From farming stock to lifestyle blocks

So it is Spring - A Rural Blog

15-Sep-2016 | Contributed by: Drew Thompson

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Spring

Grass - turns out it's quite important

Well we made it through another Winter. Average rain fall was way more than average and any area that wasn't on at least a forty five degree slope spent most of winter either under water or as a swamp. 

There are a few signs to look for to help you work out that it has been a very wet winter:

The average pukekos per hectare on your farm has risen exponentially. 
  • In my case, the department of conservation has sent representatives to document the conditions on my farm to help scientists find new ways to help native bird life throughout New Zealand.
You have more reed than grass
  • I have started a side business weaving reeds into baskets for baby transportation
Your stock have shrunk
  • My heifers have pugged the ground so much that they appear to be foot or so shorter. I have had several dexter breeders consult me on my current stock bloodlines.
However, I now hear that spring is here. For the Auckland region and further north it means that we have a lot of fresh grass for the stock to eat. That incredibly tough winter where the temperature got almost as low as to threaten single digits is over, probably. All our lambs will be able to survive until that inevitable cold snap snaps. It is not because they have a bit more shelter, or a bit more weight to them but because most of the lambs around here were born in April.

Townies seem to think that spring means lambs, but in fact all it means is more rain for the already wet fields. At least the grass grows. Unless of course you are in the South Island, where a cold snap is actually a cold snap and it will wipe out all of your stock regardless of age. Better get the trailer ready to go round picking up all the carcasses. 

Someone at the office described my farming efforts as 'glorified gardening' and they are probably right. Where most gardeners grow veges and etc, lifestylers grow grass - and not even the profitable illegal kind either. It does seem that way during winter when most small block farmers tend to bunker down and hope for the best, whilst real farmers keep going outside and plugging away at it. Myself, I just keep the curtains closed so I can't see the farm and hope for the best.

The only difference between gardeners in the city who own pets and lifestyler types with pets is the size of the pets...and the size of the garden too. To find out if someone is a lifestyle pet owner get them to answer the following questions: Do they let the pet up on the furniture and do they pick up the pets crap? If they answer in the affirmative for either of those, you got yourself a gardener...or someone who likes farm animals WAY too much.

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