Let me tell you all about the new piece of land… I have to pinch myself really, because it is a whole acre and has a small stream running through it. Ha! Coming from suburban London, I never thought I would be saying that to anybody…

The stream gully is partially planted in native NZ bush so about a third of the land is not usable if you were thinking of using it as a small-holding. But it has a gently-sloping north-facing aspect (good in the Southern Hemisphere) and we think it is interesting because it isn’t just a flat paddock. The lack of usable land seems to have put people off in the past, which is why it was in our price range, but we love the fact it is hilly and has a stream and has some character. Having some space around our new home is as important to us as having usable land.
The section has previously uncultivated good soil and it backs on to a paddock and a cemetery; there are bees next door and a lovely big oak tree. There is also an old laundry outbuilding.
The section is about 3 kilometres from the centre of Coromandel Town so we’ll continue to have good access to shops which is great if, like me, you are reasonably impetuous in your cooking and fairly disorganized in your planning.
This is the PLUS list by the way…
The MINUS list includes a few challenges: the section has a proliferation of weeds (thistle, blackberry, arum lily, couch grass and montbretia).
It is also adjacent to the main road between Coromandel and Colville so that doesn’t give us a lot of privacy, especially to the southwest. The prevailing wind is from this direction, so we may have to plant some kind
of shelter-belt. This open aspect includes a clear view of our neighbour to our east who, although charming, has quite a prominent property, which we will want to screen ourselves from a little.

The other challenge about Coromandel Town as a place, and Top Town in particular (as the northern part of Coromandel Town has been known since the Gold Rush days) is the high rainfall (often over 2,000mm/year).

So that’s it for now… as the weeks unfold, I am sure I will have more to tell you about progress on our new section and plans for the new buildings that we hope will one day grace it, as well as seasonal stories and recipes.
Next-door view of paddocks and cows

Next-door view of paddocks and cows

bee men

The bee hives on the next-door property, adjacent to the fence line