Rural

Bees - Learning to love bees

I never once imagined when I became a beekeeper a few moons ago that my free time would change in so many different ways. I had, until that moment, had no real interest whatsoever in the insect world, let alone the stinging kind of insects. Then one day...... Read More

Animals - Perils of jumping to conclusions

I was intrigued the other day when one of our farmers reported that his bank manager had brought along a consultant on the latest visit to his farm. The consultant was a specialist in critical thinking. I quizzed the farmer as to whether the critical...... Read More

On the Farm - The quest for good meat

Well, it’s that time of year again when we’re all on the hunt for that something special for the Christmas table. Also when the old/new dilemma rears its head more strongly about how much meat we should be consuming at this festive time of...... Read More

Country Living - Diving for kina

“Do the mahi, get the treats” what a perfect way to describe the diving for and collection of kina. Our endearing Maori equivalent of a long walk to the dairy to obtain a bag of boiled lollies. Meet my good friend Mr Sonny Matthews (Ngati...... Read More

Gardening - Keeping your cool

With this year’s rather active La Niña weather system and global warming adding an extra push to temperatures, this summer is shaping up to be hot and sticky. For tropical plant aficionados like me, hot and humid weather with regular...... Read More

Wine - All eyes on the weather

Our grape growing weather obsession is in high gear at the moment as we head toward the hotter months of the year. It’s been a great start to the season, with generally mild to warm weather and not too much rain north of Auckland at this stage....... Read More

On the Farm - Planting for a brighter future

I thread my way carefully by torchlight down the paddock to the creek running through my farm. The breeze picks up as the running water imparts extra energy to the airflow. The torch beam highlights movement in the water – small fish dart or just...... Read More

Animals - Summer diseases

Summertime in veterinary practice often revolves around fleas, barber’s pole worm and facial eczema. A warm, wet summer, like that which is predicted for this year, provides ideal conditions for all these problems. The benefits of taking a proactive...... Read More

Country Living - Life on the road

With the roosters still firmly tucked in their beds and a delicate kiss on his sleeping wife’s cheek, John Parker knows that his logging truck number 5659 awaits him for another long day behind the wheel. I met with John, from Aztec logging, under...... Read More

Country Living - Turkey shoot

Remember when we played “bang bang”?  We shot them down, “bang bang” they hit the ground, “bang bang” that big loud sound, “bang bang” we shot those turkeys down. Well, not quite the lovelorn sentiments...... Read More