Monday 2 February 2015

One Less Thing: Holiday Mode & Orchard Life

It's been a long time since we did an orchard update on here, so I thought it was about time I did just that!

To be honest with you, the end of 2014 was pretty tough and we didn't manage to get nearly as much done as we'd planned. I suppose that's always the way, but it meant that while we'd planned to just stay in holiday mode over Christmas and New Years - we actually had a lot of work to do.

Most of the work we did, was on our other 5 acre block, where we have a bach. The bach is about a 10 minute drive from the orchard which is pretty convenient, and it's where we stay every time we go up there.

[caption id="attachment_7695" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Looking pretty good with the separate toilet in the shed[/caption]

We managed to get the water filtering system set up (we're on tank water), get some more power outlets wired up (we're completely on solar power) and even set up the shed, which will eventually be a little self-contained sleep out, with a flushing toilet and sink. It was perfect timing for the shed, as we were having Laura from Laura Laura Blog and her husband Graeme come stay with us for a few nights over New Years. That was so much fun!

[caption id="attachment_7687" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Cherimoya![/caption]

Orchard-wise there was a lot of clearing of trees, mowing of paddocks and cherimoya harvesting to be done. The end of last year was our first real harvest, and I can't even begin to tell you guys how exciting it is to pick, pack and send fruit off to market.

[caption id="attachment_7693" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] #nofilter[/caption]

Of course in between "working", we managed to squeeze in quite a few trips to the beach... and wow. Every time I see the beaches up there, I can't imagine why anyone would go overseas when we have some of the most beautiful, clean beaches right here in New Zealand. So amazing, even now, after going to them for 20 years - I can't get over how spectacular they are.

We just spent Auckland Anniversary weekend up there too, and had a lot of digging to do as it's planting season. Camille and I also managed to sneak off and raid the plum trees, as well as grab a few avocados. Peaches aren't quite ripe yet, and I was pretty excited to see that the pears are growing pretty well!

It was also pretty awesome to see all the beehives thriving in the warmer weather, and because we've been gorging ourselves on honey we got the beekeeper to drop off some more at the bach. Oh man, that stuff is incredible.

[caption id="attachment_7697" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] We got the tractor working perfectly!! WOOHOO[/caption]

The next few months are going to be busy with planting, and hopefully harvesting some more fruit. I really want to try and do an update every month or so. It's so exciting because I feel like we can really see the progress now, and every time we go up there we get a little bit more done.

Here's a few more pics, just because:

[caption id="attachment_7690" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] So damn excited about these pears[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_7689" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Peach - hurry and ripen so I can eat you[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_7696" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Hard to concentrate when everything around you is so distractingly pretty![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_7682" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Old barn on the orchard[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_7692" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] yummy![/caption]

Have you ever been to the Far North? What's your favourite NZ beach?

Thanks for viewing!



  1. I did a field trip at uni where we spent a week travelling around Northland, and it was so beautiful - there are some stunning beaches around the Hokianga.

  2. That sounds amazing!! I am so obsessed with Northland beaches - they're just so beautiful, and so deserted compared to the ones here.
    I haven't done much exploring around Hokianga, I definitely have to go there! oxoxo

  3. There is a small beach just down the road from our house that is amazing. It's actually not a beach as such as it's next to the river. But it's always cool and doesn't flow too strongly depending on weather and is nice and deep.
    Man those pears look amazing. I love pears. They're my favourite fruit ever!

  4. Here's a beach in Omapere, in the Hokianga - just gorgeous. I think we were the only ones at the beach that day.

  5. So beautiful!! I love it when you're the only people on the beach, to be honest I get a bit annoyed up north if there's more than 6 cars there hahahaha! oxoxo

  6. So pretty! I would love to have a small orchard as well, it's so cool being able to grow your own food! x

  7. Wow this looks like paradise. Do you hire this place out? I'd work on the orchard for a chance to live this dream.

  8. That sounds awesome! We have a beach we can walk to from here, and even though I don't swim there anymore I just love going down and taking in the view. :)
    I know right?! Omg we had some last year, and they were hands down the best pears I've ever had in my life!!

  9. Thank you!! :) I've dreamed of having an orchard since I was a kid, to be honest I can't believe that it's come true. Hahahaha! Now the next step is to get a decent vege garden going, can't survive on fruit alone... right? Hahaha :P
    You will have to come up sometime Amanda!! It would be so amazing! oxoxo

  10. Thank you!! It feels like paradise!! :) We're hoping to actually hire people once we get the orchard under control, there's a lot of planting and pruning to be done before we can do that though ( and still trying to figure out exactly what we're doing!) - but I will let you know! ;) Hehehe oxoxo Edited to say: The sleep out will be getting hired out once it's finished! There's a sliding door, kitchenette and deck to be done yet!

  11. Oh man, the beaches up North are so lovely. Your little piece of paradise is so beautiful!

  12. I think with Northland because there so few people around, the beaches seem even emptier than normal which is quite nice.
    Pears are my fav! I hope you're gonna bring me some of yours when they're ripe? I'd love to try them in a syrup with a cocktail.

  13. Looks like such a gorgeous spot up there, that beach looks insanely perfect! I've been up to Russel but really want to venture around this area a lot more!

  14. Thanks Meagan!! oxoxo The beaches up north blow me away everytime!

  15. It really is so beautiful up there! The beaches are just incredible!! :) I've actually never been to Russell or anywhere in the Bay Of Islands so that's something I definitely have to do!! oxoxo

  16. Yeah that's my favourite thing to be honest, the lack of people on the beaches.
    Hahahaha, if I can spare a couple ;) that actually sounds so good!

  17. Christel you are so lucky! That looks like the ultimate getaway heaven!!! :) And the fruit trees!! :) Ahhh! I have to visit you there sometime - it's beautiful - i love the beach and the scenery. Keep us updated - because this is just amazing and you guys are doing so well! Well Done! :) Go you! XX

  18. Thank you!! It is pretty amazing, and it definitely feels more like home than Auckland does!! :P The fruit trees are incredible... there are just so many different ones, we're finding new ones all the time!
    Would love for you to visit sometime! The beaches are seriously stunning, I can't get over them - and like I said, I've been going to them for 20 years and I still can't believe how good they are! Hahaha!
    Thank you so much, that's so nice to hear :) oxoxo Can't wait to catch up with you! oxoxo

  19. Hannah Merceanu14 May 2015 at 01:03

    Wow this is awesome Christel!!! What an amazing experience this will be for you all. Doing something similar is a dream of mine - hopefully it'll come true one day! Would love to see more updates on this! Especially about how you picked an area, how you found the land, updates on renovations and building etc. xx

  20. Christel Hansen14 May 2015 at 01:20

    Thanks so much Hannah!! :D It's super exciting, a lot of hard work, but so amazing! I can definitely see you doing something similar, you've already worked hard and got your own home (I'M STILL SO EXCITED FOR YOU!) so if you want it badly enough, you'll definitely get there!
    Hoping to have more updates soon, to be honest we've been so busy working every time we go up - that I forget to document it! The bach is coming along nicely though (although pretty slow), and we've cleared sooo much land for more avocado trees. :D oxoxo
    Also looking forward to seeing some blogs about your new home!

  21. Hannah Merceanu14 May 2015 at 01:46

    I'm still so excited for me haha! I'll be sharing some updates soon - just need to finish unpacking! I definitely want to live in the country badly - it'll happen one day! Are you living up there or are you still in Auckland? That's so exciting about the avocado trees - so you're doing lots of types of fruit rather than one type? x

  22. Christel Hansen14 May 2015 at 07:37

    Hahaha! Yay, I'm so excited to see them!!
    We're still living in Auckland, but we're hoping to be up there permanently within a year or so (boyfriend and I are talking about maybe buying a house in Kaitaia). Country life is what I've always wanted! Self-sufficiency is a major goal of mine and I feel like that's so much harder to achieve in Auckland.
    Selling-wise we're only doing avocados and cherimoya - with heaps of other different fruits just for our consumption! We may expand later, but with 1000 cherimoya trees already there we kinda have to make use of them! Hahaha oxoxo