From farming stock to lifestyle blocks

Drew Thompson

Drew is a former copywriter, teacher and ad man. He is a current wannabe "farmer" on small block south of Auckland. Tackling the big issues on the farm from randy bulls to water tanks, Drew is  a relatively keen man, who loves to moan about how much fun a lifestyle block can be. Advice, feedback and of course abuse, are all readily accepted.

Author's Articles:

10 things to know before you buy pigs for your farm or block

Whatever option you have in mind for the pigs on your farm, we’ve put together a few things you need to be aware of before you get started.

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A Beginners Guide to NAIT

Every cow, bull, heifer or steer in the country will need to be NAIT tagged and registered by 1 July 2015.

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Building Cattle Stock Yards | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time reveals the Rubik’s cube of farming construction... cattle stock yards.

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Can your chickens kill you? | RD4 The First Time

After a recent bout of mystery sickness, The Rural's RD4 The First Time investigates the health problems associated with keeping chickens.

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Cattle drenching on the block: oral vs pour ons

If you have cattle on your lifestyle block or small farm, you'll need to drench them at some point. The Rural discusses the pros and cons of oral vs pour on drenches.

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Cow Cloning | RD4 The First Time

A few days before Christmas I popped down to a local calfer and picked up two beaut steers. My kids quickly named them Comet and Zak.

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Curious Cows | RD4 The First Time

Now any country person worth their salt would not be impressed by a video of cows coming towards music. One would only need to sneeze to attract the attention of cattle. They are the most curious things.

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El Pollo Loco: Dealing with a crazy hen | RD4 The First Time

Hens are a funny lot. Not so much the ‘ha ha’ type funny, like a quirky rural blog might hope to be. No, more of a ‘gee, you’re a bit of weirdo ain’t ya’ type funny.

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Figuring out my next adventure. NAIT.

I think it’s ok to put their names into NAIT, especially if it keeps the steers in line.

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Getting rid of roosters | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time has a problem with superfluous roosters, but manages to get rid of them without resorting to the bloodied axe wielding death first planned.

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How to tame your livestock | RD4 The First Time

Animals on a farm are important. They make it a farm. Otherwise you just have a lot of grass. If you do have farm animals, you need to make sure you they know you are the boss.

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Is it time to ring the pigs? | RD4 The First Time

The pigs have successfully rooted their entire ‘run’ by rooting the whole bloody thing. Now it is time to ring them.

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Livestock & Mental Health | RD4 The First Time

I am not talking about man-made mental issues here. I am talking purely about the rather odd behaviour of animals. Specifically my animals.

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Mad Chooks | RD4 The First Time

I’ve blogged about my chooks being crazy before, but they have now reached a new level in crazy. Before they were just weird. Now...

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Picking the right stock for your rural block

If you have bought a block, and are planning what livestock you should keep on it, make sure you consider all the necessary factors before purchasing your stock.

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Review: On the Hoof, by Ruth Entwistle Low

The drovers of New Zealand are your typically understated kiwi over achievers. For most of us, moving any kind of animal a mere number of metres would be difficult enough. The hundreds of thousands of stock moved up and down the length of the country every year was just another day on the job for a drover.

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Scramble the hen loses her head | RD4 The First Time

On Saturday our first ever farm animal, Scramble the hen, met with a wee ax-cident.

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Signs of poor health in cattle

With winter all but settled in, it’s never been a better time time to ensure your cattle are at their best. That’s all well and good, but what signs should you be looking for in your cattle that may mean they have a health issue?

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Terrorist Pigs | RD4 The First Time

RD4 For The First Time considers the age-old question: are pigs, with their rooting and escaping, actually terrorists?

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The day I stole a chicken coop | RD4 The First Time

The wind that took about 80 or so trees from the pine block next door, also blew apart the neighbours chicken coop. It was then I had a brilliant idea. I should steal that.

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Today I built a chicken coop: Part 1 | RD4 The First Time

From the title of today’s blog you may already have an idea of what it is about. On my property was a chicken coop. It then became a woodshed. Then a garden. Then… well, hmm.

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Today I finished my chicken coop | RD4 The First Time

Like in Return of the Jedi, I returned to my chicken coop that I started yesterday…ok, well sorta yesterday. Things take time in the country.

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Uninvited Guests: Dealing with ticks and mites | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time has to deal with some unwanted guests... the New Zealand cattle tick, and chicken mites.

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Wandering Stock | RD4 The First Time

There is one thing that all types of farmer should have in common and that is their ability to keep animals inside their farms.

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Country roads gonna kill me | RD4 The First Time

Country roads gonna kill me | RD4 The First Time

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Electronics on the farm | RD4 The First Time

Electronics on the farm | RD4 The First Time

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Fences | A Rural Blog

Drew finds out that straining posts can only take so much strain.

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Fireworks on the farm | RD4, a rural blog

Fireworks on the farm? What do you think?

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Fixing the fence | A rural blog

Drew fixes his fence and it actually works.

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Freedom camping | A rural blog

Our blogger doesn't seem to agree with freedom camping

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Goodbye Heifer, Hello Steak | A Rural Blog

The truck bringeth and the truck taketh away.

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Goodbye summer | A rural blog

Drew laments the loss of summer

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Homekill cowboys | RD4 - A rural blog

Drew's neighbour thinks leaving offal on the ground is ok...Drew disagrees.

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Horses | RD4 The First Time

Horses | RD4 The First Time

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How to add value to your home | RD4 - A rural blog

How to add value to your home | RD4 - A rural blog

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I'm the vet now | RD4 The First Time

Who needs a vet when you can do it yourself?

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Like pigs in mud | A rural blog

Like pigs in mud | RD4 For The First Time

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Local food for local people | RD4 - A rural blog

Local food for local people | RD4 - A rural blog

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More fences | A rural blog

It's a great feeling of pride having a great looking fence...that you built yourself.

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My take on spring growth | RD4 The First Time

My take on spring growth | RD4 The First Time

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No means no | A rural blog

No means no | A rural blog

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Office Etiquette | A rural blog

Office Etiquette | A rural blog

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Ok, so I'm not the vet now | RD4 The First Time

Ok, so I'm not the vet | RD4 The First Time

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Rabbits | RD4 For The First Time - A rural blog

Rabbits | RD4 For The First Time - A rural blog

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Railways | A Rural Blog

When is a level crossing not a level crossing? When it is a rural level crossing.

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Roosters | RD4 A Rural Blog

The roosters are living up their name - this weeks blog from Drew

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Summer is coming | RD4 - A rural blog

Our blogger, Drew is predicting a dry summer....pretty dry.

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The chickens have to go | RD4 - a rural blog

The best news from the doctor is the worst news for the chooks

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The final blog about chickens | RD4 - A rural blog

The final blog about chickens | RD4 - A rural blog

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The Olympics - A Rural Blog

It's been two weeks of punishment...

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This little piggy | RD4 - A rural blog

This little piggy | RD4 - A rural blog | Drew catches a pig.

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Those Chickens - A rural blog

Those Chickens - RD 4 A rural blog

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Tip: Cattle are herd animals | A Rural Blog

Turns out you should have more than one of these.

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TPPA traffic no way | A rural blog

TPPA traffic no way | A rural blog - Drew's views on the TPPA

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Trees | RD4 - A Rural Blog

Cutting down trees for...some purpose.

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Visiting the city | RD4 The First Time

Visiting the city | RD4 The First Time

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Weed | A rural blog

This week's blog from RD4. Too many weeds makes for too many problems.

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Calling the vet in | RD4 The First Time

When is the best time to call the vet?

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Extreme Food, by Bear Grylls

Bear is back, this time he has a cookbook with a difference, its the perfect 'how to' guide If you are planning on escaping in to the wilderness.

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Fencing Tips | RD4 The First Time

Tips? Two weeks in a row? These fencing tips are actually helpful.

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Gardening tips | RD4 The First Time

Gardening tips that you probably can live without...

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How to Catch Fish and Where: The Complete Kiwi Beginner's Guide

The Rural reviews How to Catch Fish and Where: The Complete Kiwi Beginner's Guide, by Mike Rendle.

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How to Go Boating and Where, by Mike Rendle

The Rural reviews Mike Rendle's How to Go Boating and Where, which details every in and out there is about boats, boating and small watercraft.

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It's a Bit Rugged, Mate, by 'Big Al' Lester

Lester’s latest book compiles all the best ones from his first three books ‘Hunting in the Raw’, ‘A Bum in the Bush’ and ‘A Hard Shot from the Hills’.

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Review: Going to Extremes, by Derek Grzelewski

At first I thought, come on, doing extreme stuff is pretty ‘run of the mill’ here in New Zealand. We do crazy things all the time. But GOING TO EXTREMES goes beyond the run of the mill adventure.

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Review: The Smallest Continent - Journeys through New Zealand Landscapes

"Look beyond familiar horizons to experience the amazing diversity of New Zealand's many landscapes."

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Ridding your block of possums | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time looks and Timms traps vs the traditional firearm for possum control on your rural property.

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Rural supplies, not to your door | RD4 The First Time

Rural supplies, not to your door | RD4 The First Time

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The New Invincibles: How the 2013 All Blacks created history

I was a just a wee boy in 1987 when the All Blacks were crowned World Cup Champions. My dad and I sat on the half way line right next to the old player’s tunnel at Eden Park.

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Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Located just two and a half hours drive from Auckland, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves

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Walking the Waitakere Ranges, by Alison Dench & Lee-Anne Parore

The Rural reviews Walking the Waitakere Ranges, by Alison Dench & Lee-Anne Parore, a must have for anybody keen on the great outdoors and the wonder of the Waitakeres.

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Dealing with rural contractors | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time needs a fence and quickly learns that rural contractors are a different breed from those in the city.

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How to pick the right gumboots

Discover the world of gumboots and make sure you don't get yourself just any pair... get yourself the RIGHT pair.

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No. 8 Re-wired: 202 New Zealand Inventions That Changed the World

Attracted instantly to the entry entitled “The Death Ray”, I thought why read on? We invented a death ray, we are New Zealand! Lets take over the world!

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Pick your poison | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time explores the poison aisles at his local supply stores, and discovers that when you live rurally, you are spoilt for choice.

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Stihl costing me money

With lubricant leaks, things jammed & broken, confribulators confrabulated, and the whizzle wazzle bar umtemperlated… is the cost of getting my precious 021 Stihl worth getting fixed?

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The death of a chainsaw | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time's chainsaw has finally met its death by hawthorn. And the hawthorn bushes? They live to see another day...

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What to do when your water pump breaks down

Depending on your needs a new pump can set you back over $500 just for a medium sized home. It is something worth spending a bit more money on given the amount of use and how important water can be.

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Why you should get yourself a farming mentor | RD4 The First Time

Books and the internet are great for finding out what you need to do, but even with all the fantastic things you find here, it still helps to have someone tell you how to do it.

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1000 words about my sore thumb | RD4 The First Time

There were over 30,000 injuries on farms or agricultural locations reported in 2013. I’m more concerned with the billion other not so severe injuries, i.e. chicken wire scratches.

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1-Minute Gardener, by Fabian Capomolla and Mat Pember

Anyone who lives on a rural block will see the title of this book and say one of two things; Yuss! Or ‘rubbish’. I kind of have to favour the first option.

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5 reasons why living in the country is better

If you are a city dweller there are so many things that can ruin your day, but this blog is not about pointing out how rough city folk have it, it’s more about what you are missing out on if you don’t live in the country.

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A guide to rural shopping | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time's guide to shopping rurally in three easy, manly, steps.

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Animals on your lifestyle block | RD4 The First Time

Picking livestock for my lifestyle block has proved to be a difficult process thanks to all the naysayers.

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Attempting to trap a magpie | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First time gives making his own magpie trap a go. It certainly looks the part, but will any magpies take the bait?

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Battling the Wind | RD4 The First Time

Living on a rural block you have to be a battler. Yesterday I had a brand new battle to deal with. The dreaded south westerly wind.

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Beer Review: Willie’s Pale Ale

The Rural reviews Lion Breweries' new summer beer, Willie's Pale Ale, which is available at supermarkets and liquor outlets Waikato-wide from mid-November.

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Bye-bye neighbours | RD4 The First Time

Last week a ‘for sale’ sign went up and the tenants next door have begun to pack their bags. I may have jumped a little in the air...

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Farm, Fork, Food: A Year of Spectacular Recipes Inspired by Black Cat Farm, by Eric Skokan

The Rural reviews Farm, Fork, Food: A Year of Spectacular Recipes Inspired by Black Cat Farm, by Eric Skokan. This cookbook is filled with healthy, organic and edible recipes for those who wish to be a bit more Adventurous in the Kitchen.

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Farming Fashion | RD4 The First Time

As with most great inventions, necessity was the mother of this one. A nice puncture wound in my heel & a good deal of blood later, behold the summer gumboot.

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Farming Fashion Part 2 | RD4 The First Time

When I analysed the sole of my Bandals I was pleasantly surprised. I counted multiple potential podiatrial penetrative points. Yes, the PPPP level was extreme.

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Father's Day for Rural Dads | RD4 The First Time

Like all dads, I had kids only so I could get presents. Anyone can have a birthday, but you have to have kids to get Father’s day presents. It’s sort of inferred in the title really...

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Fire, fire everywhere, so let’s all take a drink | RD4 The First Time

After some trouble with the dreaded hawthorn bush, I've decided to deal the final trump card: fire. If only it would stop raining...

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Fire, I own you | RD4 The First Time

A while back I chopped down some nasty hawthorn bushes. Several to be precise. I piled them up in a huge pile, as is the tradition in these parts...

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Fire, the unobtainable mystery of mankind | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time blogger discusses his experiences on lighting fire to kill the dreaded hawthorn bush. Or rather, his experiences on how NOT to light a fire.

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First time at Fieldays | RD4 The First Time

A review of one lifestyle blocker's first time at Fieldays.

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Found: two lambs | RD4 The First Time

There are lots of things that just don’t happen in the city. One new one for me is wandering sheep. It would be fair to say that a stray lamb never once did walk into my property and hang out for the night when I was living in the city. Definitely not two either.

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Getting Naked in the kitchen...again

Getting Naked in the kitchen...again

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Gubbeen; The Story of a Working Farm and its Foods, by Giana Ferguson

Gubbeen farm in Ireland is famous for it’s cheese. Each chapter in this book gives you an extensive farm tour, followed by a selection of recipes related to the tour. An extra bonus is that the book also helps you rear your animals better and gives you a little gardening advice to help grow the best produce.

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Guy Fawkes on the Block | RD4 The First Time

Some say put your animals inside on Guy Fawkes, but its not really that easy on a lifestyle block... The chickens, I can put in their coop no problem. The pigs I can shut into their sty. But the steers?

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Home Schooling in New Zealand

What do you do if your local rural school isn’t right for your kids? Home schooling is a very popular option for many families, especially those living on a farm.

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How can I tag that heifer without a head bail? | RD4 The First Time

A zeetagger comes to rescue our blogger. This week's blog from RD4 The First time.

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How Craft Beer Started in New Zealand

The Rural reviews The McCashin's Story: and the Kiwi brewing revolution it sparked.

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How do you get rid of farm pests? | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time discusses how to get rid of farm pests, including possums, rats, feral cats, and the neighbours.

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How far is too far to commute? | RD4 The First Time

Living on a farm is awesome, but not all of us can make a living from it. If you don't make a living from your block, then you may be familiar with the problem of the rural commute.

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How Not to Grow Grass | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time's recent foray into grass growing didn't quite go as planned. Apparently seeds + water + birds don't make for the best results.

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How not to meet your neighbours | RD4 The First Time

The trouble starts when you let your town dog who's used to chasing birds around the park run around your massive new lifestyle block. Yes, my dog ate the neighbours chicken.

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I'm actually farming now! | RD4 The First Time

With two kunekune pigs on his property, and after some fencing issues, RD4 The First Time is actually farming now!

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Improving your water collection devices | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time's leaf sliders, that were supposed to create less work by not having to clean the water tank, created a whole slew of problems.

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Interview: Frankie Walker

We don’t usually chat with people from behind bars but Drew was willing to make an exception for Frankie Walker, Lion’s Spirits Ambassador, and star of www.themix.co.nz.

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It leaks! | RD4 The First Time

Ensure your water tanks are installed properly...and always check them.

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It's Cold | RD4 The First Time

Our bloggers gives up some wintery wisdom.

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Little Bo Peep and More, by Donovan Bixley

The Rural reviews Little Bo Peep and more by Donovan Bixley, a delightfully bubby and energetic romp through some all time classic nursery rhymes.

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Live from Fieldays, it's RD4 the first time

Follow @theruralnz live from Fieldays

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Meet the neighbours, take 2 | RD4 The First Time

Thanks to a bit of neighbourly advice, I managed to get all sorts of rural know-how. Who knew chainsaws needed chain oil?

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Missing NAIT tags | RD4 The First Time

What to do if your cattle loose their NAIT tag.

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My pet possum | RD4 The First Time

Let’s be straight up here. Possums are vermin. They eat native plants & spread tuberculosis. However, they sure are cute. All fluffy, with big bushy tails...

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New Stock | RD4 The First Time

I let the kids pick the new stock this year, lesson learnt, don't let the kids pick the calves because they are cute!

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No Fieldays for RD4 The First Time

So how about those Fieldays? No, really, how were they? I never made it. However, I do have what is quite possibly the best reason for not making it. I was too busy farming, seriously.

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Noise in the country | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time discovers that the easiest way to rid yourself of the peaceful silence that so often comes with the country lifestyle is by buying your kids a dirt bike.

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Poison, an application | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time attempts to get rid of his gorse problem once and for all, using poison. But will he grow a sixth finger in the process?

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RD4 The First Time's guide to rural water tanks

RD4 The First Time decides to take a DIY approach to maintaining his water tank, and has some tips for others wanting to do it themselves too.

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Review | Coastlines of New Zealand by Rob Suisted

Review | Coastlines of New Zealand by Rob Suisted

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Review | The Moon and Farmer McPhee by Margaret Mahy

Review | The Moon and Farmer McPhee by Margaret Mahy

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Review: High Country in New Zealand

I like pretty pictures. When they are of New Zealand, even more so. When they are of farming. Well, I’m sold.

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Review: Smoked, by Jeremy Schmid

If you see one type of food next to a smoked version, & it’s the smoked version you go for, then Jeremy Schmid's Smoked will be the book for you.

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Review: The Splendour of the Tree

What strikes me about this book is the true wonder the author has for trees. Had this been the 60’s you would easily label Dr Noel Kingsbury as a tree hugging hippy. Nowadays he far surpasses that notion; he can only be described as being thoroughly enamoured with trees.

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Road Works | RD4 The First Time

We are all very familiar with the important and much respected job of the ‘stop-go’ person. Surely there should be more emphasis into this piece of the road making puzzle?

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Rural broadband is third world | RD4 The First Time

It’s been an age since I blogged about how shit rural broadband is. My word, it is bad. But why? Why is it so bad? There are Amazonian tribes, as yet undiscovered by man and who haven’t even seen a computer that get larger data allowances than me.

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Rural Delivery Services | RD4 The First Time

Living rurally you miss out on a few luxuries that you can sometimes take for granted when you are in the city. Take last night. I needed a pizza. Sadly for me I was about fifty kilometres outside their nearest delivery range...

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Rural Fence Envy | RD4 The First Time

I have fence envy. Rurally speaking. It all begun way back in the first few days of moving to my block...

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Rural Noise Makers | RD4 The First Time

Moving to the country for the "quiet life" doesn't mean that the country is actually quiet!

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Rural recycling: Len Brown doesn’t want my plastic | RD4 The First Time

As you may know I live on a small rural holding in the south of this so called ‘super’ city. We have lower rates, but we have to pay someone to come get our trash. Our recycling on the other hand…well, it seems no one wants it.

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Should you help a rural neighbour? | RD4 The First Time

Easy answer is ‘it depends on the neighbour’. Followers of my blog would agree that helping the 1990’s house music fan neighbours on one side of my house would be a waste of time. Other neighbours, not so much.

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Some people| RD4 The First Time

Good farmers look after their stock. Bad farmers blame others.

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The art of trapping things (part 3) | RD4 The First Time

I feel I am quite justified in my continued dissertation on the ‘art’ of trapping things. Most things I attempt on my block are purely in the face of complete ignorance and for the most part I get a successful result due to the mere fact that I really had no expectation of the actual result.

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The art of trapping things | RD4 The First Time

It's all well and good to set up a trap, but what happens when you actually catch something and the little critter sets its big eyes on you, and you are faced with the power of life and death?

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The art of trapping things: A sequel | RD4 The First Time

So my last blog described my soft side. My heart was on display and I was enamoured by those ‘possum eyes’ that only a possum can give you. Well, in a complete flip flop on my possum killing policy, I shot one last night…in fact, to really flip things over, I actually shot two.

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The Bull | RD4 The First Time

RD4 battles with a randy 800 kilogram neighbour.

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The Great Rural Commute | RD4 The First Time

Living in the country is great… provided you don’t have to drive back into town everyday. The Rural discusses commuting from the country to the city.

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The Magic of Old Tractors, by Ian Johnston

Aged is best and if you are keen to see one of the best collection of old tractors in print you should get yourself a copy of Ian Johnston’s The Magic of Old Tractors.

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The New Water Tank Part 2 | RD4 The First Time

Last week, I had a water tank delivered. This week I got it craned in. Read on to find out if it is collecting water yet...

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The problem with electric fences | RD4 The First Time

A huge aspect of being a farmer involves fences. I think I’ve previously alluded to the fact that without fences you are not really a farmer.

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The problem with my new water tank... | RD4 The First Time

My water tank arrived two weeks ago. It's still not hooked up. Water... who needs that anyway?

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The pros and cons of rural lawns | RD4 The First Time

A constant source of pride for a New Zealand man is his lawn. For some gents it is a constant source of time burgling. Living in the country has pushed my lawn size and time cost up somewhat...

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The return of stubbies

Good news for fans of upper thigh tans. Stubbies are back and now they are more than just a great way to show off your leg definition.

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The Weather & Water Tanks | RD4 The First Time

Living in the country leads you to become rather dependant on the weather. This will come as no great shock to most readers out there. Big time farmers are dependant on the weather for a number of reasons.

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This is NOT a guide to Fieldays 2014 | RD4 The First Time

This blog should not be seen as a guide to Fieldays 2014, not even close. This is merely what I’m going to be doing in order to get as many free things as possible and not get suckered in to buying something I don't need.

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Tips for Fieldays 2014 | RD4 The First Time

The Rural's resident lifestyle block "expert" has some tips for Fieldays 2014 to share... like how to get free food, which is all you really want to know.

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To hunt or not to hunt | RD4 The First Time

You can't just shoot anything you want these days

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View from the Road, by Kennedy Warne and Arno Gasteiger

Photography books are always great ‘coffee table’ books, but while View from the Road fits into that category if you only sat this book on a table it would be like buying a painting just to fill up some space on the wall.

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Vodacool by me | RD4 The First Time

My blog on Tuesday used words such as Vodasteal, Vodadodgetheblame and Vodamonopoly. They may have relevant at the time, but given yesterday’s big announcement from them, it’s lucky for me I didn’t use the term Vodadeaf.

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Vodafinally! Rural broadband has arrived... | RD4 The First Time

Could RD4 The First Time finally have real rural broadband? Read on to find out...

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Vodafone = Vodafail? The fight for rural broadband continues | RD4 The First Time

The struggle to get rural broadband continues for this new lifestyle blocker.

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Vodafone, a thanks | RD4 The First Time

Like most people that have ever used a phone, they’ve had a moan about their ‘provider’. I’m no exception to that rule. But I will however give credit where credit is due, and not just because they gave me credit where credit was definitely due.

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Vodafone, an apology (or not) | RD4 The First Time

This is an apology, not to Vodafone but to you the reader. Feels nice to get an apology. Last post I said I’d get on to the farming. But the fun with Vodafone and broadband continues. Hence the apology. To you. Not Vodafone.

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Water Problems | RD4 the First Time

Especially around about this time of year, water is on the forefront of any rural person’s mind. Whether you are concerned about your grass or your household water tank, water is probably all you are thinking about.

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Water tanks, the endless saga | RD4 The First Time

The tank. Craned in place, well done to Auckland Cranes. However, there is a big ‘pull your bloody head in’ for the plumber I had been chatting too.

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What kind of farmer are you? | RD4 The First Time

Discover what sort of farmer you are by looking at where you and your farm sits on the "Thompson Scale".

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What to do when you resign from work: Buy a lifestyle block | RD4 The First Time

RD4 The First Time - when you resign from your job, what's the first thing you should do? Buy a lifestyle block, of course.

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When is too much water, too much water? | RD4 The First Time

Up until recently, I’ve never found myself at the other end of the water supply issue. After a week of solid rain, I am beginning to notice new swimming pools where there never used to be swimming pools. Lakes where there never were lakes and a lot more ducks than usual.

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When it rains, it pours... | RD4 The First Time

Once again there’s been a lot rain out my way. Again, when you live so close to a water catchment area that supplies a major city, it should come as no surprise.

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Where's the broadband? | RD4 The First Time

Moving from the city to a lifestyle block might sound like a great idea... until you hit the issue of getting rural broadband.

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Why berms are like beards | RD4 The First Time

My berm is almost waist height. But I don’t care. Why not? I can’t see it. I can’t see it, therefore I don’t give two hoots about it. I’m ok. I live in the country.

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Why farming is like Trivial Pursuit | RD4 The First Time

The crowning achievement of any collector is when they complete the ‘set’. When you finally have all the bits you need, all the pieces of the puzzle, all two hundred issues of that magazine...

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Why pay for firewood? | RD4 the first time

Stacked, thrown, by the cubic metre, anyway you take it, it should be free. If you live on a block that is...

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