NZ Lifestyle Block
How to grow sunflowers
Sunflowers are not only pretty, but they are extremely useful - particularly if you own chickens.
Is there a secret income growing in your garden?
If you love to grow flowers and foliage, there may be some profit waiting for you.
The veggie that helps break the sugar habit
Kristina is trying to break her addiction to sugar and she's found there's a veggie on her side.
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).
8 spring pasture tips
If there’s no good spring flush, then find out why - there are always plenty of reasons.
8 tips for growing and harvesting rocket
Rocket can be grown year-round, although the cooler temperatures in spring and autumn produce the best crops.
10 things you may not know about building a log home
You might think hunting lodge, you might think it’s too much wood for one home, but the modern log house is a strong statement in clean, green, renewable, hand-crafted building work.
The case for planting manuka
It can be expensive to plant manuka as a crop, up over $1000 per hectare so it’s not for everyone.
All about Meyer lemons PLUS lemon ice cream
Learn how to look after your citrus - and treat yourself with this yummy ice cream recipe.
How to make lemon balm tea
Lemon balm is easy to grow and requires little maintenance, apart from keeping it constrained. Its relaxing properties make the tea useful as an evening drink to promote sleep, and it can also be used to treat colic, nausea, poor digestion, nervous headaches and to help prevent colds and flu.
How to preserve lemons
Preserving lemons requires lots of lemon juice so do it when you have a surplus of lemons on your tree, or they are in season and on special at your local shops.
6 ways lifestyle blocks pollute water ways - and how you can change
It is a matter of the tragedy of the commons that we as small land-holders are individually powerless to make any difference in the declining state of the water quality of our local streams, rivers and lakes.
9 tips for starting a local food co-op
For more than 25 years, the locals of a small rural Southland community have co-operated to provide themselves with mostly locally-grown, organic food. They encourage others to try it, and to learn from their years of experience.
Recipe: Red onion marmalade
Take your cheese board to the next level with this onion marmalade recipe.
Marek's disease, what you should know
Just the mention of Marek’s disease arouses dread in many poultry keepers, but there is a lot of misinformation around which only serves to enhance those fears.
'Lessons we learned building a cob house'
Buying a bush block, building a cob house, and starting a natural soap business takes huge amounts of energy, enthusiasm and commitment, but this family are thriving on the challenge of being as clean and green as possible in everything they do.
6 tips for composting in winter
As temperatures tumble, the process of composting slows down, but it doesn’t stop altogether.
Composting loos: the final frontier
Composting toilets are a sustainable waste disposal for the 21st Century. Home owners share their experiences with the next generation of fuss-free, low-odour, environmentally-friendly waste systems.
10 gum trees that also make good firewood
Gum as a tree divides a lot of people. One reason is different varieties do better in different parts of the country
Recipe: Gluten-free, dairy-free saffron almond cake
This cake is gluten and dairy-free - and delicious. It’s a beautiful saffron-gold colour, and has a delicious orange flavour and moist texture, plus it’s easy to make.
5 amazing food forest gardens
A food forest can take up half a lifestyle block or be as small as an urban backyard and can create a resilient, self-sufficient garden that will feed you and your family all year-round.
Things to plant in the veggie garden this July
Things may go a little dull in winter, but there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy leafy greens.
Why the first feed makes all the difference
The health and performance of your adult cattle throughout their lives all comes down to the very first feed they receive in the hours after their birth.
A beginner's guide to fermenting veggies
From kombucha to kimchi, sauerkraut to sourdough, kefir to kashk, the fermentation bug is catching because it’s tasty, easy and good for you.
Cathy Dickison's thriving Erb business
The last thing Cathy Dickison thought she would be doing is turning her gardening skills into a dried herb business.
Horse trekking off the beaten track
Baerbel and Thomas Hack were so determined to set up a dream seaside location for horse lovers, they built a road.
How to grow your own bath scrub
There aren’t many mouth-watering veges that can also be a bath sponge and a dishcloth.
The hunt for the real llamas of NZ
This llama farmer is so dedicated to her quest to find and save the real llamas of New Zealand, she is making a life-changing move to a new home on a new island.
Which apple varieties are best to plant?
Apples were among the first plants that people planted on purpose.
The 6 plants every chocoholic needs in their garden
If you like chocolate, you’re going to love chocolate flowers. Not the edible type, but real, chocolate-scented blooms.
Meet the stars of Pecking Order
The 2017 National Poultry Show is a celebration of NZ’s oldest poultry club, and its members are all stars of a chick flick with a difference.
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.
How this rare pig 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to build a Norwegian Round Stack
Norwegian rounds are a space-saving wood stacking technique that will keep your wood dry
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?
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
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.
How to sanitise water
If water is contaminated after a disaster, there are several ways to purify it.
How to look after animals in an emergency
How to keep animals calm after a disaster and how to plan for animal evacuation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
We try NZ's top artisan cheese
Nadene Hall samples New Zealand's top artisan cheese and comes away smiling.
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.
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.
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.
Two fab fig recipes
Kristina Jensen shares two fab fig recipes and the secrets for ensuring they always taste delicious.
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.
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?
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.
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.
3 modern food forests
We take a guided tour through three very different food forests at different stages in their lifecycle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
12 ways to prevent FE using your pasture
Get a handle on Facial Eczema this season by following these 12 tips.
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.
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.
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.
Zesty scallop and microgreen salad
These zesty summer flavours are the perfect partner for microgreens.
An ode to nikau palms
Out her kitchen window, Barb Davies watches a battle for life as her nikau palm trees brave the weather.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 easy-to-grow cherry tomato varieties
Cherry tomatoes are a good option for smaller gardens. Get planting now to have fruit ready for summer.
A guide to wheat-free pizza bases
Try these gluten-free alternatives to a standard wheat-based pizza crust.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
How to talk turkey
Turkeys are beautiful birds, work hard to keep your farm pest-free and make a great roast.
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.
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.
Take a leek & make a cake
Leeks are a vegetable that Kristina loves and hates, and then she gets baking.
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.
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.
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.
Thinking inside the box
This shipping container uses every square inch to nurture the future of country kids, and the adults too.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
How to spin wool and weave
Looking for a new hobby? Weaving and spinning your own wool is an easy and really addictive.
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.
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.
Grow a giant pumpkin
If you've ever wondered how people win pumpkin-growing competitions, get ready for some seriously strange gardening.
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?
Recipe: chocolate stout cake
Kristina Jenson brews up some great beer-based recipes, including a fabulously decadent chocolate cake.
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.
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
3 winter grazing secrets
Grazing stock on a small farm in winter, can be a challenge but good pasture management can get you through.
What to do in the garden in July
Prune your berry bushes, prepare for early spring veggies and harvest chervil amd miner's lettuce.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Top tips for buying your first poultry flock
Avoid ruffling feathers when buying your first flock with our simple guide.
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.
Build an efficient fire
How to make sure your firewood is working at its best and tips for staying warmer than ever this winter.
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.
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.
Caring for sheep during the colder months
The unseasonably hot summer means farmers should keep a close eye on ewes this winter.
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.
How to cook with a tagine
The accidental inheritance of a tagine has meant more food experiments for Jenny Somervell and Chef Ken.
A beginner’s guide to chainsaw safety
This is one tool that deserves your full respect and a good training regime.
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.
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.
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