Smallholding paradise

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8 years 7 months ago #36340 by ourouwnfarmstead
Hi everyone,
Just a quick introduction to our little lifestyle block. We are a month away from settling in our little patch of land, 9ha to be precise, in the heart of Central Otago, just by Alexandra. We have been searching for the perfect place for over 2 years now and we consider ourselves very lucky to have come by such a sweet place.
For the moment, it's all just paddocks where a couple of heifers, a little flock of sheep and goats graze along. There's an old orchard with apple trees, cherry trees, apricot trees, plums and Nashi pear. A few hazelnuts, elderflower, chestnuts, oaks, willow trees, and huge Ponderosa pine trees, amongst many more I don't know the name for yet…
The "cottage" (more like a shed now!) will need some serious renovation from flooring to roof to wiring and plumbing… So, in the meantime, we'll be living in a very unusual house, a yurt.
The plan is to make this property a smallholding that provides us with most of what we need with an organic garden, laying hens, chickens, ducks, and dairy goats. The family might grow as we go with sheep and maybe a Jersey cow (because I loooove cream, butter and cheese).
It's going to be a great little adventure for us and, if you like, you can follow it on our blog: http://www.ourown.typepad.com
I have been using the lsb forum to help me with a few things concerning small scale farming in NZ. As a french farmer (I managed a small holding in the parisian area for over 5 years), I need to adapt to the NZ way of doing things, and I will rely a lot on this communities knowledge and experiences, so, thank you so much in advance! I'm looking forward to share my lifestyle block experiences as well with everyone, if I can be of any help.
Cheers,
Laure

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8 years 7 months ago #474293 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Smallholding paradise
Hi and welcome Laure. Sounds like heaven, I envy you the fruit trees etc. I love yurts, I've seen them at the medieval camps my eldest son goes to. What fun. All I can recommend you do, is get to know your neighbours, be there for them, and join the local community. I wish you all the best.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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8 years 7 months ago #474315 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Smallholding paradise
Welcome aboard Laure. Best of luck with your endeavours.

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8 years 7 months ago #474432 by Edenview
Replied by Edenview on topic Smallholding paradise
Welcome! We are about to do the same thing, just waiting to see if our place sells at auction this weekend. Hoping to buy a small block in Galloway so may end up near you. Love the fruit trees! will be great to be near family again and have more room for all our birds, plus have no close neighbours.

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8 years 7 months ago #474492 by ourouwnfarmstead
Great Edenview! Best of luck at your auction then! We hope to see you around Alexandra when you settle! :)

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8 years 7 months ago #474575 by Blueberry
Replied by Blueberry on topic Smallholding paradise

ourouwnfarmstead;477253 wrote: There's an old orchard with apple trees, cherry trees, apricot trees, plums and Nashi pear. A few hazelnuts, elderflower, chestnuts, oaks, willow trees, and huge Ponderosa pine trees, amongst many more I don't know the name for yet…


jealous!!! :) :o :p

despite the hundreds of fruit trees we've planted over the past 12 years, I still envy everyone who manages to get their hands on a property that contains an existing orchard:o

ourownfarmstead - perhaps you could try to identify the varieties you now own, and let us know? "Some" [}:)]people might be keen on getting scionwood off you[;)] :D [8D]

[;)] Blueberry
treading lightly on mother earth

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8 years 7 months ago #474585 by Edenview
Replied by Edenview on topic Smallholding paradise
great idea! I would for a start, have had way better success grafting onto older trees than planting new ones I always seem to kill those..

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8 years 7 months ago #474628 by ourouwnfarmstead
I'm on it as soon as we've settled in Christmas. I need to get a proper orchard manager around to have a look. The orchard is a bit run down and hasn't been treated properly unfortunately. During our visits there, I've seen the Nashi pear burnt by frost, the apricots have lost all their blossoms and today, I've noticed the apples have mildew spreading… It hurts a bit that because we aren't owners of the place yet, we can't do anything to the trees… Next year will be better, if the trees are still around!

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8 years 4 months ago #481338 by kinkajou
Replied by kinkajou on topic Smallholding paradise
Hi, Laure, Lovely to catch up after all these years! I often wondered if you found your piece of nirvana (and a husband!) on your travels in NZ. It was another wwoofer who alerted me to this site so I finally found out who it was that loved the Birthday Present rose. I thought it either you or Zora who is, incidentally, back in NZ. I read your website blog from end to end - I love your ideas and wish you well with your ventures. Now you KNOW that cottage can be whatever you want it to be - you've seen how it is done! Keep up the dream and all the best. By the way - Your best dribbly mate left us on Christmas day '12 - now the decorating is done by Brulee who is 11 months old!!!! Love Angie

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8 years 3 months ago #482338 by ourouwnfarmstead
Oh my god, Angie, I'm soooo glad to hear from you! I'm very sorry to hear about lovely Struddel… She was such a character and I'm always talking about her with my friends when we talk about Saint Bernards… It must be fun to have a youngster around you again. Is she as dribbly as Struddel? I have found the almost perfect land and a partner in crime as you have read on the blog! We are getting our first buck, Zavier, a gorgeous Nubian kid who is going to travel all the way from Auckland, next month. And very soon, when we live on the property, the chickens, the ducks, the piglets and the horses will follow. The doelings are expected to be there at the end of winter.
Are you still at the Mole Green? I hope you've been well. I will make a point to come visit you when I travel the North Island. Zora got in touch with me recently as well and I'd love to visit her as well.
Please keep in touch! Love, Laure.
PS: Charline is about to have her first baby, a little boy, Alistair, any days now. She went to live back in France, close to her family, but I'm sure she will come visit again.

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8 years 3 months ago #482712 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Smallholding paradise
wow, sounds so nice with all those trees. Be aware that the trees could be commercial varieties that need lots of spraying. I had this experience on my own block. In the end I ripped them all out and got some organic cultivars. Have since found that it is relatively easy to graft fruit trees with better budwood.

With all that fruit, you had better start studying up on wine and cider making! Oh, the joy........

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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8 years 3 months ago #482743 by manymules
Replied by manymules on topic Smallholding paradise
Just had a great read of your original, and also your new blog. I wish you both great success in your venture......and I'm really excited about your yurt. Has it arrived YET? And what's zavier like?

Learning a little bit every day. Loving life. [:D]

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8 years 3 months ago #482753 by ourouwnfarmstead
tonybaker: I do think that some of the trees might be commercial varieties and I really don't want to spray as we are trying to manage this land in an organic way. The vendors were organic as well so there hasn't been any spraying for the past 10 years at least. The apples are doing just great and, indeed, we are going to set up a home cider press! Delicious!!!! ^_^ I will let you guys know how it tastes!
manymules: Thank you very much for your encouragement! We do need it… it's going to be a massive project… I have been told the yurt should be there anytime soon… Finally!! As for Zavier, he's traveling from Auckland with Morley Transport (they do 1 transport around the country every month) end of March, early April. We haven't seen any pictures but we have his results in the show competitions and he's a little champion! Watch out the blog space as things start moving! ^_^

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