NZ Lifestyle Block

Snake beans, bitter melons and curry leaf - grown in Whanganui

Whanganui based green house gardener Shane McCulloch has created a niche market for the hugely popular unusual Asian vegetable market.

Why Japanese quails might be the bird for your block

Lifestyle block owners and city dwellers can breed a healthy profit by introducing Japanese Quail as an option for quick profit 'turn around', by becoming a supplier of fancy eggs.

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.

The 10 most cost-effective edibles to grow

Food is the biggest household expense after accommodation, and the cost of it seems to be skyrocketing year after year, so what are the most high value things you can grow to save money?

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.

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.

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.

Home-made fragrance from your garden

Bottle that scent by way of distillation, tincture or enfleurage  and you could find yourself in the perfume business.

Andean superfood quinoa grown in Taihape

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

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.

8 tips to having a great WWOOF experience

WWOOF host Diana Noonan offers some vital tips on how to attract and manage reliable, happy willing workers in a digital age.

Confessions of an alpaca farmer

David and Heather Bridson love their alpaca, but there are good reasons why they're not David's favourite animal to farm.

alpaca baby cria

Meet Rosebud the premature baby alpaca (cria)

May 6 is National Alpaca Day, prepare for a cuteness overload when meeting Rosebud the premature cria, and learn 7 things about alpaca.

4 plants in the NZ bush you could eat (if you had to)

Gathering water is a top priority if trapped in the New Zealand bush, but dining on native edible plants can provide additional  energy and sustenance to survive.

The best way to clean your coop

Everything you need to know to thoroughly clean your coop and chicken run to help keep it smelling sweet and healthy.

How to build a Norwegian Round Stack

Norwegian rounds are a space-saving wood stacking technique that will keep your wood dry

The secrets to stacking wood like a Norwegian

During the week Jason Price is a management consultant and efficiency expert. At the weekend he becomes a chainsaw-wielding, firewood-stacking ninja who also likes efficiency.

How to be a better all-natural farmer

There is a whole new world of natural products you can use to increase the fertility of your farm, but how do you know which one is the best one?

Plantain is a pasturing game changer

The new popular, affordable alternative to pasture for fattening lambs and improving the condition of livestock.

Building a human nest

Creating your own human nest? Landscape architect Sara Gerard has some tips on how to survive the renovation process, plus some tree house inspiration

2 secrets to getting your fruit trees through a frost

Two proven methods for helping frost-tender trees get through a big drop in temperature.

5 tips for fighting rabbits

A family of 10-15 rabbits is the equivalent of an adult sheep grazing - here's five ways to to keep them under control.

Architect Graeme North on the benefits of natural homes

Renowned architect Graeme North  discusses the benefits of natural homes with Nadene Hall.

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.

How a grandpa's invention grew into a multi-national business

When Bill ‘Grandpa’ Kirkham came up with a good idea for a chicken feeder, he had no idea it would turn into a family-run multi-national business.

How to get an official 'natural' product

Launching a natural product comes with unique compliance and marketing challenges. The women behind Dove River Peonies share their tips for starting a natural product business in New Zealand.

Make your own old-fashioned apple jelly

Getting wobbly at the knees about apple jelly.

How to make the most of your autumn garden

The softer light of autumn is shining. It’s the best time of year for making sure your garden is looking the best it can. Here are some of Jane Bellerby's tips for achieving the best autumn garden.

3 ways to keep your vet bills low

When you have four cats, two dogs, a horse and 13 goats, vet bills are inevitable, but there is a way to save a lot of money.

Autumn cattle care tips

Cattle on small blocks need a lot of feed going into autumn and winter. Here are some tips to keep them happy and healthy in the cooler months.

How to make your hens like you

Some hens aren’t fussed on humans, while others think they rule the roost and don’t understand why they can’t live with you in the house. Research by a NZ-based animal behaviour expert is now available to show farmers how to make a hen’s life happier.

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.

How to make herb vinegars

These vinegars look fantastic, taste great, and are very easy to make.

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?

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.

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.

What it takes to kill a rat

Rats are incredibly smart, and it can be difficult to reduce their numbers if they’ve learnt to avoid bait and traps. But science has discovered the one thing a rat can’t resist, and Sheryn Clothier has successfully put it to the test.

How to care for your pasture this autumn

It's time to make some tough decisions to make sure you make it through autumn. Here are some tips to ensure your pastures stay in prime condition.

5 bright and beautiful vegetables to plant now

If you love a plate full of colour, why not try planting some of the more bright winter vegetables?

The ultimate self-sufficiency nut

If you love flour and want to be self-sufficient, go nuts.

We try NZ's top artisan cheese

Nadene Hall samples New Zealand's top artisan cheese and comes away smiling.

hen

Illegal poultry dumping: why setting a chicken free isn't kind

Everyone has seen poultry dumped on roadsides and around parks , but it's a cruel practice that those who love poultry are trying to stop.

Start thinking about strawberries for next summer (no, really)

The sweet juicy strawberries of summer might be a faint memory now but you need to start planning now for next year’s bounty.

How to make apple cider vinegar

There's no need for any part of an apple to go to waste.

5 tips to designing the best shelter for your orchard

Sheltering your orchard is critical but that doesn't mean they can't be creative.

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.

How to make fruit leather

The ultimate guide to the do's and don'ts of fruit leather.

4 beautiful NZ barn houses

Converting a barn into a home can create a distinctive living space, but it involves a unique set of building challenges.

How to care for sheep this autumn

It’s the start of a new sheep year and the breeding season, so start with tidying up the ewe flock before the rams go out.

The basics to a happy hen

What the Animal Welfare codes say you need to do to give your hen the best environment to keep her happy, healthy and productive.

Two fab fig recipes

Kristina Jensen shares two fab fig recipes and the secrets for ensuring they always taste delicious.

'Why I eat with the seasons'

When Loveday Why discovered she had chronic fatigue syndrome, she found the answer to good health was in her garden.

How to choose the right fruit species

You probably shouldn't try growing mangoes if you live in the South Island but don't give up on dreams of citrus, tamarilloes and nashi pears.

The colourful history of carrots

The carrot might seem like one of those boring but reliable veges, but they have a colourful past and a much brighter future in terms of health and organic growing.

urban block

This self-sufficient urban garden will inspire you

Meg and John Christie are living their self-sufficient dream on a half acre block, but they haven’t had to leave the city to do it.

This is why your eggs aren't perfect

At the first sign of an unusual egg – one without a shell, or those with ridges, pimples or strange markings – the popular advice seems to come from everywhere, but most of it is wrong, and worse, could cause more problems. This is why you need to understand the role of calcium.

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?

5 medical uses of plants in a survival situation

Many of our current pharmaceutical products stem from the beneficial properties first identified in wild plants.

How to host a country wedding

If you’re a romantic at heart, turning your land into a wedding venue might be an opportunity to earn some extra cash.

10 inventive NZers share their DIY coop designs

From a water-powered hen gate to a repurposed trampoline - ten inventive New Zealand chicken lovers share their best DIY  coop designs.

orchard

Where size really doesn't matter

Ben Gaia visits two small sections that are big on production.

10 great ideas from a top New Zealand barn

A small obsession with old barns played a big part in the design of this award-winning home. Follow Tane's tips to get the look.

7 weeds you didn't know were good for you

We're quick to see their faults, but these seven weeds deserve a place at the table.

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.

When is a peach a plum?

Peacherines and nectarines are peach-plum crosses, but there's some debate as to whether they are the same thing.

4 great ways to frame a country view

Getting the best windows to frame farm views is a crucial part of the design of a country home.

10 tried and tested mulches

Which mulch is your best ally in the war against weeds?

3 fantastic green bean recipe

Turn a bean overload into three fantastic summer dishes.

Dahlia

What to do in the garden in February

Deadhead flowers, and sow late summer peas and beans this month.

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 make a great beetroot juice

It's bright, bold, very red and packs a powerhouse of nutrients. Beetroot's distinguished, rich, purple-crimson colour alone should be a clue to its natural potency.

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.

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.

A beginner's guide to foraging in New Zealand

There are plenty of edible wild plant foods in the NZ countryside, if you know where to look and what to look for.

Why tagasaste is a useful tree to know about

If you are looking for the next perfect edition to your backyard, then tagasaste is the one you've been searching for.

12 summer cattle tips

Grow healthy calves and yearlings this summer by reading these helpful tips:

Bold new ideas at Mangarara Station

The Hart family might run a commercial beef and sheep station, but their goal is to create paradise on earth for their community, and they've been inspired by one of the most famous farmers in the world.

How to make the most of a cucumber glut

When you’re knee-deep in cucumbers and zucchini, it’s time to make a mouth-watering preserve that has stood the test of generations.

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.

12 ways to prevent FE using your pasture

Get a handle on Facial Eczema this season by following these 12 tips.

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.

Why you need to give kale another chance

Kale is a trendy healthy option but it can be tough and chewy if not handled with care. Jenny Somervell shares her tips on when to plant and harvest kale and how to cook it properly.

Why natural products for hens are about to take off

With more commercial farms turning free-range, there are going to be exciting, more natural, scientifically-proven ways to fight diseases for all of us.

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.

Serial inventor's wastewater system could revolutionise dairy industry

He blew up his first methane tank, built a boat in the shape of a saucer, and helped to design a super-efficient water blaster, but Coll Bell’s favourite inventions involve manure, and the more, the better.

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.

12 summer pasture tips

There’s a lot to think about when it’s a normal summer, but an abnormal one makes things even more critical. Try out these tips for surviving summer on the block.

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.

seared scallops and microgreens.

Zesty scallop and microgreen salad

These zesty summer flavours are the perfect partner for microgreens.

14 tips to a great pumpkin crop

Research is proving that the simple pumpkin is packed with beneficial nutrients. Jenny Somervell tells us just how healthy pumpkins are.

An ode to nikau palms

Out her kitchen window, Barb Davies watches a battle for life as her nikau palm trees brave the weather.

Recipe: Strawberry salad.

Don't reserve strawberries just for  pavlova - liven up your salads with a few colourful berries.

chicken coop stencil

Make your own 'Chick Inn' coop sign

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a Chick Inn Coop Sign, as seen on the cover the Summer bumper issue of NZ Lifestyle Block.

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.

How to look after your sheep this summer

Ensure your sheep are the happiest and healthiest they possible can be this summer with these helpful tips.

How to help your chooks in the itchy, scratchy season

As temperatures and humidity rise, so do the creepy crawlies in and around your hen house. Listed below are some ways to be rid pests the natural way.

Turkey

12 tips to cooking the perfect Christmas turkey

Don't end up with a dried out bird on Christmas Day.  Here's 12 tips to ensure your turkey is cooked to perfection.

Why you should give nashi pears another chance

You’ll never know the joy of a truly magical-tasting pear until you grow your own.

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.

How to create the perfect salad

A salad is the celebration of homegrown, leafy vegetables but there’s an art to mixing the perfect salad.

This root is the secret to cooking authentic Thai at home

This root is a spicy little cousin of ginger and a great addition to the garden, especially if you love Thai cooking.

Christmas books

6 books for Christmas reading

Find a sunny spot and curl up with one of our picks for great Christmas reads this season.

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.

SOY BEANS

What to do in the garden this December

This December plant annuals, de-head flowers and try growing soy beans.

How to grow tequila

The plants really want to hurt you, the harvest is carried out by digger, then chainsaw, you cook the heart out of it for three days, but the end result is worth toasting.

Super hens or old-fashioned girls?

There are the super-efficient commercial hens, or the heritage birds with colour and longevity, but how do you know which bird best suits you?

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.

3 secrets to getting the best from cabbage trees

The cabbage tree is the gift that keeps on giving, if you know its secrets.

The secret life of NZ's bats

They may be on your property right now and they come in peace.

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.

Can you grow juniper berries in NZ?

Juniper berries aren't typically found in your average kitchen, but this exotic fruit offers a flavour that jumps out at you and can add that extra punch needed to spice up a dish.

How to make almond milk

Kristina Jensen talks about the health benefits of almonds, how to make milk from almonds, and what to do with the leftover pulp.

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.

Grow wild strawberries

Alpine strawberries are quite easy to grow, and very hardy in marginal lands, like shady forests and snowy alpine hillsides.

This bad bug sounds the alarm about your water

E. coli is generally thought of as baddie in your water that makes you sick, but it’s actually doing you a favour.

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.

10 great cutting flowers for summer

If you love a beautiful vase of fresh flowers, here are 10 great options for a cutting garden.

The 10 best lettuces for a 365-day salad supply

Jenny Somervell selects the best lettuces to grow this summer (and the rest of the year).

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.

6 tips to growing mandarins (almost ) all year round

If you pick and choose your varieties carefully, you can be munching on sweet mandarins from early winter until late summer or even all year round if you plan it well, and spring is a good time to get planting.

How to achieve the perfect lawn

A carpet of soft green grass does put the finishing touch to any landscape. Here, we look at 10 common problems standing in the way of the perfect turf.

5 common mistakes made by beginner organic gardeners

Making the switch to organic gardening can take some adjustment, but follow this cheat sheet to avoid common hurdles.

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.

Which bean varieties to plant for summer

A warm summer makes bean-growing a snap.

seedling

10 tips for growing good seedling transplants

You can save yourself a lot of money growing your own plants from seed, but getting them to transplant size can be frustrating.

6 easy-to-grow cherry tomato varieties

Cherry tomatoes are a good option for smaller gardens. Get planting now to have fruit ready for summer.

10 clay-loving native trees

There’s nothing more disappointing than having an ugly gap where little will grow because of clay soil.

A guide to wheat-free pizza bases

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

repurposed chicken coop

Repurpose office furniture into a chicken coop

A West Virginian farmer has some handy ideas for creating chicken homes from an old desk.

6 organic ways to get rid of gorse

Gorse is one of New Zealand's worst weeds, and your best ally tackle it will be diligence.

A beginner's guide to becoming certified organic

Organic farms make up just a fraction of New Zealand's total farmland, but there's big potential.

sheep in a field

Livestock shots 101

If you’ve never vaccinated your livestock before and not lost any, you’ve been lucky. Vaccination is an easy, cheap and important way of keeping your livestock healthy, and alive.

Prosperity through permaculture

This enterprising couple don’t just want to create a green future for their family – they want to create a sustainable lifestyle for their whole community.

5 fencing jobs you can do yourself

Anyone can build a fence, but it's a science and an art to build a good quality fence.

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.

How do you like them heirloom apples?

An orchard of organic heritage apples, plums and pears is proving an educational experience for its owners and their community.

A guide to gravity fed water systems

If power is a problem, gravity may be your best bet for a reliable water supply.

Grow your own sweetener

To be truly self-sufficient, especially in colder climates, you may think you have to give up sugar, but that’s not the case.

Sheep hard at work at organic winery

Going organic was a pragmatic decision for the owners of Bellbird Winery.

10+ pasture picks for bees, poultry, pigs & goats

Spring is a great time for sowing new pasture, but what do you choose if your stock are a bit out of the ordinary?

Garden tasks for September

Try planting baby turnips and some bee-friendly plants this month.

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.

piglets

5 things to know before you get pigs

Pigs are smart, engaging livestock, and they taste great too, but it pays to prepared for their specialist requirements before you take delivery.

3 organic fertilisers

Two of the best additions for your soil are byproducts of everyday activities, and one of them you can make in your sleep.

How to talk turkey

Turkeys are beautiful birds, work hard to keep your farm pest-free and make a great roast.

Her patented pint-sized plant has fans around the world

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

calf and dandelion

Success in calf-rearing

It might seem an easy way to make money, but setting up a successful calf-rearing business is harder than it looks.

Business bubbling along in the Catlins

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

Fluffy black beauties

There’s a common theme running through Southland block of Margaret Cockeram.

How to post an egg

One of the most economic ways to get a new breed in your coop is to get someone to post fertile eggs.

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.

Take a leek & make a cake

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

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.

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.

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.

 

Success with bush basics

The secret to Diane Coleman’s successful tree nursery business is in the way she’s grown it.

Dog sniffing plant

40+ things that are poisonous to your dog

You need to keep your best friend safe from dangers around your home, but some of the most toxic things are sitting on your dinner plate.

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.

wheelbarrow

How to buy a wheelbarrow that will last

It used to be that when you wanted to buy a wheelbarrow, there was only one choice. Now there’s wheels for every occasion.

6 drought-resistant pasture plants

If you’re planning to renovate pasture and you're in an area that gets dry or drought conditions, consider something tougher than ryegrass.

The tick of no approval

You may think there’s a wee way to go before tick season starts but in warmers areas tick nymphs, just 2mm long, will already be creeping through the pasture and up the legs of your horses, cattle, goats and deer as early as this month.

SALAD

The 100 mile diet

In 2005, a city-living couple from Canada decided to try eating only food grown locally within a 100 mile radius of their home.

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.

How to prepare a vege patch

It’s almost time to get the vege garden ready and for that, you’ll need to make the earth move.

Lambing 101

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

Animal grave

How to dispose of a dead animal

One of the hardest things to deal with after the death of large animal is disposing of the carcass.

soil test

Give your soil the sniff test

You may think you know a good soil, but have you had a good sniff of it lately?

Grandma's recipe for success

Marie Mullins is known as the pickle lady, and the secrets to her success lie on the beautiful lifestyle block she calls home.

Garden jobs for August

Spring is just around the corner, get ready by planting tomato seedlings and aubergines.

spinning wool

How to spin wool and weave

Looking for a new hobby? Weaving and spinning your own wool is an easy and really addictive.

Mulching over winter

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

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.

Horse hay feeder

7 ways to save on feed costs

Winter feed can really blow your farm budget. Here are some ways to cut down on your feed costs during the colder months.

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.

giant pumpkin

Grow a giant pumpkin

If you've ever wondered how people win pumpkin-growing competitions, get ready for some seriously strange gardening.

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?

jersey calf

10 ways to raise better calves

Raising calves can be profitable if you keep in mind these 10 key principles.

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.

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

construction equipment

Essential safety gear for DIY enthusiasts

If you’re buying power equipment then you need to budget in the cost of safety gear.

watercress and river

Grow and harvest watercress

Our make your own Cream of Watercress Soup from this easy to grow green.

Why your livestock can't stop itching this winter

Winter can be a very itchy and scratchy time  for your livestock.

pruning tree

12 tips for good tree pruning

parsnip

Three amazing parsnip recipes

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

grazing horses

3 winter grazing secrets

Grazing stock on a small farm in winter, can be a challenge but good pasture management  can get you through.

Bo the trained pig.

Does this piglet think it's a dog?

A West Auckland pig breeder reveals it's easy to train a piglet to follow commands.

Prune back blackberry and boysenberry bushes now and reap the rewards in summer.

What to do in the garden in July

Prune your berry bushes, prepare for early spring veggies and harvest chervil amd miner's lettuce.

sheep under fence

Nineteen tips for better fencing

Doing some fencing now the ground is softer? Here’s 19 tips you might find useful.

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.

Signs of problems with your bore water. Photo: Dreamstime

Bore water problems?

Is your bore water brown? Are your glasses streaky? Sometimes bore water can have as many chemicals as town supply.

Feed your chicken flock fermented food

Kombucha. Kimchi. Kefir. Fermenting food is all the rage for humans, and now it turns out it can be of great nutritional benefit to your flock too.

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.

chainsaw safety

A beginner's guide to buying a chainsaw

Chainsaws are an essential backyard tool, but it pays to do your research before you buy and learn how to maintain them.

chocolate chilli sauce

Chilli facts for the chilly weather

What happens to your body when you eat chilli and how do you put out a chilli fire in your mouth? Jenny Somervell answers these burning questions.

ARV quad bike on a hill

How to ride an ATV on hilly ground

Riding an ATV is a learned skill and if you don’t do it properly you can easily be badly hurt.

5 tools for pruning

5 essential pruning tools

The colder months are a good opportunity to cut back the jungle in your backyard.

Water weeds Alternanthera: Photo Harry Rose

4 ways to weed your waterways

Aquatic weeds can be a major problem in lowland farming areas, but there are a few ways to tackle these pesky and persistent plants.

Water tank

How to clean your water tank

Winter is an ideal time to clean  your water tank.

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.

baguette making

How to make baguette

This simple no-knead baguette is perfect for beginners.

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.

A Hugelkultur (‘mound culture’) garden bed. Photo: WikiCommons/ Maseltov

How to build irrigation-free raised beds

Do your raised garden beds dry out? Why not create a hugelkultur garden bed instead?

rhubarb and rosehip jam

Rhubarb and rosehip jam

Gather rosehips and rhubarb to make this yummy winter jam.

mallard ducks

How to pluck a duck

Brush up on your plucking skills for duck shooting season.

Create a worm windrow.

Create a worm windrow

A worm farmer shares his secrets of making money from worms and manure.

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.

how to give a chicken a bath

How to give a chicken a bath

When it comes to preparing birds for the annual poultry show season, every one gets a wash, dry and blow wave.

building an effective fireplace

Build an efficient fire

How to make sure your firewood is working at its best and tips for staying warmer than ever this winter.

garlic in basket

Garden jobs for June

It's time to apply some love to your soil and prepare for spring.

how to build a good fence

5 tips for keeping your fences in good condition

A fence is essential on any property with livestock, but not all fences are created equal.

beetroot red velvet cake

3 easy beetroot recipes

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

Signs of a healthy hen

Our top tips for buying a healthy egg-laying hen.

4 Reasons why microgreens are our health heroes (and how to grow them)

Easy to grow and  nutritious, microgreens are a winter garden goer.

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.

caring for sheep in winter

Caring for sheep during the colder months

The unseasonably hot summer means farmers should keep a close eye on ewes this winter.

caring for cow in winter

Winter is coming – so look after your cattle

Poor grass growth this summer will mean lifestyle block owners will need to take particular care of cows this winter.

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.

8 must-try microgreens

There isn’t anything else you could grow this easily that tastes this good.

Tagines in Morocco,

How to cook with a tagine

The accidental inheritance of a tagine has meant more food experiments for Jenny Somervell and Chef Ken.

homemade soap

DIY: Make your own soap

Making your own soap is easy, affordable, doesn’t require any special equipment and is quite addictive.

chainsaw safety

A beginner’s guide to chainsaw safety

This is one tool that deserves your full respect and a good training regime.

lifestyle block

4 things to consider when buying a lifestyle block

Green grass, blue skies, peace and quiet, cows, sheep, chickens, a pony, an elegant garden or a food forest full of heritage fruit trees. But there's important questions to ask yourself before you commit to moving to a block.

Things to do in the garden in May

The weather outside is frightful, but there's plenty of delightful things to plant in the garden in May.

13 things to know about growing & eating rhubarb

Everyone knows if you eat rhubarb you need to add a little sugar, but there is another way to sweeten the deal.

Alpaca farming

Why we need to start eating Alpaca

Alpacca numbers are rising, reaching over 25,000 in the last few years, which is why this dedicated breeder believes we need to eat them.

Create a refreshing rosemary hydrosol

Learn how to make  a refreshing distillation of this aromatic herb.

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