Doug was born and raised on the West Coast of the USA. Around age 30, he and his wife sailed to New Zealand, like many of the country’s original pioneers, both Maori and European.

Growing up, Doug’s mom always had a big garden. Doug remembers her as a great gardener and always appreciated that the garden was part of family life. Doug enjoyed spending time with his mom in the garden, absorbing her knowledge by osmosis. And of course, he loved eating the food she grew! These childhood experiences seeded in Doug a lifelong interest in growing food.

Doug pursued a career as a physiotherapist. When he settled in New Zealand, he set up and ran a practice in a small rural, primarily Maori, community for over 30 years. As he approached retirement, he decided he wanted to return to his first love – growing delicious, nutritious food in an eco-friendly garden.

Doug and his wife had bought a 20 hectare (50 acre) property. Doug designed and oversaw construction of their earth house. With the house completed, he shifted his focus to a large, bare area of compacted clay near the house, which he got inspired to turn into a garden.

Along his journey of creating his garden out of a desert, Doug joined a local community seed bank and the collaborative process of Kiwi Gardeners helping each other. Over the past 6 years, he has taken the basic garden he’d created and turned it into a super-eco-friendly garden producing nutrient-rich food by the bucket-full! He and his wife get a full year-round supply of vegetables and some fruits from the garden – plus they have plenty to share with friends!