A Cottage in Clarkville

Moving on from the Cottage
July 8, 2018, 5:33 pm
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After nearly 10 years and a lot of memories we have left the Cottage in Clarkville. We have moved about 8 km west to Swannanoa.

It has been great looking back at the blog, obviously I was pretty sporadic with getting posts on but I am pleased we have a bit of a record of out time there. It was a place were we raised our two great kids, loved a lot of animals, and sadly lost some of them. It kept us safe during those damn earthquakes and we would like to think we left it even better than we found it.

It is great to have passed on our property to Scott and Ali and the boys who we know will love it like we have.

We look forward to making more great memories in Swannanoa.396 No 10 1


August 31, 2015, 8:06 am
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Nothing like a new salt lick block. The alpacas don’t seem to be into it but the sheep were excited about 20kg of salty goodness. Two ewes are due to lamb any day now. The hives in the background have got through winter well and things should start picking up soon with the warmer temperatures. We’re a bit short of grass but hopefully that will change soon too, still a bit if feed in the shed.


Walnuts 2015
April 3, 2015, 6:52 pm
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And so another walnut season begins, looking like our best season ever!


The 2015 Drought
January 29, 2015, 11:42 am
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A pretty dry summer this year, and we have found ourselves a bit overstocked. We have the six ewes, including two old ladies who have lived here longer than we have and no longer visit the ram due to their shortage of teeth. We suspect they couldn’t eat enough if they had a lamb or 2 to support. We have the six lambs that were born last spring as well as Dolmio and Camelot the Alpacas. We no longer have the lease on the couple of acres between us and the pony club, but they are happy for us to keep grazing it in the meantime. We have been doing that as well as feeding out some lucerne, but things were still looking a bit tight. Some of the sheep will have to make a trip to the butchers soon, but in the meantime the pony club have let us graze the wee paddock around the old scout hall which will help. It is a bit dry in there but there is quite a bit of nice clover amongst it. The fences were a bit rough but our latest helpxers Danny and Liz did a great job of making the sheep and alpaca proof.


A good bee season
January 29, 2015, 11:32 am
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P1040395The bees have been very busy this summer. In November I could see that the one hive I had over winter was very strong and was trying to raise a new queen in preparation for swarming. I had my first go at splitting my hive, the bees raised a new queen and so I now have two hives.

With all of the hot weather that we have had this summer the bees are making a lot of honey. A couple of weeks ago we extracted the first box of honey, and I now have another box ready to go. We got 15kg of honey from the first box, I suspect there will be just a little bit next in this next box. I don’t have my own extractor, I use the one that belongs to the North Canterbury Beekeepers Club.

The kids had fun seeing how it all worked, there was a lot of tasting going on throughout the process to make sure it was all ok.P1040382P1040380P1040385P1040387

Thanks Liz and Danny for getting all of the honey into the jars. We are unlikely to eat this much honey, and excess can be used to feed back to the bees in the winter.

New Chickens, fancy ones!
October 26, 2014, 5:34 pm
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After a winter without chooks we now have some new ones on the property. We have gone for 3 Barnevelders which are supposed to be very hardy birds and good foragers. They will hopefully lay 250+ eggs per year, each.
We got them from a local breeder, Sarah at The Chook Shed
Hopefully they will start laying in 8 weeks.



Spring 2014 has arrived
September 12, 2014, 9:07 pm
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A very warm start to spring. The first ewe lambed today, a healthy looking set of twins. We are expecting 3 other ewes to lamb any day.


Noah and I also got stuck into planting some seeds (cucumber, beans and peas) and some lettuce seedlings.P1040168

A Beagle Box
May 6, 2014, 8:32 pm
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The latest change at our cottage has taken place. Our letter box has had a makeover and thanks to our friends and Helpxers Maud and Damian from France, it is now looking great.
Beagle Box

January garden – a sample for Beau
January 20, 2014, 11:48 am
Filed under: Garden

A reasonably solid year in the garden this year, red rascal potatoes doing well, and we are fairly self sufficient for salad greens. Have pulled up the garlic and it looks like it should get us through the year ok. Here is a wee sample for Beau, not much use to him at the moment but hopefully his Mum and Dad can enjoy it. Congratulations Emily and Glen.


South America comes to the Cottage
January 14, 2014, 8:24 pm
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Two new arrivals are settling into life at a Cottage in Clarkville. Camelot and Dolmio are our Alpacas that have come to join the menagerie. They seem quite happy to be here and have been eating out of our hands. They do seem a bit confused by sheep though, but we are sure they will get along. They have just been shorn, so are looking very skinny.241

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