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Preview: Country Life

RNZ: Country Life

Country Life takes you down country roads to meet ordinary people achieving their dreams. We live in a beautiful country...


Blades of Glory

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 21:46:00 +1300

Allan and Phil Oldfield are professional blade shearers from Geraldine. Shearing has taken Allan around the world in the past year. While shearing a mob of finn-cross sheep at Russell Brodie's farm at Rangitata in South Canterbury, they enlighten Cosmo Kentish-Barnes about the art of shearing with giant scissors.

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Meaty Mushrooms

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 21:27:00 +1300

Clive Thompson's foray into mushroom growing started when he was at school. More than 50 years later he is still at it and now picks seven tonnes of mushrooms a week from his growing sheds near Carterton in Wairarapa. He specialises in brown button and brown flat mushrooms. Clive will be looking forward to his one day off soon; his mushrooms are picked every day of the year apart from Christmas day.

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Forests for Farmers

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 21:19:00 +1300

The Forest Owners Association says there are terrific opportunities for farmers to get into forestry now the government's announced an ambitious scheme to plant an extra billion trees in the next decade.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 21:14:00 +1300

The East Coast's been warm with no wind which farmers have loved but they're all mindful it's getting dry. That's not reflected in sale yard prices yet however, the store market for lambs and cattle is strong. The top of the South Island is very dry. Farmers are flat out weaning lambs and trading cattle are going to the works as everyone gets down to capital stock.

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California Wild Fires

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 21:07:00 +1300

John Grether grows 400 hectares of mandarins, lemons and avocados in California's Ventura County. For the time being his orchard is safe from the raging wild fires but some of the people he works with have lost their homes.

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Full Episode for Friday December 8, 2017

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 21:03:00 +1300

Blades of Glory, Meaty Mushrooms, Forests for Farmers, California Wild Fires and the Regional Wrap.

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Wairere rams - tough nuts

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 21:46:00 +1300

A careful breeding programme in the tough Wairarapa Hill country produces hardy rams that can cope with most conditions the New Zealand countryside throws at them.

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The Drunken Nanny

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 21:27:00 +1300

Wairarapa sheep and beef farming couple Amanda and Lindsey Goodman have now added dairy goats to the mix. Lindsey squeezes in milking once a day and Amanda makes award-winning fresh goats cheese.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 21:14:00 +1300

Northland has had a good week with sunshine during the day and showers at night. There is enough rain to keep pasture ticking over which means there's still good demand for store cattle at the sale yards. Feed is tight and dryland crops are showing moisture stress in parts of Canterbury that had no rainfall in November.

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Food for Thought

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 21:07:00 +1300

Emma Johnson has edited and complied a book that looks at how our food impacts our culture and the people involved in creating local food identities. Kai and Culture - Food stories from Aotearoa is published by Freerange Press in Christchurch.

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Full Episode for Friday December 1, 2017

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 21:03:00 +1300

Wairere Rams - Tough Nuts, The Drunken Nanny, Kai and Culture and the Regional Wrap

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Learning on the Land

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:46:00 +1300

In 1952, Edmund Jeff gifted his 2424 hectare property to the Salvation Army to be used for training underprivileged youths in agriculture. It's still a training farm 65 years on.

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Active in AI

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:27:00 +1300

Don Shaw is an AI Technician which means at this time of the year he is up early visiting dairy farms every morning inseminating cows that have come on heat. It's a job thousands of people do between September and December. Not many would be in their 70's. Don is. He's 79 years old has no plans to retire just yet.

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Meet Zespri's new CEO

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:14:00 +1300

The new CEO of kiwifruit marketing organisation Zespri has 15 years experience marketing kiwifruit and is currently based in Singapore. Dan Mathieson sees it as an innovative move by the company to have an offshore CEO.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:07:00 +1300

Hot, calm days are suiting bees on orchards, but Hawkes Bay hasn't had any significant rain for six or seven weeks and it needs some. Eastern Marlborough is drying up too so farmers are offloading lambs and surplus ewes.

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Full Episode for Friday November 24, 2017

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:04:00 +1300

Learning on the Land, Active in AI, Zespri's New CEO and the Regional Wrap.

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Spaced out in Kihikihi

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:46:00 +1300

The small Waikato town of Kihikihi is home to a space museum which has artefacts from the Russian and American space programmes, interactive activities and a real-time stream from an international space station.

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Cambodian Peppercorns

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:27:00 +1300

New Zealander Julian Hansen has a master's degree in political science and Russian, and he speaks Thai, Russian and Khmer. Over twenty years ago he went to Cambodia to work on development projects. Tired of sitting behind a desk, he and his Cambodian wife went to live in the highlands where they grow peppercorns and avocados for both local and export markets.

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Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:14:00 +1300

The Douglas-Clifford family run a 22,000 stock unit sheep, beef and deer breeding and finishing property at Motunau, north of Christchurch. They are the proud winners of the 2017 Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Award.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:09:00 +1300

Very little grass silage has been made in dairy farming areas of the North Island so farmers are being warned they probably won't be able to buy any when they need it.

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Cherries early this year

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:07:00 +1300

The cherries are early this year and it’s looking like a bumper crop too, says an Otago orchardist.

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Full Episode for Friday November 17, 2017

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:05:00 +1300

Country Life whizs around a Space Museum in a small Waikato town .. there are plenty of interactive displays as well as genuine space suits and other artefacts from space programmes. Also, Environment Southland's Focus Farm Activity Plan is being taken up by an increasing number of farmers.

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Free Advice Hooks Farmers

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:35:00 +1300

Environment Southland's farm plan is being taken up by an increasing number of farmers. So far, more than 400 farmers have been offered free, farm-specific environmental management advice through the plan. They can also apply for up to $5,000 towards implementing some of the recommendations. Sheep farmer Nigel King was surprised at what he discovered about his farm when he was guided through the process by Environment Southland land sustainability officer, Anastazia Raymond.

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Making water the winner

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 21:30:00 +1300

Southland farmers are voicing concerns about a proposed Water and Land Plan to maintain water quality in the region. 

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Juiced the ticket

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 21:18:00 +1300

Brian Belluomini and Sarah Wright of Mela Juice think the secret to their juice just might be the sturdy, not overly efficient, 40-year-old juicer they inherited. Mela Juice produces single-variety apple juices and apple cider vinegar on a rural property not far from Greytown in Wairarapa. A local farmer picks up the waste from the juice making process, uses it as a natural fertiliser and adds the pulp to stock feed.

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Spud Olsen

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 21:11:00 +1300

Paul 'Spud' Olsen grow potatoes in Opiki and keeps putting his hand up to be involved in farming and growing organisations.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 21:05:00 +1300

Hawkes Bay farmers are looking forward to the predicted moisture arriving this weekend. Milk production on dairy farms is ahead of last year and cows have been cycling particularly well. Canterbury's dried out very quickly over the last week after several days of nor west winds. The first of the new seasons lambs are being drafted at very good prices.

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Full Episode for Friday November 10, 2017

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 21:00:00 +1300

Making Water the Winner, Mela Juice and Paul 'Spud' Olsen and the Regional Wrap.

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Mad about sheep

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 21:30:00 +1300

Dayanne Almeida is a self-confessed sheep nutter. She was determined to move to New Zealand from Brazil to work in the sheep industry and now spreads the world about sheep farming on her "Sheep Nutter' Facebook page.

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Are aliens into agronomy?

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 21:26:00 +1300

We turn the clock back to 1961 when several people reported seeing unidentified flying objects in South Canterbury.

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Assessing the Damage

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 21:16:00 +1300

Motueka apple orchardist Evan Heywood has damage to five hectares of fruit from a bad batch of fungicide.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 21:11:00 +1300

Maize is germinating well in most North Island areas, it's a little later going in than normal, and asparagus has had a terrific growing week. Lamb marking is in full swing in Central Otago and farmers are busy making hay, silage and bailage.

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British Bubbles

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 21:07:00 +1300

New Zealand winemaker Cameron Roucher is the vineyard manager at Rathfinny Wine Estate, one of the largest new vineyards in the UK and owned by former London hedge fund manager Mark Driver.

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Full Episode for Friday November 3, 2017

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 21:00:00 +1300

Mad about Sheep, British Bubbles, Assessing the Damage, the Regional Wrap and Are Aliens into Agronomy?

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Keeping it Natural

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 21:30:00 +1300

With a passion for healthy living and a belief that conventional farming was affecting people's health, Southland farmers Lois and Robin Greer stopped using chemicals on their Tuturau dairy farm 15 years ago and headed down the organic path.

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A Good Yarn

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 21:18:00 +1300

A small yarn manufacturer in Napier has gone from employing 85 staff in its hey-day, to about 18 now. Cheap imports from China undercut wool knitting yarns made in New Zealand, but Design Spun has hung in there and its co-owner Peter Chatterton thinks they'll survive at the level they're at now.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 21:10:00 +1300

In King Country fine weather is let docking gangs separate thousands of lambs from their tails, and asparagus is growing better with warmer, drier conditions . Farmers in Canterbury are planting fodder beet and kale, while contractors are burning the midnight oil as they try and catch up on the previous wet weather periods.

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Cracking it

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 21:07:00 +1300

Twenty years ago Ashley Turner experimented with making a stock whip out of synthetic materials. Much to his delight, it cracked. Now Ashley and his wife Carol make and sell 1500 whips a year.

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Full Episode for Friday October 27, 2017

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 21:02:00 +1300

Keeping it Natural, Cracking it, A Good Yarn and the Regional Wrap.

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