He has a complex

Fun with the great guys from Circus Kumarani

These guys are really cool. Circus Kumarani been in the Kaipara District for many years helping to teach kids to reach their full potential. I met up with them this evening when they were down at the Maungaturoto Country Club after the Christmas parade entertaining the local kids. Really great people and really really talented. I love the circus and these guys just made my day. Way to go guys!!

Art Stuff - Michelle and Gidget Water Colour on paper

This was my first and only ever attempt at painting my kids. All I had was some cheap kids water colour paints and a brush. Okay so my daughter only has four fingers, where her little thumb is..pass there, and the colours are really wierd. I think I recall having an Australian Artists magazine about how green with portrait painting gave a great effect. Hmm..okay. I gave it a go way back then and really enjoyed doing it. Now I look at it and think well I learned heaps from that one!
Michelle was just fifteen months old when I did this painting and she didn't like Mum's western hat stuck on her head. The foal is Gidget an Arab Filly I had bred many years back now. Gidget is the same age as Michelle. Both are now ten. I'm not sure where Gidget is now but I'm sure she's got some nice owners.


Bad Micah the little white faced bull and other goings on

Sooo Innocent (not!)

Micah at the back. River left. Ocean on the right

Stream deciding to hog the water trough

NZ Flax (Phormium Tenax) in flower

Today was one of those typical farm kind of days. Something had got out and there was a possum caught in the trap. Dealt with the possum and buried it then...Mum came down with a broom in one hand and a naughty little Terrorist jersey heifer running along in front of very annoyed Grandma's broom. She had gotten adventurous. Now she's tied to a big tyre so she can't go wandering too far. No more going up the hill to eat Grandma's new garden.

U meeen hooman u tie da moo up to da tire!!

Looking from the road up to where my Mum's house is and the long driveway

Afternoon came.....Mum came down again this time to head on out to Maungaturoto. Well she was until she saw Micah our bull standing in the garden near our house. How he had got out..simple enough he had jumped the spring gate. And the fun began there. Mum went out and the kids and I had to deal with the Guts. Micah is quiet enough BUT he was only interested in going after the little heifer tied to the tyre..groan. Cattle stick in one hand and Inaya with a lead rope in the other we managed to untie the Terrorist and walk her back down the hill with Micah hot on her tail..literally. A few had whacks with the cattle stick stopped him from doing anything we didn't want him to do. Put back in the paddock with the others with an extra hot wire put across to stop anymore escapes. By the time Mum came back all was peaceful again.

As for Micah..he gave me a dirty look. Wonder why.


Next time...hang the Christmas lights yerself!

Red Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release ' Employment Relations Amendment Act welcomed by farmers'

12 December 2008

Employment Relations Amendment Act welcomed by farmers

Federated Farmers has welcomed the passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Act today. With around 550 rural job vacancies throughout New Zealand, the 90-day probation period for new employees, the Act introduces, will give farmers the confidence to employ staff they may not have previously considered.

“Having checked the rural websites there are around 550 job vacancies listed right now,” said Frank Brenmuhl, Federated Farmers employment spokesperson.

“Farm businesses are exactly the sort of enterprise this Act will benefit. There are a lot of great employment opportunities in the rural sector. Prior to the Act’s passing lack of agricultural experience would have seen farmers reluctant to take a chance. The amended Act removes that obstacle.

“This new Act will open the door for farmers and prospective new employees to build constructive long-term careers. That is not just a huge boost for the employment market it is what the economy needs.

“Farming is a unique employment situation as accommodation is often supplied by the employer. This means compatibility is crucial from both sides. The probationary period will enable the employee, as well as the employer, to trial a working relationship. This treats the employment relationship as one between equals.

“This is a very positive move,” Mr Brenmuhl concluded.

Save Seedy Santa from the PC

Save Seedy Santa from the PC

They say dear old Santa
is seedy and not pc
he wags his rude finger
at innocent you and me

He has a creaky winky eye
that's even ruder still
his days are done
he's no longer fun
or so the yuppies say

But there's an Auckland crew
saying give Santa his due
They say let Santa stay.

We don't want Rudolph
or Prancer and Dancer
Or tasteful koru designs
Let the Buskers sing what they want
let them have their way
But most of all
not much to ask at all
our Seedy old Santa must stay

So here's the rule
and get the score
all you pc 's...
get out the door
we don't need you no more
Let Seedy old Santa stay!

Yes I wrote another one..sorry .......

Red Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release ' Thank goodness, reality on Kyoto and climate change at last'

12 December 2008

Thank goodness, reality on Kyoto and climate change at last

“I really like the language coming out of the Poznan conference,” said Don Nicolson, Federated Farmer’s president and trade spokesperson.

“I can’t say it better than Tim Groser, our Trade Negotiations Minister, if that ‘in the area of livestock production, 'mitigation' simply means 'cut production' - we do not have a sustainable way forward’. This is the clearest statement I’ve heard about Kyoto in years,” Mr Nicolson said.

“New Zealand’s trade team told the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that neither New Zealand ‘or the world would benefit from a transfer of production from New Zealand to countries that are less efficient in food production and whose carbon footprint in food production, taking account of every step in the supply chain, is worse than New Zealand's’. That’s Federated Farmers view exactly.

“In terms of global climate change, New Zealand acts globally by farming locally,” Mr Nicolson added.

Federated Farmers looked forward to New Zealand advocating for farm animals and related emissions to be excluded from the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol. Kyoto, as it is currently designed, poses real problems for developing countries whose emissions profile is similar to that of New Zealand. While half of New Zealand’s emissions come from agriculture, this represents only 0.1% of global emissions. Despite this, New Zealand exports 90% of its output feeding the equivalent of almost one percent of the world’s population.

“If the world is serious about combating climate change without starving people, then animal and related emissions need to be out of Kyoto. There is simply no way developing countries will consider entering Kyoto post 2012 if that comes at the cost of food security,” Mr Nicolson concluded.


Art Stuff - Kahikatea Fruit from my visual diary

I did these last year when the Kahikatea Trees were in fruiting stage. I had a lot of fun attempting to draw some little studies of the various stages. From all the comments scrawled all over the page I must have been nuts that day (I'm kidding of course). I do recall that it was a lot of fun. Gee I've used that word a lot today. Oh good. And no I'll never make it to the great botanical artists societies ever as I'm actually serious about anything? Never or life would be dull.

Crashed out

Dream and Emerald had it all worked out. Sleep the entire day and forget the world completely. Strange kind of day today. I got the local rag this morning and all they had on the front page was a negative report on how the economic downturn had affected the Dargaville Christmas Parade. Not a good way to promote Christmas cheer. For my family here we could be negative. Finances are stretched to the limit I can barely pay my mortgage and sometimes I don't sleep well at night . Somehow I know deep down everything is going to be all right. Economic downturn or not why wallow in it. Pointless. One thing I've learned in my life is to move on and keep being positive. It works.

Art Stuff - Mangaraho Rock Oil Sketch on Canvas

Well...I don't think somehow this would ever end up in a gallery. I had some little pieces of canvas at postcard size. So I decided to have a muck around with paints. No way is this any good I did it to learn a bit more. The kids think it's wonderful ah...not exactly. I had fun though. Supposed to be Mangaraho Rock. My drawing is way better than my painting by far. Fun is better than being too serious. I learn more that way. Back to my hole now...

As if looks could kill?

Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release 'Farmers vindicated with costs in Banks Peninsula case'

11 December 2008

Farmers vindicated with costs in Banks Peninsula case

The award of $35,000 costs to Federated Farmers from Environment Canterbury (Canterbury Regional Council), signals the end of an 11 year fight for the right to farm in Banks Peninsula.

Federated Farmers Banks Peninsula Branch chairperson, Pam Richardson, said she is pleased at the $35,000 costs award, but remains frustrated at Environment Canterbury’s refusal to admit its wrong-doing that has cost ratepayers and farmers considerably more than the costs awarded.

"Environment Canterbury has been the author of its own defeat. It is incomprehensible that it continues to point the finger at other parties," Mrs Richardson said.

"I am, frankly, astounded Sir Kerry Burke expressed disappointment at his council facing an awards cost of this magnitude. It was his council who repudiated negotiations undertaken in good faith.

"Farmers worked with all parties to arrive at a compromise of fair rules and landscape designations. Environment Canterbury’s conduct flew totally in the face of mediations ordered by the Environment Court.

"This case should never have gone to court. It has been a waste of farmers’ time and a needless waste of ratepayer's money.

"Having seen Environment Canterbury’s media release, there is little in the way of contrition. This is very concerning as the Environment Court has sent a clear and unambiguous message; the council betrayed mediation process and risked undermining the public’s faith in the process.

“If the council wishes to start rebuilding relationships as they say, they should start by admitting they got it wrong. Instead they are trying to justify the unjustifiable. Environment Canterbury thought they were beyond the law and this costs award is a timely reminder they are not.

"Federated Farmers fought on a matter of principle for what is right. This costs award sends a message to councils that working in partnership is the best way to achieve sustainable solutions that all parties can live with," Mrs Richardson concluded.

Photos from this morning on the Farm and over the Fence

Terry's Dairy cows in the paddock behind our back boundary fence
after milking this morning

View of the top part of our bush from behind my studio
Nice weed garden!!!

And another view slightly further down of our bush

Terry's Heifer Replacements being brought up to the yards next door to our top entrance gate

Another shot I took further back from across our middle paddock on the south side of our farm

Possum Traps and other things - images may disturb (I'm serious)

The last few days my Mum has been having trouble with possums destroying her garden. I went up last night and set two Timms Traps Mum had kindly baited with apple.

I have a lot of respect for our uninvited guests. Brushtailed Possums are interesting creatures. They live in groups with a dominant female at the top of the hierarchy and several males usually around eight or nine making up the rest of the group. Being territorial, fights between females and males are common. We have two subspecies of the Australian Brushtailed Possum introduced into New Zealand. The Tasmanian Red which has a reddish brown fur and the more numerous grey furred common Australian Brushtailed Possum. Both sharing the same habitats have interbred with the offspring bearing traces of both sub species. Grey and red fur are quite common. Possums are marsupials being pouch bearing animals their young are known as joeys and are born without any fur. The joeys stay in the pouch for 4 months before venturing out and joining their parents in eating tree vegetation and sometimes nesting birds and their chicks. Possums are noturnal and sleep during the day. Their eyes and ears are wonderfully adapted for excellent vision and hearing. Their front and hind legs have perfectly adapted claws with the hind paw having a clawless prehensile toe. In Australia the possums are protected as being native wildlife and their environment keeps the population under control. That is no the case in New Zealand. With no natural predators the possums have systematically laid waste to our native forests and native wildlife. The population census count stands at around 71 million individuals and perhaps higher. The photos I took this morning may be a little disturbing.

Weaver of Grass asked what a possum looked like so I took photos of the ones we trapped. One had a joey a sad fact of life I had to humanely put it down rather than let it suffer. It was a little female furless and perhaps around six weeks of age. For those of us on farms of any kind such things are necessary. Apologies if the photos have disturbed anyone.


Blog to Check Out - A Visual Notebook the work of photographer Michael Singer

The Car Project - Image by Photographer Michael Singer

There is magic to be discovered in most ordinary things.
I see paintings and sculptures, created by light and chance. Authorless artwork.
Capturing the found beauty in life and form is my attempt to reveal, what my mind's eye sees.

- Michael Singer

Photographer Micheal Singer captures the beauty of seemingly ordinary things. The reflection of trees across the dark painted surface of a parked vehicle blending nature and man-made into one harmony. Michael has turned his photography into an art form. His images are stunning and pleasing to the eye. No words just the images to tell the story. Check out his blog here .

Someone save him from the evil grandchildren!

Red Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release 'Farmers back probation period for new employees'

10 December 2008

Farmers back probation period for new employees

Federated Farmers is backing the proposed 90-day probation period for new employees announced in yesterday’s speech from the Throne. The probation period will give farmers the opportunity to employ staff they may not have considered previously.

“Agriculture needs motivated and talented staff and this change will really help,” said Frank Brenmuhl, Federated Farmers employment spokesperson.

“Farming is one of the best careers a person can choose as it can lead to many varied careers opportunities. Potential staff may think their lack of experience counts against them. This change means people with no agricultural experience can apply for the many opportunities that exist in our industry.

“In our business the right attitude and a willingness to work are key ingredients to success. The proposed change will create new employment opportunities and we hope people will take them up. That’s a huge boon to the employment market and more so, given the current economic climate.

“Farming is a unique employment situation in that accommodation is normally supplied by the employer. This means compatibility is crucial from both sides. The proposed probationary period will enable the employee, as well as the employer, to trial a working relationship. This treats the employment relationship as one between equals.

“We applaud the new government on this move. The bottom line is that the unions don’t create jobs, employers do,” Mr Brenmuhl concluded.

A Christmas Poem written by me

They're having a party for Christmas
complete with pretty tree
Lots of yummy pudding waiting
just for me

So leave the window open
I'll be right on in
I'll swipe that Christmas pudding
then leave you with my calling card
and a broken bottle of gin

I'll call my cousins to come on through
the merrier it will be
then we'll lay in hard
munching up your pretty tree.
And when we're done
with our bad fun
we'll hide your gun
when you're sleeping in your bed
so tomorrow night
you won't be shooting us dead.

So here's your Merry Christmas
from all us hairy clods
We're all called possums
not rotten Marsupial Sods.

Written by Liz in a moment of perhaps slight madness

Christmas Recipes

These were sent to me by Susan for our local paper here in Maungaturoto. Might as well share them here as well. Thanks Susan!!!

(Makes delicious toast for breakfast, or supper, great for school
lunchboxes and it works out approx 1/3 the price of purchased bread)
2tsp Surebake yeast
1 cup plus 2tbsp half water/milk (lukewarm)
1 large egg
3 tbsp margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups HIGH GRADE flour
1 cup dried fruit (sultanas, raisin, currants)
1/4 cup chopped apricots and/or walnuts - opt
1 tsp mixed spice and vanilla essence
2 tsp cinnamon
Put wet ingred. into breadmaker, followed by dried ingred.
(except fruit/nuts). Set to sweet option, add fruit/nuts when
machine beeps. This bread will keep fresh for several days.
250g butter/margarine
1 cup sugar
6 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon, ground ginger, mixed spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla, almond and lemon essence
1.75 kg mixed fruit of your choice
350 g High grade flour (or Rice flour for GLUTEN FREE)
1 cup drained crushed tinned pineapple
1/4 cup brandy
Cream butter and sugar, add essences, spices, add eggs (one
at a time) beat well. Mix fruit and pineapple together, mix in a little
of the flour to coat the fruit, then add fruit and flour to other ingred.
Bake 150 C for 2 hours, then 120 C 1 1/2-2 hours, pour brandy over
cake as soon as removed from the oven. Cool.
(Make sure the cake tin is well lined with many layers of baking paper,
also sit cake on plenty of layers of plain brown paper - this is stop
outside of the cake drying out during the long cooking time.)

Flowering Manuka on the Farm

While I was up at the top of the farm I caught sight of the Manuka now in full flower and looking absolutely wonderful. The native bush on our farm is having problems with a plague of possums at the moment so it's back to setting the traps again. I hate possums but they make great fertiliser for the trees they like to destroy and the ones I plant. I'll be needing a few...

Bouncy Castles and a shy Santa

Anne and Cameron has set up a bouncy castle for all the kids to play on at their Christmas party on Sunday. Apart from great friends and lots of farming chat the fun came when Cameron played Santa. But Santa was very very shy and didn't want his photo taken. I think one of his elves needs to have a 'talk' with Santa about his shyness. Or was it the fact that the possums had stolen all the Christmas puddings perhaps?


Off the Farm - Dairy Cattle Maungaturoto

Taken at the McCallum Farm. The McCallums farm just on 1000 acres with 450 cows in the Dairy herd.

One from out of the really stupid ideas file - Auckland City Council Regulates Buskers on frequency of song repeats

Just when I thought I thought the era of utterly stupid political correctness was over - I got the wrong answer button.

In a move that in a Herald Poll has been rated at the time of writing at 75% of those who responded as Auckland City Councils new regulation to not allow a Busker to repeat the same song within one hour as being crazy. Crazy and utterly stupid. Whoever came up with that one from the Department of Utterly Stupid Ideas should be made to sit in a room strapped to a chair and made to listen to repeats of the worst songs ever created. I could name a few but I won't.
Read the article below and let me know what you guys think.

Timespanner also sent me this link from the Busker's Point of View it's an interesting read. Thanks Timespanner

Council sets out rules for buskers

4:00AM Tuesday Dec 09, 2008
By Martin Johnston

Buskers who repeat their songs too often within an hour on Auckland City streets can be muzzled under a new council policy.

From Monday, street performers in the city must obtain an annual licence, which is free if they agree to comply with the council's new code of conduct.

The policy acknowledges the important contribution of street performance to the "vitality of our city" and aims to direct "the right activity to the right location at the right time".

It says street performers should develop sufficient repertoire for however long they choose to perform - the maximum is one hour of playing time - without repetition.

"If a performer continues to repeat items they may be asked to cease performing. Performers must immediately comply with this request."

The policy allows licensed performers to operate on city streets - but not parks - at any time if they are quiet acts, such as mime or statue artists. Acts involving musical instruments, amplification or loud voices are restricted to 7am to 9pm in most areas.

The time limit is extended to 2am outside Tourism Auckland and the Starmart on the central-city waterfront, and until midnight at Aotea Square and until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights on Karangahape Rd.

Noise levels must not disturb customers or staff of nearby businesses, or be greater than the usual background noise when heard from 30m away.

Performers are mostly limited to one hour a day at a location, but can then move to another site.

The council says the policy sets a fair way to use the most popular sites and directs performers to appropriate locations in the central city, such as four places for pavement art and eight for acts that attract large audiences.

"Street performance plays an important role in the vitality of Auckland City and offers entertainers the chance to gain experience and develop a public profile," said the chairman of the council's arts, culture and recreation committee, Greg Moyle.

"Clarifying expectations and directing the right activity to the right location, at the right time will encourage and enable a range of street level activity in our city."

Article sourced from the NZ Herald Website

Very Red Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release 'Farmers pleased Government is on the same page'

Straight off the email
9 December 2008

Farmers pleased Government is on the same page

Federated Farmers is encouraged by a new government that values the real builders of the economy and seeks to serve those builders, vice-president, Frank Brenmuhl said today after the new government gave its Speech from the Throne.

“It is great that the government is showing commitment to supporting the productive side of the economy. The primary sector of course earns 65 percent of New Zealand’s export receipts so is a crucial factor in New Zealand’s future economic wellbeing,” Mr Brenmuhl said.

“Like the government, farmers wish to grow the economy in order to deliver greater prosperity, security and opportunities to all New Zealanders. The government has been clear today it knows that for industry to reach its potential there are things that need to change. Federated Farmers is pleased the government is prioritising changes to the Resource Management Act, NZ Emissions Trading Scheme and infrastructure spending.

“The government’s commitment to infrastructure investment, a reduction in government bureaucracy and an across-the-board commitment to lifting productivity growth is what will make the difference for farmers to continue producing export receipts,” Mr Brenmuhl said.

“Reform of the Resource Management Act is something Federated Farmers has been campaigning on for three years so we are very pleased it is a priority of the new government. Farmers know what is wrong with the Act because it affects them every day. Federated Famers looks forward to working with government to improve consent processes.

“Federated Farmers also has huge misgivings about the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in its current form. A balance between meeting New Zealand’s Kyoto responsibilities and taking up economic opportunities is welcomed.

“Federated Farmers is relieved the government recognises the importance of agriculture to the New Zealand economy and so will go in to bat in international negotiations for the appropriate recognition of New Zealand's unique agricultural-emissions-profile.

“These promises are like green grass to farmers but proof of the pudding will be in the eating; let us see what happens over the next 100 days,” Mr Brenmuhl said.

“Federated Farmers looks forward to working with government to ensure delivery of these priorities. Without them, New Zealand will not reach its economic potential,” he concluded.

Why the Cat was never invited again to the work Christmas Party

Bovine Dramas

Yesterday afternoon two of my neighbours' replacement dairy heifers had gotten out onto the road. Sometimes I think people are downright dumb. Cars and trucks were roaring past them at high speed. One guy almost smacked into them. Finally another guy stopped his vehicle to give me a hand to get the two calves off the road. We lost one which ended up at way up the road at another farm and I got the unpleasant company of a bawling heifer keeping me awake for the rest of the night mutter. The kids and I shot up to Terry's milking shed late yesterday afterday and told Peter the Farm Manager. Peter showed up this morning with Craig to get the heifer. After a lot of running around and my cows ending up yet again in the garden, the nuisance was safe and sound back in her paddock. The other one was brought back an hour later. One thing I do have around here and that's great neighbours. So much for my morning. Spend chasing cows. No wonder I called my home the Mad Bush Farm because most of the time things here are crazy and fun. Photo above is the heifer in my garden. What's left of my garden that is.

Hot off the Press - Agresearch Media Release 'New Centre for Reproduction and Genomics opens today'

New Centre for Reproduction and Genomics opens today

9 December 2008

AgResearch’s new Centre for Reproduction and Genomics at its Invermay campus near Dunedin, will be officially opened today (2.30pm) by AgResearch’s former Chairman, Rick Christie.

Known as the Christie building, the state of the art Centre is to be the New Zealand heart of research into reproduction and genomics, with a focus on livestock and human reproduction, health and disease and, more generally, mammalian reproductive control. The Centre will house scientific teams from both AgResearch and The University of Otago.

AgResearch CEO, Dr Andrew West, says this Centre brings together respected expertise in New Zealand in the fields of reproduction and genomics. “Bringing together the complementary capabilities of both AgResearch and The University of Otago in genomics and reproduction will enable us to greatly advance in this type of research,” he says.

“New Zealand faces many challenges. Our pastoral sector will have to perform at a higher level but at a lower cost ...that will mean an increase in value rather than volume. Our farmers will have to depend on a variety of reproductive and genetic tools to make this happen ... and this is where the CRG has a major role to play.”

The Director of the Centre is Professor Neil Gemmell, who earlier this year was appointed to the AgResearch Chair in Reproduction and Genomics at The University of Otago. Professor Gemmell says the scope for the new Centre is very broad and its strength firmly based on existing collaborations. “New Zealand is undoubtedly a world leader in the fields of animal health and breeding and genomic technology. I think we can build on that, and take information from decades of work in livestock and translate it into other areas of animal and human health,” he says.

The Christie building was designed not only to focus on the practicalities of conducting leading edge research, but also with important environmental considerations in mind.

Wool insulation has been used throughout the building. “As a natural and renewable fibre with high performance properties grown on farm, wool offers a greener alternative to traditional insulation products, which are often made out of synthetic materials,” says AgResearch Chief Information Officer, Dr Phillip Lindsay.

While wool insulation in itself contributes to energy efficiency, other energy-saving measures have been incorporated in the design of the building. The building’s air-conditioning systems re-use warm air, but do not compromise air quality. The most up to date energy-efficient models of equipment have been fitted and a low energy and automated lighting system has also been installed. The building has also been double insulated with low-E glass.

With the development of the new building AgResearch has also taken the opportunity to review energy usage across its Invermay campus. A significant upgrade of its boilers is underway so that they can burn wood pellets or wood waste -- both renewable fuel sources.

Dr Lindsay says that given the specialist nature of the building and budget limitations, it was not always possible to put environmental considerations first, but overall it achieves a good balance between environmental concerns and the practical requirements of a specialist laboratory environment.

Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release 'Kyoto and ETS: New Zealand acts globaly by farming locally'

9 December 2008

Kyoto and ETS: New Zealand acts globally by farming locally

“New Zealand must ensure its world leadership in low emission farming is reflected in the next phase of Kyoto and the policies that follow,” said Don Nicolson, Federated Farmer’s president and trade spokesperson.

“We saw two significant moves yesterday to correct Kyoto’s errors and the policy response New Zealand has so far adopted.

“First the new Trade Minister, the Hon. Tim Groser, departed for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poland. Incredible as it sounds, it will actually be the first time agriculture and has been put on the Kyoto table.

“Federated Farmers unambiguous message for Mr Groser is that the next phase of Kyoto must not capture emissions generated by farm animals. Without the food and fibre of these animals the human race cannot survive and if Kyoto ends up increasing the price of food, people will die.

“We do however welcome the appointment of United Future leader and Minster of Revenue, the Hon. Peter Dunne, as chair of the select committee that will review the ETS. This is about policies that work for the global climate and for New Zealand. Peter Dunne knows that.

“Climate change is a global issue and it demands global solutions. New Zealand’s farmers act globally by farming locally. That’s how we are able to feed almost one percent of the world but generate only a tenth of that in emissions. This efficiency must be the starting point for negotiations.

“Look at it like this. Germany is considered one of the greenest countries in Europe yet its agricultural system emits a massive 3.5 times the emissions our farms do. Despite it being such a major producer of greenhouse gases it is one of the least efficient agricultural producers.

“We don’t build cars but what New Zealand does better than almost anyone else is using water to grow grass and turning that grass into protein. We are a climate change force for good in a world that desperately needs more food, not less. We look forward to Mr Groser making the case for farm animal emissions to be excluded from Kyoto.

The Federation expressed concern at the way New Zealand emissions profile is reported and ‘spun’ by the so-called green movement. While agricultural emissions account for 50% of New Zealand’s emissions profile, the sector is responsible for 64% of all export earnings. In world terms, New Zealand’s agriculture emissions profile represents a mere 0.1% of global emissions. The Federation wished to see scale and context put into the climate change response debate relative to other countries. This is a debate New Zealand needs to have and farmers welcome it.

“The green movement has more logical holes than Swiss cheese. They laud ‘Buy Kiwi Made’ but wish to kneecap New Zealand’s premier export industry. They ask for global solutions but can’t accept New Zealand farmers, being the world’s most efficient, deliver exactly that.

“The green movement want an ETS except they want an efficiency trading scheme that would shift production from New Zealand to less efficient countries. Isn’t that worse for the world?

“Simply put, the second commitment period of Kyoto must exclude farm animal emissions as this goes to the very basics of life. Food. This second commitment period and our ETS must reward New Zealand for acting globally by farming locally,” Mr Nicolson concluded.

Blog to Check out - The Big Storm Picture the Stormchase Photography of Ryan McGinnis

The Calm after the Storm Image by photographer Ryan McGinnis

Storm Chaser and photographer Ryan McGinnis brings stunning imagery with his large format shots of storm cells and tornadoes in Kansas and Nebraska. Just posted by Google as a Blog of note Ryan certainly deserves to be recognised as a world class photographer in his chosen field. The images are breath taking and will keep the computer screen busy for hours reading all the stories Ryan has told during his time as an avid Storm Chaser. Check out The Big Storm Picture my rating is AWESOME.

An Inspiring Poem by Oriah

I have always loved this poem. It kept me going during times of hardship and for me it defines who I have become during my own personal journey. Written by poet Oriah Mountaindreamer the Invitation says I accept you for who you are but I want to know if you can face the challenges that life brings. My answer to that is yes I can.

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Written by Oriah Mountaindreamer

© Mountaindreaming, from the book The Invitation published by HarperSanFrancisco, 1999 All rights reserved


Minion of Basement Cat needs toughening up

A Christmas Angel for Anne

Last night we went to Anne and Cameron's Christmas Party on their Dairy Farm at Paparoa. Loads of people I knew from around the local district had shown up and we all had a great time. Anne had this gorgeous Birman kitten she had bred and aptly the little kittie had been named Angel. I just had to photograph her.


Red Hot off the Press - NZ Dairy Industry Awards Media Release ' Best Farm Forward in Dairy Awards'

8 December 2008


Having their sharemilkers enter the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year competition provided a number of positive spin-offs for farm owners Andy Palmer and Sharon Collett – most notably the farm never looked so good!

“I saw the sharemilkers physically putting in a lot of effort to do jobs that perhaps may not have otherwise got done or that would have got done eventually. With the competition they all got done at once.”

The Palmer’s property is close to Fonterra’s Clandeboye factory in South Canterbury and was run by 50% sharemilkers Paul Mercer and Desiree Reid last season. The couple entered the 2008 Canterbury Sharemilker of the Year competition, winning, and placing third in the New Zealand final.

Mr Palmer says he was happy to support Paul and Desiree’s entry in the competition, signing forms and being available to meet judges.

“The whole experience was 100% positive. It was also motivating. I got out and did stuff that perhaps I had been dragging the chain on.

“It was also evident to me that a lot of the paperwork and documentation that’s required nowadays in complying with resource consents and other things were up to date and staff were well briefed. It was great.”

He says Paul and Desiree put considerable effort into their entry and he witnessed them grow in confidence and in the realisation that they were doing a good job.

“All the finalists got so much out of it, even just positive affirmation that what they are doing is in the right direction and if there were some areas where they could improve they were given positive feedback from the judges to assist them.”

Mr Palmer plans to encourage his new sharemilkers to enter the competition at some stage. “I will encourage them to enter these awards as it’s exciting to see the benefits that they will get out of it and it’s great for the farm.”

Entries are now being accepted in the 2009 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, incorporating the Sharemilker of the Year, Farm Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions.

The awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, Honda, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner Agriculture ITO.

Further information on the Awards, including entry forms, can be obtained by visiting www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.

Introducing.....The all new improved..AMYVAC

Yes with the new improved Amyvac you are guaranteed hours of constant recleaning of your mess with the predesigned instant loose catch system. Your dirt and dustmites will LOVE you for it.

Ah not quite. Poor Amy gave me a helping hand today to clean up my disgusting hovel of a house. As of several hours ago Amy became an official member of the Mad Bush Farm Crew by completing the two following tests. Test one follow the head Mad Bush Farm Crew person through some bush up across blackberry. Say hi to two old horses then.... get the ritual bogging in a bog and lose a pink plastic shoe stolen from one's dearly beloved daughter. Head Mad Bush person rescues pink shoe. Amy and Mad Bush person unable to stop laughing. Test two...use ancient tellus vacuum cleaner and watch the stupid thing drop it's guts all over the kitchen floor. Poor Amy it was so funny. Well I have the photo to prove it. Just need to do the right advertising now...hmm anyone want to invest in the all new improved AMYVAC???? Oh come on she's a great investment. LOL! Thanks Amy for all your help I had a great day with you today. Hmm have to find that gnome now...