We are finally here! Welcome to the first QEP Whareroa Farm blog. We will be updating our blog on a monthly basis in an endeavour to keep all our partners in this journey well informed.
It has been a busy and exciting few weeks for all involved with Beetham Pastural as we settle into the beautiful farms of QEP and Whareroa. Months of preparation and planning have hopefully eased the transition into this new venture and we have been so grateful for the support we have received from many along the way.
We are very excited to have our fantastic new Farm Manager move on site with his lovely family. Drew Brown is a highly experienced Manager, we are lucky to have his skills and knowledge on board with Beetham Pastural. Drew, Sas and their three boys are an active family who will no doubt be making themselves known to locals around school, extra-curricular activities and at sporting fields around the area.
Our first big job on farm was getting the electric fences up and running. This was easy at QEP but turned out to be a bit more of a challenge at Whareroa, where it appears the electric fences haven’t been running for a few years! We have basically had to start rebuilding the electric fence system from scratch. While we have made a plan and a good start, there is a fair bit of fencing ahead of us on Whareroa, so please be patient while we work through this. Good things take time.
On QEP, the contractor has be flat out cutting down the old man gorse. This work is just one of the contributions GWRC is making towards our shared journey to create best practice farming operation. We would not be able to take on such a project if we did not have a partner so committed to a future vision for the land and environment. Under the gorse we are uncovering fences we didn’t know existed, along with plenty of old logs in the soils. How to deal with these obstacles has got us scratching our heads a bit…. We have been talking to people who know the farm well, who report apparently all the stumps and logs were removed years ago. Since then more have worked their way up through the soil over the years – nature always has the last laugh.
We have begun to stock the properties with cattle for spring. On QEP we have been buying in yearling heifers and steers between 240 and 300 kgs of live weight. Our target is to have 400 animals on QEP by next week, these animals will be farmed through to early summer and then sold off the property as the summer dry rolls in. We have also bought 150 300 kg Friesian bulls for Whareroa, these bully boys are very quiet but mischievous, so we are getting the electric fences up and running to keep them out of trouble. We are acutely aware of how wet the soils are currently on Whareroa, so Drew is doing his best to manage the grass whilst preventing any damage to the soils. We are also very concerned about the Ramaroa Wetland and the hazard this poses to stock, so we look forward to working with DOC and the guardians in fencing these areas out.
Over September and early October we will be implementing our pasture renewal plan, beginning a spraying program to begin to control weeds, continuing the development plan and looking to employ a General Hand to help Drew with the fencing and spraying.
Here’s hoping for many more beautiful Kapiti Coast days in the weeks to come, with plenty of rain in-between.