thisNZlife

How Bird on a Wire became one of NZ's fastest-growing firms

Blog: treasure hunting in the Far North

In which Polly trades in foreign treasure-hunting for a more sedate seeking of materials and finds it just as rewarding.

Growing kale over winter

If you’re a bit bored by cabbage for your winter garden, its ‘cousin’ kale is a great-looking, great-tasting alternative.

How this rare pig is could aid biomedical science

The rarest pig breed in the world is teetering on the brink of extinction, and the few people working to save it would love some help from anyone who enjoys the company of pigs, and a good slice or three of the tastiest bacon around.

Hedgehogs: friend or foe?

Hedgehogs present a prickly problem, being both garden friend and foe.

Video

DIY

Tips for your best broccoli crop

Broccoli has hit sky-high prices in supermarkets - so why not try growing your own?

Get to know your chickens

There are purebreds, heritage breeds, hybrids, strains, crossbreeds and ‘barnyard specials’ which can make it hard to work out exactly what kind of bird you have.

How to weave a wattle fence

Weaving wattle is an ancient craft where you can make fences out of coppiced branches and stakes to form a woven lattice.

8 nuts you need to grow

Growing your own nuts is a long-term plan, but these trees don’t need a lot of attention and having your own fresh, free nut supply is definitely worth a few years of waiting.

apple orchard

Design a home orchard

A well-designed orchard means you can be self-sufficient in fruit all year-round.

Drying firewood

5 tips to drying firewood

The art of firewood isn't cut and dry, here's how to make your wood  dry thoroughly to burn well.

Featured

Editor's Picks

Anthony Byrt and the conversation of art

Journalist and art critic Anthony Byrt is doing his bit to make the world – and Northland – a better place.

Recipe: Gluten-free quinoa tart

This easy-to-make quinoa tart is a tasty and filling dish to serve to guests on a gluten-free diet.

willow maker golden bay

Artisan willow weaver encourages community spirit

This old craft is still immensely popular, and encourages a true community spirit on a Golden Bay lifestyle block.

Andean superfood quinoa grown in Taihape

A little experiment with a superfood has turned into a win-win business for a young farming couple.

Polly's blog: a whale tale

Polly turns to a whale when time rushes by.

apple orchard

Design a home orchard

A well-designed orchard means you can be self-sufficient in fruit all year-round.

Career path: life as a ballet mistress

From a little girl in her mother’s Auckland studio to the big-city stages of the world, ballerina Clytie Campbell’s career has swept from one act to the next.

A divine conversion

Breathing new life into an old church has taken more than a decade and cost twice the estimate but the owners are in heaven.

Rigatoni con Salsiccia Siciliana e zucchine

This is a simple dish, yet to do it well you need to concentrate.

The inspiration behind Fred van Brandenberg's organic building design

A revelation turned an experienced and successful architect away from the traditional styles in which he’d always worked towards something far more organic.

Wild mushroom risotto with prawns and hot-smoked guanciale

This recipe by The Prodigal Daughter founder, Rachel Priestly showcases her own Italian- styled cured meats.

Raymond Herber's sculpture park

Forging ahead at the Iron Ridge Sculpture Park

Canterbury sculptor Raymond Herber has carved out a true niche for his life and work in an abandoned quarry.

And the winner is...

Meet Sean and Jodi Brosnahan – East Coast farmers, breeders of supreme Angus beef and winners of the inaugural Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2017.

Full list of winners for the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards

NZ Life & Leisure proudly supports the annual Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards. With 150 entries, from the Catlins to Kaitaia, the judges were spoilt for choice.

For crying out loud! NZ's town crier shortage

New Zealand towns and cities are crying out for more town criers. Two sisters are ringing the bell for a proud (and loud) institution.

tiny house

'10 lessons I learned living in a 27sqm tiny house'

Golden Bay writer Charlotte Squire learned a lot about life in downsizing her family into a 27sqm home

Blog: the pros and cons of homeschool

The land is proving to be a natural classroom in more ways than one for Polly and her family.

Judges’ kitchen cupboard secrets

It’s almost time for the announcement of the winner of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2017 so thisNZlife asked the award judges to reveal their kitchen secrets.

Vanilla pear, parma ham and blue cheese salad

This recipe by The Mountain Cafe's Kirsten Gilmour is perfect for a light, fresh,  lunch or evening salad.

Water Cooler thisNZlife - every Friday

Water cooler: Chicken Screams and divine TV

This week in the water cooler: we scream like a chook, watch divine TV and gaze in awe at mighty Mt Ruapehu.

The brewery that uses wild yeast from Kapiti Island

The wild yeasts of Kapiti Island star in a new brew from a Waikanae company known for its barrel-fermented sour beers.

boiling water to sanitise

How to sanitise water

If water is contaminated after a disaster, there are several ways to purify it.

A healthy food plan for post-emergency power cuts

Food in a refrigerator won’t last long without power so plan your food usage carefully to avoid contamination.

lamb injured

How to look after animals in an emergency

How to keep animals calm after a disaster and how to plan for animal evacuation.

Blog: traveling with kids

Polly finds traveling with kids a less-than-relaxing experience.

Dr Libby's guide to eating 'flexitarian'

Force yourself to eat a certain way and you will likely fail. try giving yourself a little wiggle room instead.

Scientists explore cancer-fighting properties of heritage apples

An everyday accountant is working with New Zealand scientists to explore the disease-fighting properties of heritage apples and orange tomatoes.

The return of the community fridge

Zero-waste blogger Amanda Chapman discusses the community fridge project and her eco heroes.

A creative network of young country women

Meet the selection of creative female go-getters selling their wares at the Rural Ladies marketplace.

kiwiinthewils

Rare footage of a Stewart Island brown kiwi during the day

Distracted by saddlebacks and robins, Insider’s Guide editor Cheree Morrison never expected to trip over a kiwi.

We try riding an electric bike through Auckland

Electric bikes are popular in Asia and Europe, but will they catch on in Auckland? We see what the buzz is about.

Connecting Young Rural Ladies

From two sprawling high-country stations on either side of the Waitaki River, two young and creative rural ladies are empowering and connecting like-minded women.

Jim Kayes cycles the Hauraki Rail Trail

Jim Kayes is easily led astray by his 10-year-old daughter on a bike along the Hauraki Rail Trail.

Blog: is it time for the ducks to get the chop?

This week, Polly defends her ducks from a date with  the casserole pot.

Gluten-free bread business on the rise

An Auckland entrepreneur is earning a crust with a clever bread mix business.

How your kitchen can go pro

If you think selling food you’ve made in your home kitchen can’t be done legally, you could be in for a delicious surprise. We meet some small-time home-based business people with a passion for food who show how they work within the rules.

Creating a culture of innovation

An Auckland-based technology entrepreneur is making going to the doctor as easy as pushing a button

6 inspiring man caves and she sheds

We’ve all heard of ‘man caves’, but there are so many inspiring garden buildings, including the ‘she shed’. Check out these beautiful projects from NZ and around the world, most made on a small budget and out of recycled materials.

Yes, this is actually a cucumber

If you like the long green cucumbers, you're going to love these extraordinary orbs.

Are you breaking the law when you host a wwoofer?

Some businesses are disguising their employees  as volunteers, so are you breaking the law when you host a wwoofer from another volunteer scheme?

Move it in Madagascar

Cycling the exotic island of Madagascar provides a lesson in the country's economy, as well as one in humanity.

5 weird but really tasty things to make using basil

If you only think pesto when you think of basil, Jenny has some recipes to tickle your tastebuds.

Recipe: peanut butter burgers

Spice up your homemade burgers with a good dollop of peanut butter relish.

Mexican photographer's first farm visit

Mexican photographer Carla Danieli had never spent time on a farm before her stay on a remote station in the Waihopai Valley.

Mary Biggs and the Country Cooking School

Mary Biggs started with Le Cordon Bleu, detoured into lemon cordial and is now back to basics with a country cooking school, sharing the bounty of her beloved farm.

Annabel Langbein’s flash-roasted chilli lime salmon

Feeding a crowd?  Annabel Langbein's zesty salmon dish with Nam Prik sauce is ready in 20 minutes.

Water cooler: lettuce soup and pumpkin growing tips

It's a garden harvest special in this week's water cooler as we share tips for growing pumpkins, harvesting fruit and transforming mature lettuce into a delicious soup.

Nature- enter me: Chris Parry's Coromandel home

Chris Parry, drummer for the iconic 1960s band Fourmyula and manager of British bands the Jam and the Cure, left New Zealand 50 years ago expecting never to return. But that was until he found a soul-soaring piece of turf he now calls home.

Blog: wet, wet weather and harvest fever

Polly gets wet feet during the storm and discovers she has to reap what she sows.

New exhibition transforms dead animals into art

Visual artist Rebecca Swan's exhibition at the Auckland Arts Festival transforms dead animals into works of art.

Pic's Peanut Butter's $50m success story

Serial entrepreneur Pic Picot has learned that nothing pays better than peanuts.

Ghost stories and the charming characters of Port Chalmers

Ghosts, nudie photographs and a Pacific slave trade - Lisa Scott takes a tour of Port Chalmers and discovers a few skeletons in the closet of this Dunedin suburb.

Water cooler: Going green and a poor little paw paw

In the water cooler this week: Emma has a double take at Twin Peaks,  Nadene isn't peachy about the weather and Kate and Tracey go green.

cheese

Why this artisan cheesemaker doesn't get paid

The award-winning owners of Lonely Goat say the costs of compliance are nothing to yodel about, and explain why they are working for love, not money.

Recipe: Esther's gluten-free gingerbread recipe

A favourite gluten-free recipe from Mary Bigg's Country Cooking School.

Growing a family business on the Wanaka Lavender Farm

Two brothers have turned a patch of Wanaka into a lavender business in full bloom.

Juliet Jackson: 'Losing my sight didn't curb my creative spirit'

Although losing her sight meant the end of artist Juliet Jackson’s love affair with painting, it sparked a new-found passion for the written word.

The Vinbrux family take Oamaru

In the two years since the proficiently self-sufficient Vinbrux family of Oamaru first captured the hearts of NZ Life & Leisure readers, for their ability to live well on food expenditure of $90 a week, the family has branched out and taken Oamaru food retailing by storm.

Recipe: Chocolate peanut butter cookies with salted date filling

These chewy and gooey bite-size sweet treats are not only delicious, but gluten-free.

The ugly, indispensable quince

It’s completely inedible when raw and dangerous to cut up, with a heady, perfumed scent that is completely at odds with its appearance. Sound like your kind of fruit?

Monique Fiso

How Monique Fiso is raising the bar on Maori cuisine

Monique Fiso is one of the most innovative young chefs in Maori and Pacific cuisine, but it took a job halfway around the world for her to discover her true passion.

Blog: No such thing as a stranger

At a time when travel bans and giant walls place severe strain on international relations, Polly reflects on the kind hospitality she received in the Middle East.

Farm reinvented as Southland wedding venue

A love of beautiful things- particularly weddings- has transformed the lives of a Southland family from the ground up.

Recipe: honey rice crisps

Use a mild-flavoured honey, such as blue borage, in this toasted sesame version of the classic treat.

Incredible images of whales stranded on Farewell Spit

At Farewell Spit NZ Life & Leisure staff Cheree Morrison and Jane Ussher saw nature at its most beautiful and most cruel.

Tasty ways to use avocados

The smooth, creamy texture of avocados makes them a great ally in baking. Give these delicious recipes a try.

3 modern food forests

We take a guided tour through three very different food forests at different stages in their lifecycle.

Water cooler: Griffons go global

This week in the water cooler: Nadene is seeing stars in Hunua, Emma has gone to the dogs (again) and Cheree goes banana(grams).

A 60sqm container house in a cherry orchard

When a crane swung two shipping containers over the treetops of a cherry orchard it signalled the start of a new way of life for the Heeringa family.

Exploring the sacred forest of Ubud, Bali

A sacred forest in Bali’s Ubud is both a conservation area for monkeys and a place where humans strive to reach physical and spiritual well-being in accord with Hindu principles.

3 fantastic green bean recipe

Turn a bean overload into three fantastic summer dishes.

The colourful couple behind the Mussel Inn

The Mussel Inn beats at the heart of Golden Bay's creative, organic community. Its music-loving owners created it with grit, vision... and a bit of inspiration from Bob Dylan.

Garden pesto

A garden lover's pesto

Basil, parsley, rocket - use whatever greens you have growing in your garden to make this zesty pesto.

NZer saving animals of all sizes on Victoria farm

A multi-tasking Kiwi with a passion for saving animals has set up a special sanctuary on her lifestyle block just outside Melbourne.

How to start small in the cheese business

Many people have a dream to become artisan cheesemakers. It was 20 years in the making for Adrian and Jill Walcroft of Cartwheel Creamery, but they’re maturing nicely.

Blog: The case of the disappearing duck

In Polly Greek's blog this week: when a Pekin duck goes missing, James goes on stoat-catching duty.

6 surprising things about Abel Tasman

Dunedin writer Lisa Scott went adventuring in the Abel Tasman National Park, north west of Nelson, and came away reeling.

Auckland family catches piece of fishing history

She may be berthed close to the super yachts of the world’s well heeled at Auckland’s Silo Marina but the Moerangi is no flash-n-crass gin palace.

Recipe: honey-roasted pork belly

Use strong honey, such as manuka, so the flavour permeates this rich and sticky pork dish. To make it easier to carve, ask your butcher to remove the bone from the pork.

Couple switch corporate life for barrels of rum

An Anglo-American couple find their adventurous spirit by swapping international careers for a Golden Bay distillery and its stock of barrel-aged rum.

Dot Smith's garden with no soil

This is a garden of no soil that supplies the award-winning Riverstone Kitchen with its fresh vegetables and fruit all year-round, and it's a work of art.

From farm to 'glampground'

Cows and sheep aren’t the only creatures enjoying the bucolic life — holiday-making families can too. as farmers look for new ways to diversify, home-stays and holiday rentals, even posh camping sites – are on the rise.

boys at campfire

Blog: boys gone wild

Young boys run wild on Polly's  family camping trip.

Recipe: Chilli lime prawn burrito with coriander slaw

The following recipe is fast, low fuss and delicious. It is ideal for feeding a crowd at the family bach.

Martinborough firm riding Mexican wave

Surf-loving foodies Jason and Melissa Philips downsized and relocated to the Wairarapa to give their hand-rolled burrito business the best chance of catching a big break.

Family of 5 living large in a 20sqm tiny house

This family of five lives in a 20m², off-grid and smart phone-free home with a composting toilet and a shower they share with the sky.

'Losing my sight at 14 hasn't held me back'

As a teenager Minnie Baragwanath was told her disability would limit her life. But the winner of the 2013 Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award is determined to make a difference for the lives of disabled people.

chiapudding

Recipe: creamy coconut chia seed pudding

Carine Claudepierre shares a  dairy-free, egg-free breakfast option inspired by tapioca.

Thinking outside the box on Great Barrier Island

Less than 100km away from the 1.4 million people who make up Auckland is an island of the self-sufficient. Great Barrier Island resident and author Lindsay Wright checks out some of his industrious neighbours.

Kohu Road founder's career path to the sweet life

It’s been a flavourful career for Kohu Road founder Greg Hall. There’s a pinch of everything in his recipe for success – and the outcome is simply delicious.

How to make cashew cream

Cashew cream is an easy to make dairy-free alternative to whipped cream.

Living large in a 20sqm gypsy caravan

Life is a movable feast for these house-bus-living, fun-loving, free-spirited ‘gypstas’.

Recipe: Balsamic strawberry bruschetta

If you're looking for something fresh and fancy for Christmas lunch this year, give this balsamic strawberry bruschetta a go.

Entrepreneur finds success testing the waters

A Christchurch paddleboard entrepreneur is riding a steady wave of growth.

How to make lemon ice cream

Learn how to look after your citrus this summer - and look after yourself with this yummy ice cream recipe.

Carriages see new life off the rails

A South Island couple takes on two run-down old rail carriages and, in doing so, embarks on a long, exhausting – and ultimately very rewarding – journey.

Cruising in the Trinidad

For more than half a century, this classic launch has been a summer base afloat. 

15 tips for designing a great country home

Today’s needs, tomorrow’s changes and even resale appeal need to be taken into account when designing the rooms in your home.

Welcome to The Outback

In a parched and withering place, a New Zealand photographer gets instruction on how to live.

The Perry family on how to "Raglan-afy" a bach

A universal truth is the power of three. In the coastal township of Raglan, three adored baches subscribe to that hypothesis.

Small kids in a campervan - no problem

Fun and freedom on a budget? Or the family holiday from hell? Traveling some 1200 kilometres from Christchurch to Auckland in a campervan with two small children isn’t everyone’s idea of heaven. But this family survived… and then some.

Recipe: Elderflower cordial

This has to be the most divine cordial ever. I can never make enough of it. You just need a small amount in a glass topped up with water and you'll be in heaven. This is how one writer describes it.

Three hot summer fashion trends

From sexy swimsuits to silky separates, skin-baring tops to transparent jumpsuits, summer is all about show.

Blog: The great Christmas debate

Polly debates whether to boycott Christmas and celebrate the Summer Solstice instead.

Wild horses, big dreams

Louise McNutt thought climbing into a wolf den was the biggest challenge she’d face in her animal-focused career, until she chose to ride the length of New Zealand on horseback.

Cockles

Water cooler: how to cook shellfish

In the final water cooler of 2016: Anna Tait-Jamieson shares her shellfish secrets, Cheree has her eye on the prize and Kate is all tied up in knots.

Actress finds her happily ever after in Rakaia Gorge

A storybook house in the towering mountains offers an adorable princess, talking animals, a modest prince and a very funny mummy. She's a comedy writer, he's a beekeeper- meet the Dunbars.

Incredibly practical Christmas gift ideas

Running out of present ideas for the practical person in your life? NZ Lifestyle Block editor Nadene Hall's gift list might provide inspiration.

Classic baking: Yoyo recipe

These Yoyos are guaranteed to melt-in-the-mouth. This classic sweet treat is quick to make and will no doubt be an absolute crowd pleaser.

Water Cooler: Westworld and ice cream galore

This week in the water cooler: we get very confused watching Westworld, make green pizza bases and are screaming for ice cream.

Why the Beer Baroness misses beer

She may have named her first craft beer after a famous lipstick, but brewer Ava Nakagawa is certainly not making beer just for the girls.

A life lived large: artist Deidre Copeland

Central Otago artist Deidre Copeland's paintings are immediately recognizable . Big canvases. Hyperrealism. She talks to Nathalie Brown about her career and crazy lifestyle.

How to make Green Tea Smoked Beef

The Pitches Store chef shares his award-winning recipe for Green Tea Smoked Silver Fern Farms Reserve Beef with Beetroot Mustard.

5 common plants causing your hayfever

Spring might be over, but there is plenty of pollen still in the air. Listed below are a few of the potential culprits, and it's probably not what you might think.

Architect couple's two different approaches to design

He’s interested in how everything is interconnected; she in the personal story of her clients. This pair of Sydney-based Kiwi architects continue to make their mark on both civic and private jobs

Horse trekking through the Coromandel

There may be a few hills to climb and you could well be subjected to a little karaoke, but this trek through some of New Zealand’s best scenery does good in more than one sense.

Life on the run with Liz Stringer

For a woman who really loves black and white, Wellington businesswoman Liz Stringer lives a most colourful life, split between town and country.

When Helly met Sally: love through the lens

Sally Maguire’s dog knew a thing or two when it introduced its owner to the love of her life, Helmut Hirler. They walk us through their beautiful home and art gallery, 'Artmosphere' .

The quick and slow of Christmas cakes

There is always an easy way and a hard way to do something, and Christmas cake is no different.

From Antarctica to Port Chalmers: David Elliot's well-drawn career

David Elliot loves nothing more than a good story. As luck (and hard work) would have it, his country-spanning, award-winning, character-rich career has bestowed him with plenty of content.

Highlights from the NZ Life & Leisure spring luncheon

The NZ Life & Leisure spring luncheon was huge success, raising $6500 for Ranui House.

Harvesting a culinary profit

Starting a backyard herbal enterprise can be a viable means of earning extra cash. Donna Lee of Cottage Hill Herbs spills her secrets to success.

Top female go-karter inspiring new generation

Top go-karter Tiff Chittenden is teaching a new generation of speedsters how to tackle the track.

Podcast: Off-Topic Book Club

This month the Off-Topic Book Club do a podcast about a case made famous by a podcast when they review Adnan's Story by Rabia Chaudry.

The ultimate wedding gift

Sheryl welcomed her husband Tony into their marriage by giving him the key to her  fabulous 56-year-old fin-tailed Ford.

Garden work for November

As the weather starts to warm up, it is prime time to start sprouting flowers, fruit, vegetables, and herbs in your home garden.

Bringing super yacht technology down to size

Jason & Tristin Dickey talk us through how they brought superyacht technology down to size in a range of luxuriously fitted aluminium boats.

Leading the way in eco tourism

Featuring New Zealand's largest earthbag buildings, tipis, a permaculture garden and solar energy, Raglan's Solscape eco-camp is leading the way in sustainable tourism.

5 ways to make stock handling safer

Livestock being moved around a property can become unsettled, and that can be dangerous. Here's five ways you can keep things under control.

Personalised perfume business winning fans

A burgeoning, and bespoke, perfume business strays no further than nature’s garden for ingredients

It's all good craic in Belfast

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but what do Game of Thrones, a jigging Irishman and Bill Clinton have in common? Belfast

Water Cooler: Goats, glass and salmoriglio

This week in the water cooler: we sing the praises of stained glass, wax lyrical about goats and make delicious yet unpronounceable sauces.

A guide to growing hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are still a niche product in New Zealand but they have the potential to be the country’s main nut crop.

Inside Lynda Hallinan's "posh barn"

Hurricane Hallinan, aka the country’s liveliest gardener Lynda Hallinan, shows us her spring makeover in time for another charity fundraiser.

Water Cooler: Breathless theatre and treasured faces

Thieving sparrows,  heartless geese, breathless theatre and treasured faces: things that we were talking about in the thisNZlife office this week

Goose

A beginner's guide to geese

When you’re considering security options for your farm, you’re probably considering the obvious: alarm system, gate alarm, dog, automatic lights, security cameras, but have you considered the humble goose?

A guide to NZ's backyard birds

How to identify birds and encourage birdlife in your backyard.

4 things you need to know about the new farming rules

Regional councils around NZ are introducing new rules around farming, and you need to know how they may affect what and how you do things on your block.

Polly Greeks

Blog: You can't get good help these days

As the mudbrick  house construction progresses, Polly finds some workers are more help than others.

The high country station selling merino to NATO

Meet the Williamsons: global merino suppliers raising a tribe of small boys and creating real socks appeal in Omarama.

New Zealand sake scoops international award

New Zealand-made Zenkuro sake is ranked among the world's best.

The most ambitious (and delicious) Lemon Meringue Pie

Looking for something special to bake? Why not try Simon Wright's Lemon Meringue Pie.

6 flowers for the cottage garden

If you want to emulate the soft, frothy hues of a cottage garden, these six flowers are a good start.

Dr Libby on nutritional deficiencies

In a two-part series, Dr Libby fronts up to a question about nutritional deficiencies.

A guide to wheat-free pizza bases

Try these gluten-free alternatives to a standard wheat-based pizza crust.

An award-winning toy business run from home

The kids play in the bush and fish in the stream. The adults work from home creating toys that win awards.

How a coffee addiction led to a tea business

Wellington tea maker’s three herbal blends are led by gut instinct, ensuring what’s tasty also nurtures body and mind.

Blog: The big packing debate

There are two types of suitcase packers in this world, writes Polly Greeks, the  Johnny-Go-Lightlies and the Just-In-Case packers.

How to reduce food waste

More than half the food thrown out by Kiwi households could be eaten.

From soap star to designer

Designer Katrina Hobbs is an expert at reinvention. From travel-show host to soap star, business presenter and now business owner, she takes a role and runs with it.

Small town fashion success

Jenny Drury is finding success with fashion label Ketz-ke by focussing on wholesale and supporting New Zealand retailers.

How a 100kg bag of cacao beans changed lives in two countries

A Havelock North's desire to support  Pacific Island farmers has led to sweet business success.

Innovation driving success at watercress farm

A gravity driven watering system is just one of the innovations in use at an organic watercress farm in Raglan.

What drives a person to run 100km?

Cheree Morrison takes a walk in the well-worn running shoes of Fiona Hayvice, one of the world’s top ultra-marathon athletes.

Blog: near noodle starvation

A new wwoof-er demonstrates his unfamiliarity with wholefoods and a spiral staircase sends the family’s spirits to heaven.

banana bread waffles

Recipe: Banana bread waffles

For organic month, Kiwi firm, All Good Organics shares with us a recipe for delicious banana bread waffles and whipped coconut cream

2 natives that you don’t want to mess with

You may think of all natives as friendly plants, but two common ones have a deadly secret.

wood burner stove

A beginner’s guide to wood burning stoves

Fans of the wood-burning stove explain why they find an old-fashioned form of cooking far more satisfying than modern gadgetry.

Turning heads at 78

Dunedin style icon Barbara Brinsley says she isn't afraid to stand out in a crowd.

Podcast: The Off-Topic Book Club

The Off-Topic book Club raves about The Light Between Oceans, by M L Stedman.

Finding work/life balance

A personal quest for work/life balance is at the core of a new restaurant and wellness centre run by a top chef and his yogi wife.

Chasing Great is in cinemas from September 1.

What makes a leader?

What does it take to captain a rugby team through to win two successive World Cups? A new documentary tries to capture the man behind the hype

Shark attacks, cannibals and Antarctica

Dr Sea Rottman will soon depart on an all-female expedition to Antarctica - just one of many adventures in her life.

spring lamb

Wee little lambs and strange fruit

This week in the thisNZlife office: We're feeling inspired by a wee spring lamb, try some strange fruit and find hares in the garden.

Recipe: 5 Seed Sourdough

This delicious wheat free bread takes a little planning but is easy to make.

It's not easy being a green beekeeper

It's not easy being an organic beekeeper when bees can forage as far as 5km for their food.

Dr Libby's health advice

In the first of a new series, Dr Libby tackles a problem head on.

Blog: Big windfall and the big smoke

The big city beckons for a Kaitaia local, but sometimes the hitting the jackpot comes with a price.

Her patented pint-sized plant has fans around the world

Elsie Hall's patented plant creations are the celebrities of the lavender world

Business bubbling along in the Catlins

A bubbly soapmaker has turned her favourite hobby into a cottage industry on her Otago small block.

Creating a home in France

Former Auckland art dealer Anna Bibby ignored the voices that told her she was bonkers and upped and moved to small-town France for a life tres tranquille

Why messy orchards are best

The last thing you need is for your orchard to look neat and tidy, at least not ground level anyway.

How to have hatching success

Part of the fun of owning a small flock is hatching eggs, whether by natural means or with a little mechanical intervention.

A twist of citrus

A delivery business with a twist boosts returns for a Gisborne orchard.

Take a leek & make a cake

Leeks are a vegetable that Kristina loves and hates, and then she gets baking.

World-class climber reaches new heights

Height is no limit for Dale Thomas. New Zealand's champion tree climber is just as comfortable at the tops of giant trees as he is with two feet on the ground.

10 things to know about growing walnuts

The fabulous walnut is a tasty treat for the home orchard owner, or a potential future crop with New Zealand’s climate meaning we can produce high quality nuts.

The Artisan Paper Pusher

David Stedman is doing his artisan bit to keep our digitally drenched society in love with paper.

Finding Love in the Outback

In a parched and withering place, a New Zealand photographer gets instructions on how to live.

Planting seed potatoes.

What to sow in the garden right now

The wind-up to spring planting is starting, and one big decision is going to have year-long repercussions.

Watercooler: going crackers, wayward fruit & kids apps

This week in the water cooler, we savour the new season grapefruit, say hello to Talking Tom and make the best crackers EVER

10 natives that like wet feet

If you have a wet or swampy area, fence it off, plant something that thrives on wet soils, and turn it into a thing of beauty.

Ken Johnston of Stevens Outdoor Power Equipment.

Things to consider when buying a ride-on mower

If you’re tired of pushing yourself to do the lawns get our tips on how to buy possibly the biggest investment in a single product you’ll make when you live on a lifestyle block.

 

Markantonia

Finding flower power

To cement their partnership, Antonia de Vere and Mark Seeney got married. Now they combine their talents in one very creative business, Markantonia

Screen Sirens podcast: UnREAL

The Screen Sirens discuss why you should binge-watch the Lightbox drama UnREAL.

5 things to know if you had a drought at your place last summer

The after-effects of a dry summer will still be with you this spring.

Thinking inside the box

This shipping container uses every square inch to nurture the future of country kids, and the adults too.

magenta cycleway

Walking the magenta path

Sue Moody explores Auckland's magenta cycle way - by foot.

Movies that made us cry... and yet more dogs

Farm trips for the kids, a movie that made our heart sing and yet more dogs... things that got us talking in the thisNZlife office this week.

Two weddings and a Land Rover

Romance has fulled the revival of a family's much-loved 60-year-old Land Rover.

St Michael's Mount, Marazion.

Great-uncle Stephen was a pirate from Penzance

Searching for forebears takes an exciting turn for two NZ Life & Leisure writers.

A colourful life

There’s an element of Wonderland in interior designer Anya Brighouse’s home but this creative force is anything but out of control

A baby robin. Photo: Dreamstime.

What to do if you find an injured bird

Sometimes you may need to help an injured bird, and sometimes its best to leave it alone.

Boosting the Maori land economy

Taranaki-born Jamie Tuuta is enhancing the potential of Maori land and assets in his role as the Maori Trustee

Lambing 101

Are your ewes due to lamb? Are you ready? Here are some things to consider.

Architect's dream home built from coolstore panels

An architect designed his dream house on the shores of the Kaipara using coolstore panels.

The Food Show

Netflix and Food Show survival tactics

This week in the water cooler: we make new discoveries on Netflix, search for the perfect umbrella tree and plan survival strategies for The Food Show

Mulching over winter

Mulching is an easy way to protect your soil until you’re ready to use it in spring.

Miranda Spary, hard at work reviewing The Reader on the 6.27.

Our reviewer found this book life-changing

Book reviewer Miranda Spary sees the world differently after reading The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent.

Masanobu Fukuoka

What gardeners can learn from this man

The late Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka created a revolutionary way of farming that has no plowing, no fertiliser, no weeding and no pesticides.

Norfolk Island

Self-sufficiency on Norfolk Island

When you live on a little island in the middle of a big ocean, you have to make your block of land pay its own way in the most self-sufficient manner possible.

Wood entrepreneur finds eco niche

Daniel Gudsell turns a customer complaint into a thriving, environmentally friendly wood business.

Jing Song

How this woman is changing NZ wine

A wine producer is allowing her creative spirit to pop while exploring the Chinese heritage of Central Otago.

4 amazing museums to visit in Ireland & the UK

Caught out by the weather while visiting the UK or Ireland? Here are four great museums to visit on a rainy day.

mouse hole

Is there a mouse in your house?

Pests are tricky, secretive creatures and it can be difficult to know if you have a small problem, or a really big one.

Coop of the month

Goats and chooks live in harmony in this funky recycled coop in Portland, Oregon.

planting a tree

Bare, naked tree planting tips

Winter is a great time to plant your future fruiting trees, but do you know how to do it so you give a tree the optimal start?

local horse

Blog: A bathroom at last

The demise of a local coincides with the near-death of the family’s bathroom plumbing.

chocolate stout cake

Recipe: chocolate stout cake

Kristina  Jenson brews up some great beer-based recipes, including a fabulously decadent chocolate cake.

goat

What to do if a goat eats something toxic

Most goats have a tendency to nibble first, check the toxicity of a plant later kind of strategy to life, and that can be deadly.

Belgravia app vs book

Will an app ever beat a book?

From the creator of Downton Abbey, the Belgravia serves up old-fashioned Dickensian serialised storytelling on a new digital app. But is the medium successful? Kate Coughlan weighs in.

tamarillo in bowl

Tips for getting 20kg of tamarillos per tree

They’re fussy, but tamarillos are a tangy treat, and prolific if you know the secrets to high production.

Hukerenui School

How a school is making a profit from the land

The enterprising students of Hukerenui School are making a profit from growing maize, lavender and keeping bees.

How hard can it be, to plant a stick?

Two great options for fodder, shelter, shade and firewood can be as simple as a stick in the ground

Noeline Young

This inspiring 80- year-old will make your day

Noeline Young is a trail-blazer who adores aviation.

Okewa raincoats

Why this couple are singing in the rain

The rain fell down and a solution popped up – a young Wellington couple has designed a collection of classy raincoats that are making a splash.

neil mclachlan

A life saving houses

Despite growing up on the cutting edge of the minimal Modernist movement, this interior and architectural designer’s heart is in the past.

A milk bottle chandelier at The Milk Station in Otaki.

Derelict milk station transformed

A 1926 Grade II Historic Place-listed concrete milk station is seeing a new life as a spectacular Otaki wedding venue.

parsnip

Three amazing parsnip recipes

Don't overlook this gourmet low calorie vegetable. Jenny Somervell shares three tasty parsnip recipes.

Chasing Great is in cinemas from September 1.

Trailer for Richie McCaw doco

What makes some people great? The documentary Chasing Great, featuring one of our best All Black captains ever, promises some answers.

Apollo Taito.

Career Path: The vegan soldier

Apollo Taito is a manager in the mental-health sector, part-time soldier, PhD student,  vegan and animal-rights campaigner.

Cheree Morrison races a Subaru WRX

We try... racing a WRX

Cheree Morrison puts pedal to the metal on the Highlands Motorsport Park course in Cromwell.

Shoemaker Louise Clifton

Dunedin shoe school kicks off

She made her first pair of shoes out of some car mat, now Dunedin’s Louise Clifton has opened her own shoe school.

gumboots and mud

Don't get stuck in the mud

No-one likes mud, and it's something you need to manage carefully or the damage to soil can be devastating.

Trend spotting: the future of skincare

From weird face masks to smart skin patches, there are plenty of beauty trends to help you face the future.

Using herbs to aid stress

When she began she thought $100 was a good day's takings, now Brownwyn Lowe is helping hundreds of people cure the symptoms of stress.

Turn this banana peel into cake

Turn this peel into a cake

Don't throw away your banana peels, they are the secret ingredient in this cake.

the best way to cut into a pumpkin

Water Cooler: How to cut into a pumpkin

Busy bees, balls of bliss and a country bumpkin and her pumpkins - things that got us talking this week.

Blog: Online shopping fails

Why all-terrain roller skates are no match for a goat track in the Far North.

Recipe: deconstructed cheesecake

This edible flower cheesecake tastes as good as it looks.

Auckland edible flower business blooming

A South Auckland grower shares the secrets of her edible garden.

CUP OF TEA

The perfect cup of tea

New Zealand has a good climate for growing tea. Here's our guide to making the perfect cuppa from garden to table.

Swedish Vallhund

Is this the ultimate Kiwi dog?

This 30cm dog might be the ultimate Kiwi canine.

Winter is the time to start thinking about planning your garden

5 tips for a prettier vegetable garden

Now is a great time to create something pretty and functional for this spring.

Top tips for buying your first poultry flock

Avoid ruffling feathers when buying your first flock with our simple guide.

rhubarb and rosehip jam

Rhubarb and rosehip jam

Gather rosehips and rhubarb to make this yummy winter jam.

Olveston gardens

3 green-fingered generations

A chance vacancy at Olveston Homestead has enabled three generations of the Goldsmith family to polish up a bit of Kiwi history

rabbit in mobile hutch to eat weeds

5 organic ways to weed

You can get rid of weeds using everything from a rabbit to a steam gun (but not together).

concept chicken coop

Coop of the month: Hönshus-1

There's no reason your hens shouldn't live in style. Introducing our coop of the month, the Hönshus-1.

Passionfruit macadamia truffles.

Macadamia passionfruit truffles

Make these truffles even when passionfruit is out of season.

Gluten-free spiced apple cake.

Gluten-free spiced apple cake

Pantry adventurer Duncan White shares this gluten-free alternative to this afternoon tea classic.

beetroot red velvet cake

3 easy beetroot recipes

Easy to grow and delicious, beetroot are a versatile vegetable in the kitchen.

How a personalised number plate led to rockabilly love

Hey Daddy-O! Meet the Nixon-Sparkes - the coolest bunch of crazy cats to ever shake rattle 'n' roll.

Great firewood trees (and what you might want to avoid)

Here’s what will keep you warm and cozy when you fire up your wood burner this winter.

Are ducks the new chickens?

If you like the benefits of keeping chickens, you’re going to love having ducks.

Blog: Off-the-grid and online

In the first of her fortnightly blogs,  NZ Life & Leisure columnist Polly Greeks shares an update of life in her mudbrick off-the-grid home in the Far North.

Recipe: Thai fish pie

An Asian spin on a winter Kiwi classic from Japanese-born cooking tutor Sachie Noumura.

Does a cup of tea taste better with Jersey cow milk?

A Waikato farming family takes the cow by the teats and markets its own jersey milk.

My wayward wheels: from mountains to the sea

Riding 300 kilometres on the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail can be hard work  but it’s worth every turn of the wheel.

Mt Titiroa

A walk on the wild side in Southland

On foot through northern Southland’s high country and on board a helicopter to the roof of the world – a weekend in Southland is an awfully big adventure.

peony growers New Zealand

Peony flower power: the secret beneath the soil

The peony is one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, but it’s what it grows beneath the soil that has turned into a unique business for one Nelson couple.

Onehunga Foreshore.

My wayward feet: walking the Onehunga Foreshore

Aucklanders have a brand new $28 million foreshore on the Manukau Harbour at Onehunga, Sue Moody goes exploring.

Kurow lavender farm’s sweet smell of success

A picture-perfect lavender farm, is just one of a bunch of businesses nourished by a Kurow dairy farm.

The king of Kombi vans

A series of chance encounters with volkswagens has steered an Auckland family to a love of vintage campers.

Good Bitches Baking

Saving the world through cake

What started as an idea to spread some sweetness throughout Wellington has blossomed into a national charity movement.

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