All I wanted was a dog

14 years 16 hours ago #21045 by OakhengeFarm
and I ended up with 11 acres!

Several years ago, we were happily living in the suburbs, with a reasonable vege patch and a few fruit trees. BUT the section wasn't (and couldn't be) fenced, and I wanted a dog. So we discussed moving to a bigger section so I could have a large dog running around.

The more we looked, the bigger our plans became, and after a few false starts and a nightmare build, we now live on an 11 acre property high on the ring plain of Mt Egmont, where annual rainfall is measured in metres, and wind under about 30 knots doesn't count! Vince, my husband, designs and builds environmental monitoring systems, so I will soon have a full met station here.

We now have 8 sheep - a ram, 3 ewes, and 4 lambs, one of which is bottle fed and thinks she belongs in the house. Our first beehive was delivered yesterday, and we are looking at getting a few beefies, but I still don't have a dog. I have several vege and herb gardens in, and an orchard and berry patch are just establishing. I intend to go organic, once I've got the gorse and blackberry under control.

The property has 3 streams running through 4 acres of native bush, which we have protected in a QEII covenant. We have nearly finished planting around 2000 trees, mostly in the covenant area.

Our initial plan was to build a "quick little kitset cottage" to live in while we build our new home, but everything went so badly that we are still in the little house, and the big one is many years away yet. Life has taken some strange turns, and my husband and I now both work from home, as does our 18 yr old son who has just left school. All in an open plan 90 sq m house!

Ultimately, when we are living in the Big House, this little place will become an Environment Learning Centre, so things have been designed with that in mind. We have solar heating, and will be going off-grid with power as soon as we can. I intend to make the place as self sufficient as possible, and will be selling berries, produce and herbs to local restaurants.

I'm still learning about this new life (I was an accountant in a previous life), and after a rather nasty stress episode a few months ago, I am trying hard to become a full time farmer. I have done courses in Organic Horticulture, Practical Horticulture, Farm Safety, beekeeping and agrichemical handling, so maybe I'm still trying too hard. Most of the best advice comes from this website anyway!!

If anyone is interested in following our progress, our website is . I try to keep it updated on our "Little Piece of the Planet"

Sue MS,

Oakhenge Farm.

11 acres (4 in QEII Covenanted native bush), 15 sheep, 2 beefies, large vege gardens and a goat, and still no dog!:(

Oh, and uncountable wild birds - including fantails, swallows, yellowhammers, morepork, magpies, hawks, pukekos, and even quaill, pheasants and rainbow lorikeets [:D][:D] Not to mention possums, hares, rabbits, rats...

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