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Unique tales of farm life

Marnie Rutherford. PHOTO/BECKIE WILSON


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Not everything goes to plan when working with livestock, which can often lead to a humorous story to be shared over the fence between neighbours.

Marnie Rutherford has many stories to tell of her farming adventures after owning two lifestyle blocks over 14 years.

Her first book, Over the Fence, is a collection of stories showing the reality of farming, and is a more casual “cow poo and getting hands dirty” book.

Ms Rutherford has been a columnist for the Times-Age over the last five years.

She has perfected the art of writing no more than 600 words to offer her audience a peek into the rural lifestyle.

When she moved to New Zealand from Britain she fell in love with Wairarapa and bought some land in Somerset Rd, Carterton.

Now, nearly 15 years later, she has about 20 sheep on her four-acre property, which are kept for wool and eventually meat for the freezer.

Most of her stories are about “weird things that livestock get up to”.

Nigel’s Holiday’ is one of her favourite stories about an old wether she looked after for four weeks.

“Nigel was a bit of a wuss, but he loved bread and would come when called if food was in the offering,” she said.

Another story is a recollection of when she witnessed a three-week-old lamb jump into a stream on the property and started swimming.

Some are a little bit sad but have a sense of hope, she said.

The title of the book came from the aspect of chatting to neighbours over the fence about day-to-day happenings on their properties.

She hopes readers will enjoy “dipping in and out” of the book, as each of the 22 stories are short and unique.

All photos were taken by Ms Rutherford and illustrations were done by Carterton’s Viv Walker.

From December 8, Over the Fence will be in bookstores such as Almo Books in Carterton.

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