Category Archives: K-Line

Gearing Up for Growing

The 23rd of September, marked one of the most important days in our personal farming calendar: the Spring Equinox.

From now on, with days longer than nights, everything – including our pasture, we hope – will really start cranking.

spring comes late here

Spring comes late here!

Our growing season up in the mountains is short, so we have to do everything we can to make the most of it. Continue reading

How portable equipment can save your lamb chops

Portable electric fencing and a portable water trough are two of the most useful – and least expensive – pieces of farming kit we own.

We bought the trough for the sheep yards and the fencing because we could afford it at the time and figured it would come in handy.

They were both sensible buys but it took a “real” farmer to get us out of our townie mindset and show us how useful our portable stuff could actually be.

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G-Set Installations Proving Effective

Excellent feedback continues to flow about the ground-breaking G-Set irrigation solution, with a number of South Island farms reaping the benefits in what has been a relatively dry winter so far.

The product was a finalist in Irrigation NZ’s innovation awards, reflecting the unique nature of the solution and its effectiveness in solving irrigation challenges for hilly properties.

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Keeping Healthy Chooks in Winter

Our chooks get more cosseting than all the other livestock on our farm combined. They repay us with enormous brown eggs and lots of laughs.

On the production side, we have 10 Brown Shaver hens and two pullets just coming into lay. The hens play with a handsome young Light Sussex rooster called Rocky and absolutely dote on him.

Rocky the Light Sussex rooster

Rocky the Magnificent

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Planting Trees for Livestock Fodder

If you’d asked me six years ago about the ingredients of a perfect weekend, I’d have listed partying, camping in the Outback, or a combination of the two.

Fast-forward to the weekend just gone, which we spent digging holes, moving bushes and planting Japanese fodder willows in freezing rain (Saturday) and heavy frost (Sunday). It was one of the most satisfying and productive weekends I’ve had all year.*

We’re trialling 60 of these willows as a feed source for our stock. If they grow well, we’ll plant another 300 next year.

Fodder willow cuttings ready for planting Continue reading

Growing Saffron as a Crop on a Lifestyle Block

Of all the projects, animals and sustainable philosophies that we’ve got going on at our farm, nothing piques people’s interest as much as our saffron growing.

There’s a mystique about the world’s most expensive spice, even if it is just a collection of dried stigmas from a little autumn-flowering crocus.

Everything about saffron seems exotic – its history, vibrant colour, honey-like aroma and distinctive taste. Continue reading