While the Northern Hemisphere seems to be going through an unusually warm summer, down here it is winter. I'm in coastal Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, at close to 40S latitude (about the same distance from the equator as Fort Bragg California, or Philadelphia). Here's a few pictures I took of what I am doing this time of year. Sorry about the black spots on the photos, I only had the old camera with me, I think you can get the idea.
These are our Wiltshire sheep, they were being a bit evasive for some reason so hard to get a good picture. This is their full fleece winter stage, they have never been shorn. As soon as the temperature warms up a bit they drop this wool. These have not required any animal health treatment for well over a decade (certified organic).
And some of the cows, most of the cattle are straight Angus now, it was interesting to get a bunch of white faces in one shot!
The farm is divided up into grazing, forestry and flatter bits we can cut crops off. This picture show all three land uses, forest in the background, hay cutting land (around the 2 tanks), and grazing land in foreground.
This is a new pasture put in mainly for hay. All the hillsides are planting in trees to provide shelter. The tree species selection is about 50-50 timber to N-fixing trees. The idea is every year all the N-rich forest biomass falls out fo the air and maintains soil fertility on the flats.
Diversity happens by excluding livestock. These next 2 pictures are native forest establishing naturally under Eucalyptus trees.
This is an example of some of the land that is being allowed to return to 100% natural forest cover.
I've discovered a band of lime and small rock in one hillside, here we're breaking open a new rock pit for use in farm tracks.
Here is my tree nursery, I can get away with untidy as it is only for farm use. Most of the trees are Eucalyptus microcorys this season.
I plant some trees just because I like them. Looking at the beach past palm trees gives the illusion of living somewhere warm... but only if you use some imagination!
Banyan trees, just because... I love banyan trees!
Marketing organic fruit is the next stage of intended development. Our cool/mild maritime climate suits fruit from high altitude tropical regions such as avocado, cherimoya, black passionfruit etc.
Do you collect the wool that the Wiltshires shed? I've read that it can be done, but I'm not sure if they would give as much wool as a sheep that needs shearing, and what the quality would be like for felting and spinning. Wiltshires do well where I am too.
Jason Yoon wrote:Beautiful farm. 600 acres! That's the dream.
Jason, I could have taken pictures of failed N-fixers that don't fix N here! Acacia and Alnus and some Albizia spp seem to be the only reliable ones for me. I looked into inoculants for years, but not successfully.