Needing a farm for some, well, farm shots; we called in a favour from a friend, Andrew, and this week went to visit his family farm near Wyndham, Southland. The Mackintosh farm on Mt Surprise was just what the doctor ordered. The cobwebs Carla and I had been gathering in dreary Dunedin, were soon blitzed away by a 4WD bike ride to the farms’ windy, sheepy hilltops, stunning Southland vistas, a strong cup of tea and a hug from Simba the (fat) cat.
The farm has had it’s fair share of media attention – next time you see a NZ National Bank ad, have a closer look at those green, southern hills the horse is prancing about on! Their cat Pocket has also featured in a children’s book by Gwenda Turner. Pocket was a tiny little feral kitten (who used to be able to fit in your pocket, get it?!), who was adopted by the family’s dog, Penny, as her own.
Big thanks to Alistair Mackintosh, for taking hours out of his afternoon to ferry us around the farm, do some wicked wheelies on the bike and answer all my city-girl questions about farming sheep. We truly loved the Mackintosh slice of heaven and that famous southern hospitality.
Random facts about sheep farming:
– Alistair can call to his sheep and they baa back
– They ultrasound the ewes to tell who’s preggers, who’s having single or twins etc.
– There is a special type of shear that combs the wool a certain way so the shorn sheepies don’t get too cold
– Sheep cough like us when they have pneumonia
– Cross-breeding sheep makes lamb chops taste even yummier