|Wary sheep being corralled|
|The whethers outside were frightful|
Our next farm host, Cathy, picked us up from Bulls in a beat-up farm pickup, or as they're called in New Zealand, a "ute". Cathy and David had 950 hectares on two farms where they finished thousands of cattle, sheep, and deer for meat. "Finishing" usually involves purchasing young animals a short while before they are ready to be butchered, and feeding them until they have the ideal ratio of bone, meat, and fat.
|Just a small fraction of the farm's sheep|
population (which was in the thousands)
The remainder of our short stay was spent mostly working on fencing, apparently a common theme among our host farms. The last fence Randy worked on had been washed out by an epic flood a few years earlier. While he was traipsing through the woods pulling electric fence posts out of trees, a too-close-for-comfort gunshot reminded him that it was hunting season. He quickly decided to leave that fence for the next volunteer.
|Hectares of special grass planted via GPS |
specifically for grazing
|A really nice diesel-fueled|
After only four days, David happened to be commuting to Wellington and we couldn't pass up that guaranteed two hour ride in the direction we were heading. We all left at 4:30 in the morning and enjoyed an in-depth conversation about the New Zealand dairy industry. We didn't realize that 95% of the milk produced in New Zealand is exported, mostly in powdered form. The majority of this powdered milk goes is destined for Asia, where an up-and-coming middle class is eager to obtain this newly-affordable source of protein.
|Islands in Cook Strait|
|Holly bonds with a baby fur seal|
|Skags (cormorants) and the |
giant rock they've painted white
|New Zealand is also home to many fur seals, the sheep of the sea|