Dot Smith, Grande Dame of Riverstone, is one-of-a-kind - engaging, entertaining and entrepreneurial, and she's soon to become queen of her own castle.Dot Smith describes herself as 'a woman's dream and a man's nightmare!' The exuberant 60-something, with bright pink flourishes in her hair, is the Grande Dame of the Riverstone complex, situated just north of Oamaru. It includes the award-winning restaurant, Riverstone Kitchen, Dot's giftware shops, oceans of organic vegetable and flower gardens and much more. Dot and her husband Neil moved to Riverstone over 30 years ago, when it was still 'a gravel pit'. Now, after years of hard yakka, they own six dairy farms running over 4000 cows. And green-fingered, clever and eccentric Dot is soon to become the queen of her own castle, a magnificent building project, set on an island at Riverstone and complete with dungeon, drawbridge and towers.In Dot - Queen of Riverstone Castle Dot Smith tells of growing up on a small dairy farm north of Auckland; the struggle she and Neil had in their early days of farming; the effects of both Rogernomics and the dairy boom; and the travels that inspire her gardening, cooking and retailing. And of course, she writes about how she is building a castle. It's a vibrant, engaging, and fascinating story. As Dot says, 'All this industry is really the result of a lack of brains; the creative side is so full there's no room for the other side to tell me "e;not to do it"e;.'
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