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Eyebright Turns Thirty

Eyebright Ceiling in 1987

The day Eyebright turns thirty, I turn sixty.  My birthday is August 18th and it was within days of that date in 1986 when Adrienne sowed the first seed for Eyebright’s first dried flowers.  Come the 18th Eyebright will be exactly half my age. 

Many will recall when Eyebright was at what is now the Grape Escape.  The main building at the Grape Escape was a dairy factory (built in 1914), but prior to Eyebright setting up there, it was used buy a guy repairing lawnmowers.  Out back, where Whangapeka Cheese is, it was full of Lime.  As you could imagine Lime and dried flowers are not a great combination, as the walls were leaky.  The lime ended up on paddocks and Eyebright along with Craft Habitat (where Raeward Fresh is) and Hoglunds became the main regional attractions.  Lots of people still talk of the days when Eyebright was an Aladdins Cave.  I ended up be New Zealand’s biggest producer of dried flowers with a vast shed filled from the floor to the ceiling.  At one stage I had paddocks at three different locations.  It was full on mentally and physically.  

Alas dried flowers went out of fashion and we had to adapt.   Alas, Alas there is a resurgence happening as I write.  Eighteen months ago I started getting enquiries about drieds, and this summer I will ramp up production.

Expect to see our roof filling up again and Eyebright having more of the Aladdins Cave feeling again.

So what will Eyebright be doing to mark it’s 30th?  This is it.  An article from me.  I will put out a press release as well, but rather than make a big splash the plan is to just keep on doing our knitting; making sure the shop is stocked with wonderful products at great prices; making sure we give outstanding customer service, and making sure the garden is a delight.


Aug 05, 2016 • Peter Owen

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