I visited the eco-community of Earthsong last weekend for a book launch. Here’s the title of the book by Vivian Hutchinson. It’s full of stories about social entrepreneurs, and the difference they have made in their New Zealand communities. Earthsong is a good example of how a vision can become reality.

 You leave your car on the road when it’s a big event, or you can use the visitor carpark.

Some of the houses can be glimpsed from the entrance, through pine trees that no doubt will be replaced by native trees at some stage.

 The driveway is deserted enough for the children to play on,

although everyone takes care.

 This is the common house, where the book launch was held,

 and here, through the ripening apples, is a view of some of the houses, which are in individual ownership. They are built of mud brick, with timber cladding. Solar panels sit on the roof, and everyone’s power bills are very low.

The community has just set up a pen for its first chickens, which everyone wanted to look at.

And in the common house, there is plenty of room (this is only the front row of seats) for events like this, or to share a meal twice a week.

It felt that summer had finally arrived, with a hot, sunny weekend.

At Earthsong, the gardens are flourishing, and despite all the inevitable challenges, so is the whole project. I drove home, rejoicing in the ripeness of the season and the power of community.