Bee In My Bonnet

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9 years 10 months ago #490444 by kaiapoi-ken
Replied by kaiapoi-ken on topic Bee In My Bonnet
Kernel, buy an island don't take up good land for such selfish reasons.

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9 years 10 months ago #490446 by kernels
Replied by kernels on topic Bee In My Bonnet
That is a very interesting perspective, I've never thought of my reasons as being selfish, but can see how from your point of view how it may look like that.

I guess someone wanting to pick a fight might argue that the space you take up with vege gardens, orchards and paddocks can house 15 families, so your are selfish to hoard all that land for your lifestyle ?

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9 years 10 months ago #490449 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Bee In My Bonnet
Sadly KK, this misuse of land is not just related to rural. Out the back of the Mangere mountain South/west Auckland, was some extensive market gardens. This land was ideal because it faced North, It was on the slope of the ancient volcano and it had beautiful, deep black volcanic loam.
Councillors got greedy little dollar signs in their eyes, and determined that should the land grow hundreds of houses, they could collect millions in rates, so they rezoned it residential, hiked the rates and squeezed a vibrant market gardening operation owned by lots of little people, into selling out as they couldn't afford the rates. (producers don't get big returns for their labour in vegetable growing) Now, the land is covered in 500 square meter blocks with town houses and condos all over it. Cat Stevens was right when he sang.."Where do the children play." What happens when the urban boom, takes over all the flatbush farmland and all the Bombay hill as Pukekohe expands? Already there is loss of equally good growing land there. You won't have anymore onions or potatoes in your supermarkets and maybe your car loving neighbour will have to turn his car bodies into raised gardens! I agree with you on land use, it should be productive, but for the good of the community, not just so someone can have a nice life.

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

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9 years 10 months ago #490454 by kaiapoi-ken
Replied by kaiapoi-ken on topic Bee In My Bonnet
Stikkibeek, I agree with you entirely. The same thing has happened down here but to a lesser degree. A 3rd generation Market Gardener near me has recently given up and taken a job driving trucks. His reasons for going were
1. Land around him broken up into 10acre blocks.
2. Said 10acre block owners thinking he is growing stuff for their use.
3. Poor returns on produce.
4. Being screwed by Supermarkets.

Unfortunately, councils will always be swayed by the "big noters" who are looking to impress people with their big houses and flash cars, showing how successful they are, and the opportunity to gain more in rate.

Anyway, the topic certain has brighten up a dull and dreary Friday night. Nice to know there is at least one Lifestyle Blocker who shares my feelings about productive land use.

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9 years 10 months ago #490455 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic Bee In My Bonnet

kaiapoi-ken;495121 wrote: Go for it Kate, shoot me down for being a stirrer, but I am P....d off with some of the contributors on this site that obviously have as much idea about living in the country as flying to the moon.


Hi Kiapoi-Ken - I woke up to your "rant" this morning and was pretty much in agreement with you ... until the above comment, which I felt was unfair, condescending and uncalled for. Rather than a bee under your bonnet, you seem to have a whole hive!

I've been a member of this site since 2001 and on our small farm since 1998. In that time, IMHO, the vast majority of contributors to LSB are people who are genuinely interested in making a better life for themselves and their families through the improvement of their land so that it provides for them in some way. Like you appear to have been, LSB members are keen to ask questions and learn from others that have gained more experience - not all of them have the luxury of having a farmer friend close-by to guide them, so this is where they come for information and advice. We all have to start somewhere. And who was it that initially broke up large farms into smaller blocks in the first place?

Rather than insult other members (and since no member examples were offered, and because productivity is very subjective, can I assume that we're all tarred with the same brush?) perhaps a better way of addressing these concerns is to form a rural residents association if you don't already have one, and lobby councils to try and achieve some of the outcomes you want to see. We have one where I live and as a result of hard work by association members, we now have a good rapport with council to the point where they take us and our concerns seriously and include us as stakeholders in decision-making. It just seems a more practical and nicer approach than attacking LSB members or those who have a right to use land they've purchased for whatever use council will approve.

Am off to have a cup of tea and get off my own soapbox now. :D

Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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9 years 10 months ago #490456 by kaiapoi-ken
Replied by kaiapoi-ken on topic Bee In My Bonnet
Mich, I'm not tarring all LSBers with same brush I did say 'SOME". I deliberately did not name names and I don't intend doing so. My argument is that land is a finite thing and has to be looked after and nurtured. From what I have read on this website the majority are using their land sensibly, but it's obvious that some have not done much homework on the stewardship of this asset they have acquired.
I like the cup of tea bit, a sound scheme.

Cheers

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9 years 10 months ago #490457 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Bee In My Bonnet
Sorry I was too busy being a productive farmer yesterday to reply to this...

Ken, I understand where you're coming from but in my opinion we're all on a continuum from productive farm to lawn and everywhere in between. The problem is not just 'big notes' but that the current economic realities mean that land that was economically productive a few years ago is not any more. The corporatisation (if that's a word) of farming is having a real impact. As is the dominance of the supermarkets as your market gardener knows.

I have 220 acres of which 70-80 acres are productive, the rest is native bush. This is a lifestyle block but only a couple of generations ago this would have been a family farm and could have supported a family.

There is evidence (google is your friend) to show that small farms are actually more productive than larger farms and in my experience this can be true. A lifestyle block with big veggie gardens, fruit orchards, chooks, sheep, pigs and cattle will be more productive per acre than a dairy farm.

I also have an issue with the term 'productive' - it's often used to measure only GDP type productivity. Products that don't impact on GDP are not classed as productive, home grown food for example.

There are other benefits to living in the country that impact on NZ, even if land is not being farmed as productively. One example is the great, self-motivating, self-reliant children that a rural upbringing produces.

If I'm selfish to do what I want with my block then so are you. The difference is that you want other people to do what you think they should do while they are just living their lives.

I do have issue with you making attacks on other lsb members, that is against forum rules and has the potential to drive the very people away who may be most in need of help.

Chill out, buy local direct from the grower and accept that things change for better and for worse and we are all tiny specks on a tiny planet here for a just moment in the vast infinity of time and space....

Right, that said I'm off with our new HelpX couple to the Whangarei Growers' Market to practice what I preach :D

Cheers
Kate

Web Goddess

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9 years 10 months ago #490462 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic Bee In My Bonnet

kaiapoi-ken;495125 wrote: I bought a homestead which was already split off and was surrounded by large properties. Not surprised you feel threatened by having to justify how you use your land kindajojo you obviously belong to the group I'm referring to, the ones that wouldn't know s..t from clay.

Wow.....male PMS...I don't feel threatened at all, and I have a couple of degrees one in geology so I am pretty confident I can tell clay from sh*** right down to a molecular level.....

Would love to stay and chat but have to do a lambing beat.....you know, what us lifestyle block people do....then feed out a couple of bales of hay and shoe the horse that has thrown a shoe....

Then take the x-trail into town for a latte

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9 years 10 months ago #490463 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic Bee In My Bonnet
Hey Ken - yep, the cuppa and breakfast did the trick and I'm feeling less antsy and more thoughtful about your post. [:I] I've even managed to spell your name correctly (and for a Canterbury-born lass who lived not a million kms from the area, not to be able to spell Kaiapoi is unforgivable). :D

With the earlier exception, there is a lot we're in agreement about and your post did make me think about how I would define a lifestyle block. It may be that part of the issue lies with the real estate industry definition of lifestyle compared to how many of us who try to make land produce view it. Many RE adverts I see describe a lifestyle as what I think your post was about - big house, fancy cars and do-dads. That's why I prefer the term small farm over lifestyle block.

Kate, I think the 2nd paragraph of your post hit the nail on the head. Times are certainly changing and is it any wonder that many people are desperately seeking to live a life more grounded to the earth and animals?

To digress, but only partly, I'm currently reading a most excellent, recently published, book from the Library (which I asked them to purchase after reading a description of it online) called A green and pleasant land : how England's gardeners fought the Second World War. Unsurprisingly, it's about how, during WW2, the Government encouraged its urban and rural citizens to grow productive vegetables to feed themselves as well as their fellow men and women at a time when many of the normally imported goods were unavailable or in short supply. A boring book you might think, but actually it's immensely readable and says much about the psychological benefits of producing your own food. I'm enjoying it very much.

Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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9 years 10 months ago #490465 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic Bee In My Bonnet
Lifestyle block is what it says it is...no doubt Longridges definition of life sentence block is also accurate....
It's a lifestyle...size doesn't matter it can be half an acre to lots of acres.
People may chose to run animals, plants or motorbikes, or aeroplanes. I love that there are so many people today using land in interesting ways and people have access to these activities through sites like this and by those who open their activities up to the public.
I like that many LSB are preserving heritage breeds which are not economical on commercial farms but have value in their own right.
I like that people have small scale activities, cheese making, spinning, milk supply, alpaca, bison.....breeding...etc etc which just contributes to the richness of the rural community.
I have been to a block with a massive garage where a guy was restoring tractors...his property was littered with spare parts.
What people do with their little piece of paradise is their business, the people I have had dealings with have all had dreams about where they are going..they are interesting people to talk too .....

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9 years 10 months ago #490468 by kaiapoi-ken
Replied by kaiapoi-ken on topic Bee In My Bonnet
Good to see people stirred up. It makes the day less drab & dreary.

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9 years 10 months ago #490469 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic Bee In My Bonnet

kaiapoi-ken;495173 wrote: Good to see people stirred up. It makes the day less drab & dreary.

Sad...

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9 years 10 months ago #490473 by shad297
Replied by shad297 on topic Bee In My Bonnet
Not quite the same situation but my inlaws emigrated from UK in 1964 to Palmerston North and were advised by real estate agent to buy a back section which they did in Hokowhitu. Well their half acre is still there and they still live there and enjoy the fruits of their labour. They have always grown their own veges and have a large selection of fruit trees, also flowers and other plants to be admired. However they do worry that one day they will have to leave their property and the house will be demolished and townhouses built on the section. Unfortunately they probably won't have a choice as to what happens unless one of the children is able to buy the property and keep it going. I am not particularly sentimental about their property as I didn't grow up there, however my husband and his siblings are but I do understand as the house and half acre I was born and brought up in, in rural Berkshire, UK has been subdivided (had a bit chopped of the end) so I do get it. And as you say (and my husband has said many times) they aren't making land anymore.

Husband, two teenagers, Stanley & Jed the greyhounds, one quail (Hawkefrost), one budgie (Chaos) small productive surburban section.

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9 years 10 months ago #490492 by funnyfarm331
Replied by funnyfarm331 on topic Bee In My Bonnet
We get where you are coming from KK which is why we skipped the small farms closer to the city and headed for the hills, it is frustrating to see 10 acre lawns when not so long ago people managed to raise a family on less land than that.

From a global perpsective, we are all selfish when you consider what so many people do without, I am thankful each and everyday for the view out of our windows and for the choices we have.

I would like to hope that anyone new to this forum will continue to ask questions and seek advice and not be put off. I suspect some people don't have experienced neighbours or the knowledge themselves to deal with some of the issues our lifestyle throws at us. It can be hard reading some of the posts but we all had to start somewhere and even those of us who have grown up with animals or on farms still have heaps to learn.

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9 years 10 months ago #490494 by Mustangnin
Replied by Mustangnin on topic Bee In My Bonnet
Section sizes offered today for sale are getting smaller and smaller- and 1/2 -3 acre blocks are virtually impossible to find (40 years ago when you got your 3 acre block it may have been easier or you were extremely lucky then too), so we had no choice but to buy 10 acres.
The council does not allow these smaller parcels of land so that determined our choice to buy 10 acres. Plus farmers must have been keen to break up their farms for some $$$$ or they would still be productive farms. Your place was 'split off' also as you said in your post- so how are you different buying a split off property?

My husband has got a huge garage, not for status, but for his cars as they have been a passion since before he could drive- and he cannot have a large garage elsewhere on a 'town sized' section. I have a couple of horses and some goats and we have a vege garden. I also propagate plants which I love. So apart from hay which we cut 1-2x a year (and sell the majority), we are not fully utilising the land with cattle etc. according to your standards. Plus we have been able to build a granny flat for my parents on the same block- which is peace of mind for them and us- especially now as my step-father is dying.

I feel you are very judgmental- and by your standards I am the exact person you are talking about in your rant that does not qualify in your mind to live on land as we are not doing what you expect us to do on it. You say "I've been having thoughts lately about what a Lifestyle Blocker is"- well doesn't the word 'lifestyle' say it all- we have a fabulous lifestyle -as you do also. We could not buy smaller- and we now love the space and privacy and it's a great community and a positive place for our family. I teach at the local school and I love being part of the community in which I live. Plus the views are divine ... I just love where I live. I am able to have the lifestyle that I love- do you believe I do not deserve this? That I should stay living in town? It was okay for you to make the move to this lifestyle. This land is just as productive as any farm as it contributes to our emotional wellbeing as well, which is immeasurable.

You say 'Go for it Kate, shoot me down for being a stirrer, but I am P....d off with some of the contributors on this site that obviously have as much idea about living in the country as flying to the moon.'- well do you not say earlier on in your post 'I bought it because I had a good friend who was a farmer in the same area and he told my wife and I about the advantages and the pitfalls of living in the country. With his guidance we've had a absolute glorious lifestyle. We have had house cows, pigs, ducks, fowls and sheep all on our 3 acres, because we listened to what he said and ensured our stock was happy and well fed.' ~ Well you obviously needed to learn like all of us on this forum do at times as you were new to a lifestyle on land and luckily you had someone who supported you as we are supporting each other. You obviously did not know it all when you moved there so reached out for support ~ and got it.
Luckily I personally have had people who have been a great support to me, as I was new to land and they did not judge me for what I am NOT doing on my land according to them- but supported me with what I AM doing- as we are all learning and growing. Supporting each other is a lot more positive that judging and looking down at others choices.

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