Piazza – a noun
A square or marketplace, especially in an Italian town.
‘Here, folks stop to ‘take a coffee’ in one of the town’s many piazzas, or public squares, as well as chat with friends during the nightly passeggiata, or evening stroll.’
From the very beginning when planning for Fernlea, we wanted a place for everyone to gather and catch up, enjoy a meal together, a place to relax, de-stress and unplug.
We wanted this area to be in the centre of the farm buildings and we wanted it to have a dining space, a relaxing outdoor lounge, a kitchen and a toilet for convenience. It also had to be as close as possible to the glasshouse so living land to table was easy.
We acquired the Fernlea property in 2010 and started working on our piazza area in 2014. At the time a colleague of the Hobbit’s (a.k.a Les Janett) shared with him that he had seen a glasshouse rotting in a paddock in South Auckland and that the farmer was prepared to sell it for $100. The Hobbit went to the farm, de-constructed the glasshouse, and got it back to Fernlea.
In the meantime I bought, online, a second hand shed I thought would be perfect as a little kitchen at our piazza. It obviously needed a ‘little’ work, plus again the Hobbit had to dismantle it and get it from the Northshore in Auckland to the farm.
By 2017 we had the area well on the way, with the buildings re-constructed and the roof line taking shape. I had decided I would like the glasshouse to be painted pink, just because
it would bring a sense of fun to our lives. The Hobbit really struggled with the idea and got many a funny look from our neighbours, who popped down to visit and see progress.
Building our piazza stalled many times over the years as other priorities reared their heads, like building the farmhouse, but in 2020 we knew it was time for a BIG PUSH to get it ready for guests.
The Hobbit got stuck in and with the help of neighbours did the ceiling, plumbed the kitchen and toilet, while I rolled up my sleeves and got into the decorating. Finally, by October 2020 it was completed and we could sit back and enjoy the space while sipping wine and listening to soft jazz in the background.
By 2020 our kiwi piazza was done.
A little corner of the farm where friends, family and guests could join us to make memories and indulge in what is essential, spending time together.
Check out our walk through you tube video of the space https://youtu.be/i1ZUsBOnBIQ
All for now
Jenni (The Missus)