If you're visiting Muntanui for the first time because of the feature in last weekend's Nelson Mail (or this weekend's edition of The Christchurch Press), hello and welcome! We hope you'll stop by often. If you're a regular, hello and welcome to you too. Farmer Wan and I, thanks to the afore-mentioned feature, are currently enjoying 15 seconds of fame. Feel free to follow the link, read the story, be mightily inspired and then send us money or something.
We've been beavering away on two major projects over the last few weeks:
Because both involve raised beds and there was no way we could fill them with the compost we're making ourselves, we forked out for 12 cubic metres of the yummy, black stuff. So far, I've loaded about a quarter of it into wheelbarrows and trundled it around the place. This is a very satisfying process, physically speaking. Sandflies now require oxygen when scaling my biceps.
Each project will get its own post, with lots of pics, in the near future. In the meantime, here's a sampling of images to show why we love Muntanui in the springtime.
Coming soon: Compost: the agony and the ecstasy. No, just make that the agony.
Posted by Farmer Nik
As promised, Bee Boss Alex turned up between Christmas and New Year with bees, approximately 100,000 of them in two hives, and set them up in one of the paddocks facing all the soon-to-be flowering manuka.
Soon, the bees were well settled in and the serious business of making honey was started once more. There are two queens in the hive on the left and heaps of honey boxes at the top of both hives.
We look forward to tasting the fruits of their labours very soon.
Posted by Farmer Wan
It was one of those random, wonderfully fortuitous meetings, so of course it had to take place somewhere that was random and wonderful in its own right: our local fish and chip shop, last Friday evening.
Parked outside was a beautiful old truck with the name of a local apiary painted on one side. Inside, were two guys in overalls who looked as if apiarism might've been their thing. I struck up a conversaton and mentioned we were hoping to intall hives at Muntanui.
Alex, the Bee Boss, took my details and said that he and Bee Off-sider, Tony, would come out to see us the next day. As it turned out, they rocked up half an hour later.
They mentioned they were going to check 40 hives up the Branch River the next day and invited us to tag along if we were interested.
"You'll soon work out whether or not bee-keeping's something you really want to do," said Alex.
We jumped at the offer. The next morning, we were out the door by 8 o'clock, packed lunches in hand. We arrived back home at 6pm, having realised over the course of the day that we love bees. We want bees. We must have bees. Bees R definitely Us.
Alex mentioned that he'd stick a couple of hives here "just to see what happens" next time he's coming through -- in about two weeks. As far as we're concerned, it can't happen soon enough... but in the meantime, sit back and enjoy this beeautiful cinematic offering, courtesy of the genius of Spike Jonze. I mean, Farmer Wan.
Posted by Farmer Nik
About Ewan and Niki
Scottish mechanical engineer with a deep and abiding passion for good food. Outstanding cook. Builder of lots of stuff. Cattle whisperer. Connoisseur of beer. A lover rather than a fighter.
Kiwi writer and broadcaster who hates cabbage, even though she knows it's good for her. Chook wrangler. Grower of food and flowers. Maker of fine preserves. Lover of dancing and wine. Definitely a fighter.