Hi Everyone

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7 years 5 months ago #39087 by Hayden1980
Hi Everyone was created by Hayden1980
My name is Hayden. I live in the South Waikato. My partner and myself have been looking at lifestyle blocks for quite some time now and we've pretty much fallen in love with a property. It's a little over 3 hectares has a lot of character and several potential lines of income. However, the terrain is very steep on about half the property and it even has a rock cliff face and a bit of bush.

The land has been let go a little bit. There has been no fertilizing or watering for a few years. Two paddocks are overgrown and covered in fallen pine trees, blackberry and more. There are Manuka trees (Ti trees) covering much of the upper half of the steep hill. To add to that, I don't do bees so I'm not sure what to do with the Manuka.

There is a plateau at the top of the hill and cliff and another steep paddock at the back of the property that haven't been maintained at all in the last few years. There are a lot of trees that need pruning and some that have fallen over and need to be removed as part of fixing up the paddocks. There is also a stream on one side of the property that some trees have fallen over and now act like bridges, those will have to be dealt with too. The current owners currently run a few sheep and I intend to do the same, possibly a couple of beef stock and a couple of goats too.

I have no experience with farming, running livestock, or anything else to do with running a lifestyle block.

So, any advice would be much appreciated. If anyone has any advice about how to repair neglected paddocks covered in weeds, trees and blackberry, I'd be most interested in hearing from you.

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7 years 5 months ago #501763 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Hi Everyone
Hi Hayden. Sounds like you have done your assessment and are still keen. You could check out if there are any bee keepers nearby who could set you on your way and be willing to guide you for a couple of years. You could get 3 hives for under $1000, and have honey for Africa! Well yourselfs, family and friends. It doesn't involve a lot of work.

Good luck on your purchase.

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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7 years 5 months ago #501786 by Blueberry
Replied by Blueberry on topic Hi Everyone

Hayden1980;507672 wrote: My name is Hayden. I live in the South Waikato. My partner and myself have been looking at lifestyle blocks for quite some time now and we've pretty much fallen in love with a property. It's a little over 3 hectares has a lot of character and several potential lines of income. .

i'd be interested what those potential lines of income could be?

[;)] Blueberry
treading lightly on mother earth

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7 years 5 months ago #501791 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Hi Everyone
Some of my land is very steep, and I have written off two ATVs, and nearly three, by them getting away from me. Another time I slid about 100 meters down a slope while spraying with a backpack when there was still dew on the ground.
If you are young then spreading fertiliser by hand from out of a bucket, or better still an apple picking bag, is easy enough and will get you fit. However, spreading lime (you will need about 6 tonnes on that area every 3 years) will be nearly impossible except by plane.
The other main problems are mustering the animals, and the animals injuring themselves when they get rye-grass staggers and/or pink-eye.

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7 years 4 months ago #502052 by Hayden1980
Replied by Hayden1980 on topic Hi Everyone

Deanna;507686 wrote: Hi Hayden. Sounds like you have done your assessment and are still keen. You could check out if there are any bee keepers nearby who could set you on your way and be willing to guide you for a couple of years. You could get 3 hives for under $1000, and have honey for Africa! Well yourselfs, family and friends. It doesn't involve a lot of work.

Good luck on your purchase.

Thanks for your reply to my message, I guess if I got all the gear it would be ok. I just don't like bees. Those bee-keeping outfits might do the trick though.

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7 years 4 months ago #502054 by Hayden1980
Replied by Hayden1980 on topic Hi Everyone

Blueberry;507711 wrote: i'd be interested what those potential lines of income could be?

Well, part of the 5 bedroom house can be isolated from the rest to be used as a farmstay or a bed & breakfast, we plan to have chickens for eggs and will sell the excess eggs, we also plan to make use of an extensive vege garden and sell the excess. There is a current animal care business run from the property and we could potentially use those facilities to run a similar business. On top of that, we're looking into other ways to reduce our expenses like solar power, home kills, etc.

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7 years 4 months ago #502055 by Hayden1980
Replied by Hayden1980 on topic Hi Everyone

LongRidge;507716 wrote: Some of my land is very steep, and I have written off two ATVs, and nearly three, by them getting away from me. Another time I slid about 100 meters down a slope while spraying with a backpack when there was still dew on the ground.
If you are young then spreading fertiliser by hand from out of a bucket, or better still an apple picking bag, is easy enough and will get you fit. However, spreading lime (you will need about 6 tonnes on that area every 3 years) will be nearly impossible except by plane.
The other main problems are mustering the animals, and the animals injuring themselves when they get rye-grass staggers and/or pink-eye.

Because of the steep land we'll only be looking at running sheep or goat on that part of the land. There is enough flat land to run a couple of beef stock with break feeding and hay. I'll also be looking at developing tracks for the ATV to access more of the land.

This might sound really stupid, but, why do you need tonnes of lime spread on the paddocks?

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7 years 4 months ago #502069 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Hi Everyone
Big cattle can handle steep land very well indeed, but they must have been brought up on steep land so that the muscles that are needed are developed.
No question is stupid :-). When plants grow and die, acid compounds are made which sit in the soil. When the acidity gets to pH 5.4 and below, pasture growth is very limited, as it should be between 5.8 and 6.2 for pasture, and higher for some vegetables. Also when the acidity is wrong, some poisonous elements like aluminium get taken up by the plant and poison the animals.
To overcome this, lime is spread. 1T per hectare is about enough to raise the pH/lower the acidity by 0.1 pH. Lime is ground up stones and takes a while to dissolve. So about every 3 years it should be done.
More or less will be needed, depending on the soil. Soil tests cost about $50. when I started I did one per year the first 3 years, but with more information and knowing the rate that I put lime and fertiliser on I do it about every 3 years.
I very, very strongly recommend that you do not have sheep and goats together. One or the other but not both. Cattle and sheep, or cattle and goats work well together because they clear up each others bugs by cross-grazing.

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7 years 4 months ago #502070 by Blueberry
Replied by Blueberry on topic Hi Everyone

Hayden1980;508013 wrote: Well, part of the 5 bedroom house can be isolated from the rest to be used as a farmstay or a bed & breakfast, we plan to have chickens for eggs and will sell the excess eggs, we also plan to make use of an extensive vege garden and sell the excess. There is a current animal care business run from the property and we could potentially use those facilities to run a similar business. On top of that, we're looking into other ways to reduce our expenses like solar power, home kills, etc.

hmm, yeah, sounds like viable options if you're not afraid of a little hard work. do you have a farmers market somewhere close by?

[;)] Blueberry
treading lightly on mother earth

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7 years 4 months ago #502107 by Hayden1980
Replied by Hayden1980 on topic Hi Everyone
If I was afraid of a bit of hard work I don't think I'd even be considering a lifestyle block. Yes, we do have a Farmer's Market. There is a local Farmer's Market every weekend. Its about a 4 minute drive from the property.

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7 years 4 months ago #502108 by Hayden1980
Replied by Hayden1980 on topic Hi Everyone

Blueberry;508030 wrote: hmm, yeah, sounds like viable options if you're not afraid of a little hard work. do you have a farmers market somewhere close by?

If I was afraid of a bit of hard work I don't think I'd even be considering a lifestyle block. Yes, we do have a Farmer's Market. There is a local Farmer's Market every weekend. Its about a 4 minute drive from the property.

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7 years 4 months ago #502127 by katieb
Replied by katieb on topic Hi Everyone

LongRidge;508029 wrote: Big cattle can handle steep land very well indeed, but they must have been brought up on steep land so that the muscles that are needed are developed.


They will develop these muscles on the land, every year the empty cows come here from flat dairy farms, they soon get good at climbing hills....used to be very funny to watch them in the small holding paddock by the yards if they arrived & went in there on a wet day....they would look like they were skiing down the little bank

Farm was bought in March 08 so animals born 07 & 06 would have arrived at takeover(plus some carryover cows) every animal born & kept since then would have been here at least from 100kgs until almost 2(some again since). It does make a difference when they go back to a flat farm as thats a walk in the park! We have a few old dolls that have never been on a farm with more than 2 hills who are fine walking to the shed each day

Animals rule our place... cows, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks... the list goes on
...."lifestyle block like" 25 or so acres around the house attached to a rather large farm with dairy drystock & a 600 cow dairy conversion :)....1500 acres to call home

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7 years 4 months ago #502133 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Hi Everyone
A neighbour where I grew up in Northland milked Jerseys on land so steep that he couldn't drive around most of it and had to walk. His production figures were always very good. When I last saw him a few years ago he was in his 70's and fit as a buck rat from walking around those same hills.

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