David Anttony: Life on a Nature-Abundant Organic Farm
David Anttony is a veteran IT and SEO expert who founded companies, worked around the globe before he settled down in Northern Philippines. He and his partner opened up an organic farm called Happy House Farm that has welcomed hundreds of visitors from around the world. Their message and business model "Just relax and hang out in our nature-abundant organic farm, combine with a lifestyle program, or help out casually on the farm as you feel."
David welcomes guests to be part of his family. "There is a lot to do", he tells me "Nature walks abound, relax, fish at the farm, have a massage, walk to the beach (and get lost on purpose), catch a fish and have a BBQ, learn about organics."
All the meals are provided as part of the experience. Think organic smoothie, fresh veggies, beans, fruit based meals. I invited David to describe in great details about the types of fruits that grow on his farm. While talking to David, I thought of the The Martian (film). Some veggies grow easily, some don't at all. To balance a healthy meal, David has a lot to figure out everyday such as what to grow, how to grow and keep them fresh.
In this extended conversation with David, I also learned much more about his family's lifestyle. There aren't dozens of Amazon, Google Express boxes delivered to his door. Instead, David learned to be self sufficient when it comes to living with very little. He barely goes shopping, if any at all. His now 4-year old daughter learned to climb trees at the age of 2. She's very focused and adventurous. She loves trying new things without feeling scared like most kids do in big cities.
David closes our interview with gratitude on how he thinks one should respond and react when facing challenges and even the fear of losing loved ones.
[06:00] How long ago did you give up on a having a regular/standard routine?
[06:30] How do you introduce yourself?
[08:00] Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in Happy House Farm?
[11:00] What kind of food do you prepare for your guests?
[12:30] What kind of food do you normally eat? Are you a vegetarian?
[13:30] What kind of plants do you grow and how big is your farm?
[22:30] What kind of activities do you do with your visitors?
[25:00] How long do your visitors stay with you? How do they reflect upon the experience afterwards?
[28:13] Can you share a bit of your story? How did you become the David you are today?
[31:00] Why did you end up moving to different countries, including the UK, New Zealand and Singapore?
[33:00] What is the average household income that can afford a reasonable life in the Philippines?
[35:00] Can you tell us a bit about your success in Philippines?
[37:00] How do you deal with things you want to buy that you cannot grow? Do you order them online? Are there shopping malls?
[40:00] When was the last time you had an office job? How has your life changed since then?
[43:00] What are some of the tips you would give to people so that they could minimize their lifestyles?
[53:00] How can people contact/reach you?
Enjoy theview from the air over the Happy House Organic Farmin the summer
[36:00] ‘Nowadays, on average, ⅓ of our income comes from our farm’.
[35:00] ‘Basically, with $60 US Dollars we can live luxuriously’
[38:00] I’m not interested in things that I used to be, and subsequently we don’t spend the money in the same way we used to do
[39:00] To be honest, we had to simplify our lives. For the first year, it was actually quite difficult to live here all the time, because it is very quiet. But gradually we got used to it. [...] My life has changed and basically my lifestyle and cycles have changed based on living in a more natural way.
[41:00] ‘The greatest thing I’ve ever wanted in my life is freedom. It comes at a cost: the cost is not to have some of the assets other people have in their lives (cars, houses), but the freedom I have has been the most vital thing to my inner-being. I can do what I like, when I want, in whatever way I want…’
[42:00] I have freedom, and that gives me power, and I have creativity. And I have inspiration. Those energies are amazingly powerful sources to do things, fast.
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