A new start for myself and the farm


After 16 years of living here on the farm, raising my kids and having a host of animals we're down to just one horse left. Tempest remains permanently here with me. Mum passed away in January 2019 at the age of 86, which left me with a slight legal issue regarding mum's share of the farm. Her house and share of the farm belonged to her estate. It came down to either subdividing the farm or me buying mum's share out. 

My amazing family made me an offer I couldn't refuse. So I bought mum's share of the land and her house from them. I now own two homes and the full 10 acres of land. I never thought it would happen. It has and now I'm on a new journey in my life. I arrived here when I was 40 full of ideas and dreams. I had to wait 16 years for it to become a reality and now finally it will be. I had to make some hard decisions, especially in the last 18 months. I've rehomed all of the horses except of course for Tempest. I couldn't let him leave. My kids are in their 20s now and doing their own thing. I've got a great job and I work from home. I write a weekly garden column for The Weekend Lifestyler and loving it! My latest one is on Clematis.

I'm at a good time in my life and finally doing the things I've always envisioned for the farm. I almost deleted this blog in its entirety. At one point I had no more to say. It's not uncommon - it happens a lot to people. However, I always wanted the farm to be a safe place for people to come and spend a few hours of time out in a beautiful garden. Finally, I've got my hands on the top paddock where we used to keep our calves and started to create a garden called Aniwaniwa - it means Rainbow in the Maori language. It will be an open garden part of my belief to always have an open gate attitude. I've rented mum's house out for now to a lovely family. So their children can grow up enjoying what my own children enjoyed. Space and a chance to grow up climbing trees, playing in the stream and just being kids.

Right now it doesn't look much - just a bare paddock with a few trees planted. My younger sister planted fruit trees along the edge of where I had planned to put Aniwaniwa so it worked out brilliantly. On the right are the first group of cabbage trees I've planted as a windbreak for the fruit trees. On the rise of earth between the two plantings I'll be putting in lavender to attract the bees and provide colour. Further, over towards the back, I've planted El Greco olive trees. I've put in four so far and have another six to put in. It's a work in progress and no stock can get in and destroy everything. That was always my biggest frustration. Planting something only to find cattle and horses out again destroying everything. Now that's changing. Mad Bush Farm remains in spirit but it's now called Akona Farm (Akona in te reo Maori means To Learn) to reflect the journey I'm now taking. Akona Farm came about when Inaya needed a name for her flower growing venture. So Akona Farm came into being during 2017. She's now at university doing exceptionally well. So I'm continuing her legacy of those beautiful flowers she wanted to see thrive and grow without animals destroying everything. I've just put in the first group of helianthus with more to go in. I love my life and the new journey it will bring. 


  1. Remember what the farm was like when I first met you? It's come a long way, so have you, onwards and upwards.

    1. Rough and ready and it still is but changing.


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