Gardening, Poultry, Preserving and traditional Cooking

I believe that everyone with access to a back yard or community garden can produce most of their own food.  I live in Dunedin, New Zealand, and am putting my theory that nothing should be wasted, or go to the garbage, and as little as possible should be purchased from the super markets, in to practice. This blog is about getting maximum production out of my vegetable garden, keeping quails, chickens and rabbits for eggs and meat, composting, worm farming and cooking and preserving my produce. I also enjoy making wine and sausages as well as cured meats like salami. Bee keeping interests me and I would like to be more involved with this in future

I hope to share my experiences with you and at the same time learn from other bloggers with similar interests

About Me 

Food production has been my passion throughout my life. In the past I was involved in agricultural research, large scale commercial production and home style cooking for a very busy restaurant.  My abiding interest is in Italian regional cooking and most of my recipes are based on the cooking of Northern Italy where my family lived and farmed for many generations, so I have farming in my blood, and am fortunate to still have access to the estate that the family occupied for more than four hundred years. I have post graduate qualifications in Animal Science and Animal Nutrition and worked in the nutritional and genetic fields, lecturing at University, running experimental farms, managing national and international enterprises, set up pilot farming units in developing countries, has been part in establishing new breeds of animals and improving the performances (laying, milk production, meat production, lambing, etc) of various animal breeds.

I shall be keeping good record of my projects and will share information about my progress with you on this blog. In Dunedin the air is fresh and clean, and the weather over the productive spring and summer periods is glorious and the grandchildren delight in being outdoors with me, sharing in the caring.

Back Yard Farmer

Tel – +64 211 34 14 52


Also on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/backyardfarmernz


Dunedin – New Zealand

22 thoughts on “About

  1. I live in Paeroa in the Waikato, 20 minutes from Thames, on a 2000 sq m section. Am very keen on rare breeds and sustainable small scale agriculture. Your blogs are really interesting. If you ever come up as far as Hamilton or Auckland, I would like to meet with you.

  2. Hi,
    I just found your blog and it’s amazing!! All the info I’ve been looking for in one place, and local to nz! Exciting!
    We’ve recently moved out to a quarter acre section in canterbury and are trying to get ourselves established for food production. So far we’ve gotten our garden set and are just starting to get produce from it, although we haven’t figured out what our crop rotation will be like yet – and we’ve got a few chickens which will hopefully be laying by mid Feb.
    We’re keen to give rabbits and quail a go too once we’ve got a handle on what we’ve already got. Maybe next spring. How far in advance do you need to order to get quail from you? Your breeding program sounds intense!!
    Thanks for all the amazing posts, I’ve really been enjoying them 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words! Please keep in touch with progress and if I can be of any assistance, let me know. I am breeding quails every week and they are almost always some available. If you want larger quantities of specific breeds, it may be advisable to order. Collect eggs over two to three days – incubate 17 days – grow for about 35 days. So if you order you should have point of lay pullets in about two months from order. I am going back home (Italy) for four months commencing February and even though I have a person looking after all the animals, numbers and availability may be restricted during this period. Chickens, rabbits, quails and a vegetable garden compliment each other perfectly for a continuous healthy food supply using predominantly recycled materials and by products. Do you provide additional light for the chickens, if not, they will cease laying soon. Have fun!!

  3. Hi,Do you know if it is good practice to house rabbits with chooks? Also do quails cope with hens, we have a few rough girls that like to scrap. I appreciate your time with this query,cheers Rob

    • Rob. Thanks for the inquiry. Yes it is 100 % acceptable to keep rabbits and chickens together. Quails also mix well with chickens provided they have enough space to escape as some chickens may peck at them. Quail are grund dwellers and do not roost – so provide small cages for them (upside down box with a small door cut into it) as well as bushes and plants where they can hide.

  4. yes it’s the californian Quail I’m after once my replacement workshop is finished I will make the necessary equipment ready for the Spring season; looking forward to ??!!

  5. I will be looking for some fertile Quail eggs in the spring, my intention is to reintroduce Quail to my immediate area, The area has been cleared of residential houses because of the Christchurch earthquake leaving a much bigger open area of grass and low vegetation I have successfully established ringneck pheasants in the past

  6. I will be back, for you can teach me many things about cooking with fresh food:-) Love to learn from other backyard growers! Can never have too much information:-)

  7. Would be very keen to know if you ever do a trip to The North Island,and Im sure others would to.
    Cheers Denise Tippett.

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