Friday, 15 August 2008
Papa & Mama Gray. Who Did They Inspire?
My parents have had a "Green" Thumb in one way
or another all their lives. When I was younger they ran a gardening
business together for many years and basically lived and breathed
gardening their whole lives. Then when my mum got ill my dad decided
to semi retire early. He sold the business but just couldn't stay at
home and do nothing. He got involved with a group that carries out
reforestation projects in salt affected areas of Western Australia.
They work with farmers to plant native trees on their deforested
land. He's planted literally millions of trees in his time. The
group were having a hard time sourcing the trees so my Dad started his
own native plant nursery. Before he knew it he was getting orders for
trees and plant for all over the place - farmers, local councils.
mining groups much to my Mum's concern since she thought he had
retired. Then my Dad got fascinated with worms! "Oh no!" said Mum.
So then it was 10 years of breeding worms, selling the worms, worm
kits, and worm tailings as fertiliser. On top of that he gets invited
to speak at schools and community groups. They literally couldn't
keep up with demand. All this from their backyard - mind you they did
have a big back yard. Well I think my Dad had a good time although my
Mum was always wishing he would just take it a bit easier.
Then the government built a new highway just past their place and
overnight their property was worth three times what it was before.
Before long they had developer knocking at their door but Dad always
turned them away. But finally he had to admit he was in fact not a
young man anymore (he was still working 10 hours a day and 7 days a
week at the age of 75). So over a cup of tea he decided to sell and
buy a smaller place closer to my Mum's family. They made the decision
to sell on Sunday, engaged an agent on Monday, had three offers on
Tuesday, sold the place on Wednesday and bought a new place on
Thursday. (Needless to say when he makes a decision he doesn't mess
Mum was ecstatic. The new house had her dream kitchen, french
windows, beautiful landscaped gardens, and a workshop and pretty vegie
garden for my dad (the man's got to have a shed). They had a nice sum
left over, They're not rich by any means - they mostly survive on the
pension with a little allowance from their investment. But you just
can't stop my Dad and he's been hard at work Greenifying their new
house. He's installed two rain water tanks, a new worm recycling area
for all their waste, replacing all the foreign plants with beautiful
natives and this week he has achieved his dream:
Their very own SOLAR POWER unit!
Only 1 kW but with plans to expand when they can afford it.
They are thrilled and we are all gathering to have an official ribbon
cutting ceremony. I like to share this story as it shows that little
people CAN achieve big things if they put their minds to it. My
parents never had very much money but they did what they could. I
hope others can gain some inspiration from this story.