Okay so they're my stinky old gumboots but you might like the tea pot!

I know in art school you learn to do academic studies of the human form, objects and things from nature. I didn't go to art school and didn't have any interest whatsoever in art as a subject when I was younger. It came later on in my life when I was in a life crisis of sorts. I guess we all get those from time to time. So there I was thinking I really should draw something, but couldn't think what to draw. So I drew my gumboots out there on the doorstep, forelornly left there all neglected with bits of barley left by the old man dropping his feed here and there. On a farm you need your gumboots, they're the footsaver when a horse or a cow plonks their great big clomping hooves on your long suffering foot, it lessens the pain slightly I suppose. The dog has chewed up my last pair. They were beyond help any way. Then came the barbed wire, which for some unknown reason is inside the house here. It's supposed to go on a fence not end up in the lounge as some kind of strange ornament. I think Michelle has an idea that it would be useful for fixing the back fence with so certain cows do not head over to our neighbours place any time soon. And then is the puzzle seed - at least Michelle called a 'puzzle seed'. A puzzle it is indeed. Figuring out exactly what it is - well one day I will figure it out. She had found it at Wenderholm a lovely beach on the east coast of Rodney District. It came home got left in my bathroom on the windowsill for heck knows how long until I decided it had been there long enough! So there it is on the paper as well.

Speaking of works of art, the old dragon (yes my kids do call me that from time to time) at Auckland Zoo (not here at Mad Bush Farm) had a facelift. He was built by groundsman Cedric Story back in 1959 in the Childrens Zoo playground. Now the area is called Kidzone and it's changed so much from the zoo I remember as a child. And always I had to go and play on that old dragon. My kids too have played on him as well.

 Back in August I visited the Auckland Museum with Lisa I photographed a large number of fascinating objects housed in the museum collection. I loved this beautiful salt glazed Camel Teapot made by Staffordshire in England. It was made between 1760-1800, what a treasure it is. And on the subject of history I wrote about an interesting woman named Emma Hattaway who was a nurse. She was an amazing woman. Check it out here.

ANZ Young Farmer Contest Launches in Christchurch

The 46th season of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest officially got underway last Friday 4th October at the Commodore Hotel in Christchurch.

There was ample turnout at the launch from Young Farmers members, volunteers and representatives from sponsors ANZ bank, Lincoln University, Ravensdown, AGMARDT, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone.

The Contest’s compere, Craig ‘Wiggy’ Wiggins, opened the proceedings and was followed by other speakers such as outgoing NZYF CEO Richard Fitzgerald and Graham Turley, Managing Director Commercial and Agri for ANZ.

ANZ has been the principal sponsor of the Young Farmer Contest since 2003 and this long standing relationship continues to thrive.

The current champion of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest and Agri Manager with ANZ, Tim Van de Molen also spoke at the event and commented: “The prizes that the sponsors offer is a great recognition of support for the primary industry.”

“The great thing about the Contest is learning about new things and getting out of your comfort zone, you would never push yourself to do these things if it were not for the Contest,” said Mr Van de Molen.

The Contest receives extraordinary support from the volunteers who dedicate many hours and use their passion for the industry to make the all the events, from District Finals right through to Grand Final huge successes year after year.

“The enthusiasm across the club members is really infectious and I really think that this year will be the most fiercely contested,” said Terry Copeland, CEO for New Zealand Young Farmers. “The ANZ Young Farmer Contest is the most inspiring and comprehensive rural challenge for competitors in the world. The commitment and achievements from our entrants is both aspirational and awe inspiring for our youth,” he commented.

“Past winners have gone on to become inspiring leaders within the broader agricultural sector and this year’s crop of competitors should bring through another set of great role models who will push the boundaries across all sectors to show what a diverse career path the primary industries have to offer,” said Mr Copeland.

The first of the 24 District Finals took place in Christchurch and Massey University on Saturday 5th October and place getters from these events will progress to one of seven Regional Finals held throughout the country from February to April.  The Grand Final will be held in Christchurch from July 3rd – July 5th.

For more information and the latest results go to www.youngfarmercontest.co.nz


Quiche and Cat Trolls

I found a recipe for a basic quiche that is a no fuss and easy cheap meal to do when you're on a tight budget and need to keep costs down but still have a great meal. This is the result of mine. Bacon and Kumara in this one and it was delicious. Give it a try and here's the recipe.

Quiche Recipe (Basic)

4 eggs
1 ½ cups of milk
3 tablespoons melted butter (or margarine)
½ cup Self Raising Flour
1½ cups grated cheese
2 cups of filling of choice

Preheat oven to 180 C
Whisk together in a bowl, eggs, milk, butter, and flour
Fold in cheese and fillings
Pour into a 24cm quiche dish or Texas muffin tins
Bake for 40 minutes or until set
Serve hot or cold with vegetables

The CAT TROLL decided to make herself comfy on the chaff sack, which of course contains the horses lucerne chaff which I wanted to get at. Given one eye was open and that she stuck her claws into my socks was warning enough......
So........I had to leave her there or risk claws in my hands if I tried to move her. I'll get the plasters out just in case she decides to get me later.