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.
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.
Tips for your best broccoli crop
Broccoli has hit sky-high prices in supermarkets - so why not try growing your own?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Recipe: Strawberry salad.
Don't reserve strawberries just for pavlova - liven up your salads with a few colourful berries.
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 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.
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.
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.
6 books for Christmas reading
Find a sunny spot and curl up with one of our picks for great Christmas reads this season.
What to do in the garden this December
This December plant annuals, de-head flowers and try growing soy beans.
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?
3 secrets to getting the best from cabbage trees
The cabbage tree is the gift that keeps on giving, if you know its secrets.
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.
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.
Grow wild strawberries
Alpine strawberries are quite easy to grow, and very hardy in marginal lands, like shady forests and snowy alpine hillsides.
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.
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).
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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