Rural

Animals - Clostridial diseases

Clostridial diseases, such as tetanus and blackleg, are caused by bacteria that live in the environment and sometimes inside animals. They produce the most potent toxins known to occur in nature. When conditions are right for the bacteria to multiply...... Read More

Country Living - Shear madness

Catering and cooking for shearing gangs should have been the easiest task afforded to someone like me in my farming career. Unfortunately though, I have always had this uncanny ability to over-complicate everything in my life, and this was no exception....... Read More

Gardening - Sowing seed

We’re officially in the depths of winter and Mother Nature is doing her best to remind us of that. No matter how positive I try to be, most days are just too miserable to be in the garden. However, there is light on the horizon, spring is on its...... Read More

Animals - Rat bait poisoning

Rat bait poisoning is, unfortunately, a recurring event every winter, and if the symptoms are only detected in the later stages of poisoning, it is a seriously life-threatening issue for your pet. Rat baits are designed to produce delayed onset of symptoms,...... Read More

Country Living - Died in the wool

Was it blissful naivety or complete desperation that propelled that shearer to ask me to rousey that one memorable time? Whatever it was, I had absolutely no intention of allowing my numerous fitness level flaws get in the way of my pride. Looking back,...... Read More

Gardening - Planting for birds

We are fortunate in northern Rodney to be able to enjoy a wide array of native and introduced birds. Frequent visitors or residents of our gardens include kereru, tui, waxeyes, various finches, blackbirds, thrush, mynah, turtle doves, morepork, ducks,...... Read More

Beekeeping - Monstrous mites

It is that time of year when our beehives are wintering over and the rainy and cold conditions are not really conducive for peeking inside hives, thus leaving us beekeepers forlorn and with extra time on our hands. Now I realise this might conjure up...... Read More

Killer worms

Autumn has provided us with some amazing weather, with very little rainfall and higher than normal temperatures. For most sheep and lambs, this has resulted in really good growth rates and condition scores. However, in the last month since the rains have...... Read More

The curse of copper

In gardening circles, some practices have been in long use without a lot of scrutiny as to their effectiveness or side effects. The use of copper sprays is one of these; quite effective as protection against the fungi that cause downy mildew, late blight,...... Read More

Bum’s rush

Following on in the series of my non-farming career is my disastrous folly into “drafting out”. To be fair, I was a very willing participant and eager to add to my skill set. So, I marched off, keen as mustard, to the sheep yards full of hundreds...... Read More