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Where is all our money going?

Work in progress

The cheapest way run your lifestyle block is to lease out your pasture to the local farmer, and if both of you work, really the best option, its hard enough keeping the garden and lawns tidy with a full time job, without all the extra work involved with keeping live stock and land.

So how are we doing

I will break our expenses down into three categories, Land and buildings, Kit, and animals.

We have registered for GST and for the foreseeable future the IRD will be sending us bi monthly cheques

Land and Buildings

We have about 10 acres of “usable land” very broadly speaking, but it is by no means flat, with very steep banks and a bit of swamp, plus one area full of gorse. We have 20 acres of native bush, for which we are guardians.

The whole of the pasture was one big field (paddock in NZ), the grass adjacent to the house was mostly open with our sceptic tank sited in the centre of it.

This is how our top paddock looked originally

Our first job was to employ Dick our local farmer and guru to fence off the house paddock. We collected all the materials from Jim Rollston on the Kaiaua road and Dick brought up his trusty and very old Same tractor with thumper to bang in the posts. This process started in September 2011 and we are now in April 2012 and is still continuing with new fencing projects, about $4000 spent so far. This does not include the cost of “extras” like gates. To this date we have bought and fitted 14, with an average cost of $190 including the grunions etc.

01 July 2012 - after a delay involving having to get resource consent and a bill for $2,800 NZD after a vist from the planning office that lasted all of a quarter of an hour, building of the 'barn' is scheduled to start in 2 weeks time.

Our swampy area was a barrier between the two halves of our main paddock, even the quad bike could not get through. The solution was Neil Currie and his 20 ton digger. We now have a lake (well big pond), an earth dam, over which I now can travel, plus a track up the far side which was too steep for the quad. I include a photo of one of the tracks, took 1.5 hours to dig. The pond in the photo took about 12 hours, but included gorse removal, building a dam and carving out drainage ditches to the pond.

Aug. 2012. Our new 9*6 metre barn/shed has been built.

Neil Currie excavating a track for my Quad, plus “the Lake”

Farm Kit

A quad bike or perhaps a small tractor is essential once you get over a couple of acres. There are so many things that need pulling, carrying and transporting, plus fertilizer spreading and grass harrowing. How can you call yourself a life-styler without the quad (ATV)! Quads do have a lot of safety issues and really can be lethal so see:Quad Bikes (ATV) Safety and Rollover Protection.

We are building up our equipment, at present we have a couple of trailers (road and off), a harrow, plus the usual chainsaw, line trimmer etc. A fertilizer spreader would be useful, but with hire costs at $40 per day, the economics do not work.

01 July 2012 - a trip to the Mystery Creek Fieldays (the biggest agricultural show in the Southern Hemisphere) has seen the arrival of a spray unit that sits on the quad bike, with a 30 meter hose so we can spray the slopes without driving up and down them.

Alpacas

Aug 2012: We have 15 alpacas at present, 4 male and 10 female and one cria. Two of the females are pregnant with cria due in 2013.

Just after shearing

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living_in_new_zealand/country_calendar/country_calendar_a5.txt · Last modified: 2012/08/16 17:51 by art
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