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

39 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi there,
    I’ve just recently contacted you via trademe about the fertile Ancona eggs.
    I am also in Dunedin (Sawyers Bay) and would love to get half a dozen for my broody chook if you have any available.
    Happy to pick up
    Have been trying to email byf@backyardfarmer.co.nz but they all seem to bounce back undeliverable

    • Kendra – Thanks for the Email and order. I am sorry that you are having trouble contacting me via Email, but I receive many emails every day, including many today – I do not know what the problem may be. Let me know when you want to collect and I shall reserve the eggs for you

  2. Hi its stu I was after 5kgs of 28% quail starter feed. Please email me a cost to deliver to 7 leeds place masterton 5810 and payment details. Many thanks Stuart Turvey

    • Heinrich – Thanks for the enquiry. Yes, quails are available and legal to ship, but unfortunately all the pet / animal couriers have closed down and will only be open again after lock down is over (if they are going to open at all). So unfortunately if you do not have a private person travelling, we shall have to wait. Have a nice day.

      • Hey There, I inquired about buying 12 hyline pullets in trade me!Can I please order 12! You mentioned you deliver to Queenstown! Would it be possible to meet you at Rae’s Junction for pick up when pullets are ready!
        Cheers Jess Lamb

        • Jess – Thanks for your enquiry about Pullets

          The present batch of Pullets are all sold and the next lot will be ready in about 6 weeks time. There is a possibility of a cancelled order which will result in Pullets being available sooner

          Please send me an email to byf@backyardfarmer.co.nz including your address, phone number and number of Pullets you want and I shall register your interest and keep you posted on availability. I may also deliver for a small fee, provided there is enough interest in your area

          Thanks and have a nice day

          • Jess – If you are interested, I have the next batch of PULLETS available for sale. They are14 weeks old and are a mix of HyLine and / or Brown Shavers (Got mixed at 1 day old and difficult to separate when so young) They cost $29 per PULLET plus $3 delivery (if appropriate) per PULLET.
            The collection / delivery will be CONTACT FREE so I need to know the exact day and time that you intend to collect so I can have them ready and boxed for you at the bottom of my property to avoid cross over contact with other customers and myself. Furthermore, all payments need to be by bank transfer as cash is not acceptable any more. Collection dates are from Friday, 22 May until Sunday, 24 May 2020.
            Please confirm your order, via Email, including a phone number, number of PULLETS required and day and date you wish to collect. Numbers are limited and I shall reply with a confirmation Email and payment details as soon as I receive your order.
            The delivery needs to be CONTACT FREE, so I need clear instructions as to where to deliver the PULLETS to. Please state clearly where I should leave the PULLETS should you wish to collect them later. Apart from a physical address, I also need a brief description as to how to get to you, unless it is obviously clear. All payments need to be by bank transfer as cash is not acceptable any more. Delivery will be Wednesday, 20 May 2020. As soon as I have all the confirmations, I shall advise you of the delivery schedule and approximate time of delivery to you.
            Please confirm your order, via Email, including a phone number, physical address and number of Pullets required as soon as possible as numbers are limited

  3. 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.

  4. 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!!

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ??!!

  7. 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

  8. 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:-)

  9. 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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