Hello From Piwakawaka Valley

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7 years 6 months ago #527088 by PiwakawakaValley
Hi there, we have been on our 10 acre block of paradise (read 'gorse') for about 6 months. We are half an hour south of Dunedin in a lovely little community. We are settling in and have finally just finished the goat house and chook house this week. I have a milking goat and 15 chooks and a little to-be-house cow who is currently a few months old. Our mostly finished house is build from a 4-and-a-half bay pole shed and lined in ply, with second hand windows from Christchurch.
We plan on getting meat rabbits, bees and boer goats over the course of the next year.
In the mean time my vegetable garden finally has something planted in it and I have planted what feels like a million fruit trees! Eventually we would like to make our little place profitable, but in what way, we are not yet decided. Maybe selling gorse? So much gorse.
If you want to have a nosey at what we do, I have a blog piwakawakavalley.com which you are welcome to look at.
Piwakawaka is the Maori word for Fantail, which we have so so many of living in our gorse forest and the pines next door. They are such sweet little creatures.
Any way, thank you for your wisdom, I am a long time reader, but thought I had better sign up and get involved!
Dana

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7 years 6 months ago #527096 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Hello From Piwakawaka Valley
Welcome to the forum! :)

What breed is your heifer? Do you handle her lots?

We've been trying to establish a gorse market for a while but as long as everyone can legally and easily grow their own, it's been a bit tricky.

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7 years 6 months ago #527102 by Rokker
Replied by Rokker on topic Hello From Piwakawaka Valley
Welcome, Dana.

LOVE your blog! You certainly have a clear vision for what you want to achieve for your homestead, yet allowing plenty of scope for trying new things. I'm sure you'll fit in well here, both sharing your own experiences and learning from ours.

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!
The following user(s) said Thank You: PiwakawakaValley

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7 years 6 months ago #527103 by PiwakawakaValley
She is a Jersey freisan cross and a real Sweet heart. She is currently at my parents as she is still bottle/bucket feed so my dear kind mum is raising her with her one of the same mix. She will come to us soon once she is weaned.
With the gorse at $100 / trailer load we would be on to a winner, but drumming up the market is a bit tricky Haha.

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7 years 6 months ago #527104 by Stikkibeek
Welcome to the LSB

Gorse makes great honey, and even better firewood! Tha Knaws there's gold in them tha hills! :whistle:

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
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7 years 6 months ago #527109 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Hello From Piwakawaka Valley
It only makes good firewood if you wear leather gloves. I'd rather burn Kanuka.

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7 years 6 months ago #527111 by Rokker
Replied by Rokker on topic Hello From Piwakawaka Valley
You could propagate it and sell the seed for hedges!



Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!
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7 years 6 months ago - 7 years 6 months ago #527112 by LongRidge
Yes, it is a pain to have to wear gloves every time you are working in the wood shed, and every time that you stoke the fire. If you don't, then every time you will grab a gorse log :( .
If I were starting again, I would not have Boers, and would try to get goats without horns. The shape of the Boer goat feet is wrong for NZ. Goats that know each other bash the lower ranked ones mercilessly. Their horns, and feet, get caught in gorse bushes and fences too easily.
Goats are hugely less hardy than sheep. They catch every sheep bug that does not worry sheep much, and die very quickly from them. Don't run sheep and goats on the same pasture, ever.
Cattle and goats go together very well, as they tend to eat different things, and have different bugs. Goats don't like fresh clover (but love clover hay) so they leave it for the cattle.
Gorse is an indication that the soil is low in nitrogen. If there is not much clover, that indicates a low sulphate level. When I am clearing weeds I try to fertilise for the plant that I want to grow before or during clearing the weed that is predominant. Talk to Ravensdown 0800 100 123 about where to borrow a soil test kit from, if they know a commercial fertiliser spreader that knows your land, and what the results mean when they come through.
Gorse shorter than your waist height can be kept under control by goats, but when they get taller they can trap goats :(
Good luck.
Last edit: 7 years 6 months ago by LongRidge.
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7 years 6 months ago #527116 by Stikkibeek
Was this him? :whistle:

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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7 years 6 months ago - 7 years 6 months ago #527122 by Rokker
Replied by Rokker on topic Hello From Piwakawaka Valley
Ahh! The Virginian! Yes, that's the fella! Of gorse it is! :dry:

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!
Last edit: 7 years 6 months ago by Rokker.

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7 years 6 months ago #527124 by PiwakawakaValley

Rokker wrote: You could propagate it and sell the seed for hedges!



hahahaha yes, great plan. It is all in the way you market it!

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7 years 6 months ago #527126 by PiwakawakaValley

LongRidge wrote: Yes, it is a pain to have to wear gloves every time you are working in the wood shed, and every time that you stoke the fire. If you don't, then every time you will grab a gorse log :( .
If I were starting again, I would not have Boers, and would try to get goats without horns. The shape of the Boer goat feet is wrong for NZ. Goats that know each other bash the lower ranked ones mercilessly. Their horns, and feet, get caught in gorse bushes and fences too easily.
Goats are hugely less hardy than sheep.....

Thank you for the advice! The majority of our gorse is old man gorse and more like trees than shrubs. I like goats more than sheep, I have grown up with both, sheep are pretty dumb in comparison. Interesting about their feet and horns. Are there any other meat breeds that are more suitable?
My dad has been burning gorse from way back. he cuts in down in the paddock, leaves it for the prickles to rot off then cuts it up. Yeah there is the odd prickle left on it sometimes though!

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7 years 6 months ago - 7 years 6 months ago #527127 by PiwakawakaValley
This is what I am competing with haha. All that yellow is ours. and more. So much more.




*edit, and apparently we struggle with being on the bottom of the globe too....
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Last edit: 7 years 6 months ago by PiwakawakaValley. Reason: typo

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7 years 6 months ago #527128 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Hello From Piwakawaka Valley
Are you not from this hemisphere?

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7 years 6 months ago #527129 by PiwakawakaValley
haha we are dunedin born and bred, but for some reason, those photos are showing upside down. They weren't when I uploaded them I promise

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