I always imagined that the nursery would be carbon neutral. I’m still set on that goal, although it is becoming apparent that retrofitting this labyrinth of interconnected huts with solar is going to be a design challenge. I’m just hoping we can find a solar installer who’s up for figuring it out. I’m told that it was hard enough getting it on the grid in the first place, so it’s possible that connecting it to solar will actually be easier, but who can say?

When you’re in the carnivorous plant business, you quickly learn to take nothing for granted – including your fingertips. These plants do need a fair bit of special attention in the form of specialised growing lights and heaters, which I’m hoping to run entirely off commercial solar by the end of the year. Truth be told, it would be a lot more efficient to run a nursery of this kind in a different part of the country – say, far north Queensland – if not on a different continent, but beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to business premises.

Also, it wasn’t my choice to be born with an innate passion for carnivorous plants. Honestly, there are many obsessions that would be much less of a hassle to live with, like collecting plates with pictures of the British royal family. At least they don’t require specialised climatic conditions that simply don’t occur naturally here in Melbourne. 100kW solar systems, fortunately, do occur here, as do rapidly developing innovations in horticultural technology. If it wasn’t for that, I’d… well, probably have moved to South America or something.

What a time to be alive, eh? It’s possible to grow a little slice of the Amazon in a cool temperate climate, using energy from the sun. It’s actually quite magical… almost as magical as carnivorous plants, and all the inconvenience that comes with trying to grow them in Melbourne.