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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...


Shearing for Michael

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:29:00 +1200

Neighbours, friends and strangers took to the boards recently in Whangamomona for a 24-hour shearathon to raise money for suicide prevention. Michael Herlihy, a talented shearer and the youngest of eight children, died last year at just 20.

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Forget Me Not

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:17:00 +1200

The Coronation Garden in Little River is a living memorial for local men who died in WWI and WWII. Designed by local nurseryman Bruce King, the garden is packed with perennials, rhododendrons, flaxes and bulbs he's grown and planted himself.

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Rukuhia War Letters

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:12:00 +1200

Rukuhia Homestead is just south of Hamilton. It's been owned by the Glenn family since 1925 and when Val Glenn moved into what had been her grandparents house, she found a box of letters written during World War Two. She has two of the letters on display in the homestead hallway. They were written by young men who remembered the Waikato property fondly. They never came home. They died aged 24 and 26 years.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:08:00 +1200

The North Island is drying out after the Easter rain, and cool temperatures are helping kiwifruit mature. The rams out in force on hill country farms in Marlborough and there's tons of feed around, while farmers in the lower country are gearing up to get the Ewes scanned.

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Country Bumpkin Pumpkin

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:05:00 +1200

The Little River Support Group hosts the Giant Pumpkin Festival every year on Anzac weekend. The old style country fair attracts hundreds of visitors and competitors from around Canterbury and all proceeds go to the Little River School.

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Full Episode for Friday April 21, 2017

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:03:00 +1200

Herlihy Family shearathon, Little River Support Group hosts the Giant Pumpkin Festival, and the Coronation Garden in Little River.

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Field Day For Farmers

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:29:00 +1200

Country Life's Cosmo Kentish-Barnes was very thankful for his gumboots when he visited the extremely muddy South Island Field Days in Kirwee. The three-day event is the oldest and biggest demonstration field days in New Zealand.

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Take that, Tutsan

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:21:00 +1200

Tutsan's days are numbered. Thanks to years of fundraising and work by a team of mainly volunteers, the invasive weed is now on the menu for a moth and a beetle that have been brought to New Zealand to control it. Tutsan takes huge amounts of farmland out of production and costs the country millions in lost earnings.

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Kiwi Bites

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:14:00 +1200

Kerikeri kiwifruit grower Sandy Mecredy wanted to hear her daughter and friends biting into golden wafers of thin kiwifruit, so ten years ago she started drying the fruit that was rejected by a nearby kiwifruit packhouse.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:10:00 +1200

Many North Island farms have saturated soils after a week of rain and in-between the downpours contractors are trying to harvest maize. In the South Island rain is destroying grape crops in Malborough while in Southland more rain would be welcome.

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Top Crop

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:05:00 +1200

Ashburton farmer Eric Watson has become a Guinness World Record holder after producing the world's highest yielding crop of wheat.

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Full Episode for Friday April 14, 2017

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:01:00 +1200

South Island Field Days, Tutsan Action Group, Kiwi Bites, Wheat Growing Record.

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Take that,Tutsan

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 21:21:00 +1200

Tutsan's days are numbered. Thanks to years of fund-raising and work by a team of mainly volunteers, the invasive weed is now on the menu for a moth and a beetle that have been brought to New Zealand to control it. Tutsan takes huge amounts of farmland out of production and costs the country millions in lost earnings.

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Planting for posterity

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 21:29:00 +1200

More than 50 years ago Jaap and Sue Van Dorser cleared and then planted up a small section of the Awahou Stream which flows into Lake Rotorua. Over 20 years ago they were joined by another couple and since then they've worked together every Wednesday morning, clearing and planting the river banks. 

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Cover Story

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 21:14:00 +1200

Mesh cover laid over potato crops is proving effective in controlling potato pests and reducing potato blight without chemical sprays.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 21:10:00 +1200

The country's largest on-farm deer sale was held on High Peak Station, Mid Canterbury, this week and Edgecumbe farms are swamped. Much of the rest of the North Island is sodden too.

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Helping Hand

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 21:05:00 +1200

Bay of Plenty farmer Mike Mexted considers himself very lucky. He only has surface flooding on his farm and has been able to take in cows from an inundated dairy property a few kilometres away at Edgecumbe.

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Full Episode for Friday April 7, 2017

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 21:03:00 +1200

Awahou Stream Care Group, Potato Mesh Charles Merfield, Mike Mexted.

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Go with the Flow

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:29:00 +1300

Adopting best-practice farming systems and fencing off streams to improve water quality are ongoing tasks for James Guild and his son Hamish who farm around the headwaters of the Selwyn River in Canterbury.

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Equine Eats

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:21:00 +1300

Angela Broadbent baked for days to perfect a crunchy cookie for horses. She now sells three-quarters of a tonne each week. 

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Taihape Tigers

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:14:00 +1300

Danny Mickleson has spent 18 years breeding designer rams. They've been dubbed Taihape Tigers.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:08:00 +1300

Bay of Plenty dairy farms are having a decent autumn but wet weather has interrupted the kiwifruit harvest. Grapes in Marlborough need more sun to ripen and in Southland store prices are on the rise so lambs are flooding into the works.

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Too Wet for Wine

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:05:00 +1300

Day after day of grey, rainy weather in Hawkes Bay has meant sugar levels in some grape blocks are falling short of wineries' requirements and some growers have been told their grapes are not needed. The CEO of NZ Wine Philip Gregan says growers spend a lot of money producing their crops but there's no income unless they are picked.

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Full Episode for Friday March 24, 2017

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:02:00 +1300

High Peak Station, Taihape Tigers and biscuits for well-behaved horses.

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Tough as boots

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:29:00 +1300

At the recent Rural Games in Palmerston North events including olive-stone spitting and egg throwing and catching, along with speed tree climbing, speed shearing and gumboot throwing.

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Goats give hope

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:21:00 +1300

Geoff Copstick, a Northland angora goat farmer, is also chairman of international aid agency ChildFund NZ. He says his rural roots mean he has a lot in common with aid projects involving animals and farming.

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Sorting solutions

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

Seventeen years ago, the blueberry-growing Furniss family found out colour-sorting machines cost $1 million to import, so they had a crack at making one. Now their sorting machine business has a $30 million turnover and exports to 29 countries.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:10:00 +1300

Maize is being harvested in Waikato and the first kiwifruit exports left for China this week. Marlborough farmers are busy setting up rotations around tupping blocks for ewes. In vineyards the bulk of the grape crop needs two more weeks of sun to ripen.

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Raising the Baa

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:05:00 +1300

Robert Gardyne, a sheep farmer from Oturehua in Central Otago, was crowned lamb Producer of the Decade at the recent Beef and Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards, aka the Glammies.

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Country Life full episode for Friday 24 March 2017

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:30:00 +1300

Country Life this week's throwing gumboots at the rural games, is sorting blueberries and meets the angora farmer who chairs Child Fund in New Zealand.

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Making Tracks in North Canterbury

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 21:31:00 +1300

Country Life visits two families at Conway Flat who run a private hill country walkway leading from windy hilltops to the cliffed coastline which connects their sheep and beef farms.

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Champion Cheese

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 21:10:00 +1300

Fieke and Ben Meyer moved to NZ in 1984 and began introducing the people of Waikato to gouda cheese. Thirty-three years later, three of their children work in the family business.

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Regional Wrap

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

In Bay of Plenty the first of the Sun Gold kiwifruit are being harvested in sunny conditions. Kiwifruit are also being picked in Poverty Bay and Northland. On the West Coast of the South Island lots of silage is being made, paddocks are being cultivated and remedial work on damaged pasture is underway.

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Living lightly on the land

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 21:35:00 +1300

Geoff Copstick farms angora goats and cattle on his 90 hectare Northland property. He and his wife Kate live "off the grid" and see living in harmony with the land as the ultimate sustainable lifestyle.

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Ramming it home

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

Tim and Sue Anderson have run Mt Guardian Perendales on their farm at Conway Flat since the mid '60s. Their son Woody is keen to take over the stud when his parents retire.

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Regional Wrap

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

Northland, Auckland and Coromandel were swamped in a one in 100 year deluge this week, while elsewhere in the North Island the rainfall was more gentle, welcome and has grass growth pumping. In the South Island night temperatures have dropped quickly but often stunning days are following.

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Slip Slidin' Away

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

John McDowell manages a large sheep and beef farm at Orere Point south east of Auckland. It is scarred with slips following 220 millimetres of rain in just 12 hours this week.

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