organics café offers an ever-changing menu of vegan breakfast and lunch treats, such as plant-based macaroni and cheese, cumin-spiced pumpkin and kumara (sweet potato) soup, and raw carrot cake, which may be enjoyed inside or out in the lush back garden.
For visitors wanting to indulge deeper in the Food Forest Organics way of life, two boutique apartments are available for rent on the house’s second floor. The simple, elegant rooms are light-filled with views of downtown Greytown, and guests receive a complimentary morning delivery of the coveted house-made granola, coconut yogurt, and fresh fruit. You may never want to leave, either.
Food Forest Organics is open Wednesday to Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 101 Main Street, Greytown, New Zealand.
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