Post-fire: one year on

Post-fire: one year on

Today marks the first anniversary of the 2014 fires that ripped through our farm in Gisborne. Looking out the window now, it is hard to believe that it’s February again. The paddocks are green thanks to some heavy Summer rain in Mid-January, and cooler than average conditions for the past month.

Compare the pictures below. The first is a week after the fire. The second was only taken a month ago!

John after the fire

 

John with re-built fences
John with re-built fences

We’ve rebuilt over 15km of fences in the past 12 months (along with another 10km of waterway fencing at Ingliston property). It’s been an exhausting experience, but skills gained make-up for this, not to mention the added bonus that we no longer spend hours trying to locate electric fence faults in decrepit old fences.

Rolling up burnt fences
Rolling up burnt fences
Building end assemblies

The transformation in our pastures this year has been heartening. The fire enabled a whole wave of native grasses  to come up, in place of the dominant bent grass. We’ve been successful in securing a small grant to encourage native biodiversity through sustainable grazing management practices. On another positive note, the return of the pasture has allowed the dung beetles to continue on with their good work. (The kids love any excuse to look around inside a cow pat for some!)

The last 12 months have been very challenging for us, personally and professionally. It looks as though we’ve emerged with our relationships and sanity intact. Here’s to a prosperous, creative and slightly less frantic 2015!