On the last day of my trip, I visit another couple I've met at the farmers' market: Dale DeMeulemeester and his partner, Jo Bradshaw, who sell sour orange juice and a popular sparkling wine and a liqueur made from feijoa, a tropical fruit of South American origin sometimes called pineapple guava (after the two fruits whose flavors resemble its own). As we pull up to their farm, Lothlorien, named for the elfin forest in The Lord of the Rings, I spot DeMeulemeester, lanky and fit, with a beard that would make ZZ Top envious, on his way to get the cow for milking. Originally from Detroit, Dale came to New Zealand in the '70s with the woman who was to become his wife to start a commune and never left. He bought the land, at the time a dairy farm, and planted it to feijoa trees, hoping he could make a living selling the fruit. "Unfortunately," he says, "we learned that Kiwis are not interested in buying feijoas, because everyone has a feijoa tree in their backyard. It looked like we had made a big mistake." After struggling with the orchard for years and raising four children, Dale and his wife separated. Jo had been living and working on Lothlorien with her three children, and eventually she and Dale became a couple and had a child of their own together. Jo is an excellent home cook, using only the fruit and vegetables grown on the farm. While we sit down to a breakfast of homemade bread topped with fresh churned butter, sliced avocados from the garden, and corn relish, Dale tells us how he started making wine with his feijoas. "At first we gave it away for free," he says, "but we gave a bottle to an actress friend, and she gave it to a famous TV personality, who promised to promote it if we started producing the wine commercially." Today Lothlorien Winery sells 60,000 bottles a year, and Dale's and Jo's children now manage the winery business; some of them have begun building their own houses on the property.