About 1906 Father bought a six cow L.K.G. milking machine, the first to be installed in the Southern Hawkes Bay and I think about the fourth mechanical milker to be in NZ.  People came from far and near to see the cows milked by machinery.  This machine was driven by a steam ejector with steam from a 4 h.p. boiler but later on was powered by a 16ft. water wheel and later again by an old black horse, Nugget, working a treadmill. This was the result of a giant flood which scoured out the intake and left the water wheel high and dry.
The treadmill was all under cover and Nugget did nothing but about one and a half hours night and morning to supply the power to milk 100 - 120 cows.  He was fed like a prince because it was just his weight that gave us te power to milk.

There were no bacon factories so pig killing and scalding was a winter job.  About six bacon pigs killed, scalded and prepared for curing.  Over a period about thirty bacon pigs were cured and smoked each winter.  The bacon was delicious and very different from the chemically cured bacon sold today.  We had plenty of spare rib and lovely brawn and pork pasties - and always made from ham and bacon.  The bulk was taken in to Dannevirke to Wyllies General Merchants.  Ham brought about sixpence a pound which was taken out in shoeing iron, roofing iron, fencing wire, nails, staples, chains, harness and general groceries - never any cash transaction - always in goods.
Vast areas of bush were being felled and burnt all over New Zealand in those early years and large quantities of grass seed were needed.  Almost all pasture mixtures included soe cocksfoot and every year anything up to 50 acres of cocksfoot would be harvested for seed - all cut with a hand sickle as it would be growing amonst logs and stumps, and thrashed by hand with a flail.  The top price for high grade seed was about seven pence a pound double dressed and the important feature of cocksfoot harvesting was that we always got cash for it.

In thinking back I often marvel at how our parents managed.  Wool, two and a half pence to five cents, butter fat, six pence, and fat weaners about eight shillings if you could find a buyer.  The top price for a springing heifer, and she had to be good, was eight pound.  Weaner calves were 5/- to 7/6.  In spite of all this we always managed to live well, dress well and we were certainly happy and contented with life.

At this stage I must mention how well I remember the death of Queen Victoria and what a gloom spread over the world.
The tempo of our lives was vastly different to that of today.  There were no telephones, refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, radios - no electricity and no butchers and bakers calling.  We were largely self dependent, killed our own meat and baked our own bread.  My earlies recollections are of camp ovens.  After the camp oven came the Colonial, fired at the top and bottom.  Later Father installed a Shacklock wood burning range with a circulating boiler with hot and cold water to sink, bathroom etc..  This was a great novelty and the only one in the district for years.
Waterfall in flood.
We had only kerosene lamps and candles and the cleaning, trimming and care of the lamps was an everyday ritual.  Great care was taken over washig and drying the wicks and straining the kerosene.
Prior to the advent of the cheese factory, the milk was set up in large flat tin dishes and the cream was skimmed off after about 12 hours.  It was later churnred, worked, washed and salted by hand.  This was sold (traded) to Wyllies Ltd., for threepence to sixpence a pound according to grade.  It was difficult to make good butter during the hot months and Father devised a unique type of dairy. 
The outer walls were of 3" x 6" x 9' heart of totara slabs and inside of this a room 8' x 12' was built of tongue and groove flooring and all around was filled with plugged clay.  Shingle was split on the farm and this was used for a roof wth a deep overhang.  This proved a real boon and was cool on the hottest day.

Haymaking in those days was a laborious business.  A good competent mower could mow about an acre a day.  Our leading hand was a Scandanavian, M. Karl Andresen, and he was a champion scythe hand.  I can remember seeing him leading four or six men in a field and with expert mowers the field when gathered would be as smooth as a lawn.  When dry the grass had to be raked, forked and stacked by hand. 
Weaner calves, Fernlands.
Tom on reaper and binder.
Father finally bought a big McCormack four horse mowing machine and a Massey Harris hay rake and later again a reaper and binder and these mchines revolutionized the harvesting of hay and corn crops.  However, we still had to fork them into drays and then onto the stack.  Of course there were no mechanical pickups and loaders. 

Early in 1900 Father won a ballot and drew a section of 1166 acres in Ngaparuru Block 2.  This land was about 37 miles from the Kiritaki homestead and very early one morning Father, Arthur and I started out. 
We had the horses stabled overnight and everything packed and loaded on a heavy spring two horse conveyance.  The route out from Dannevirke was on the Weber Waiori road and we had to ford the upper reaches of the Manawatu River.  We did not know the river and very nearly came to grief.  However, our two powerful and active horses got us through.  Father was a surveyor and he came in to lay off 250 acres for bush felling and later this contract was let to Mr. Schwass, a German and an expert bushman.
The price for scrubbing and falling up to three foot trees was 30/- per acre.  This was the only time my father ever visited Ngaparuru.  Arthur and I worked it for almost three years in conjunction with the farm, Fernlands, but finally, owing to financial difficulties created by the South African War, it had to be sacrificed.  It was magnificent country and I wager it is worth a "packet" today.  During our timethere I spent a very happy time in our camp.  Arthur and I had our own snug camp, while the contractor with twenty men and a cook, old Harry Denham, had a large camp about half a mile into the bush. 
I was too young to be wrried about the financial position - two and a half pence for wool and about 4/- to 5/- for a fat wether, if you could find a buyer.  I was in the pink of health and thoroughly enjoyed the life.  I became quite an expert bushman and could chop on anything that would bear my weight.

Arthur was a Mounted Rifleman and ued to go out to Dannevirke for drill every third weekend and left me in the camp alone fpr three or four days.  About this time Powelka, New Zealand's only bush ranger, was said to be molesting and robbing bush camps of food and ammunition.  Early one morning I awakened to what sounded like someone prowling around the camp.  I hopped out of bed and reached the gun down from the ridge pole (it was always loaded) and crept to the door at the ready.  Imagine my relief to find it was only my hack!! She had evidently become lonely and had rubbed the panels down and was cropping oats which had grown around the camp.  This incident was a long time ago but I can still feel the love and affection that welled up in me for that dumb animal - I gave her a jolly good feed of chaff and went back to bed.
"This rata tree cut got nearly 100 cords of wood".
May and friend, Oronokiritaki River.
I too was lucky in a Government Land Ballot many years later and drew a section of 660 acres in the Wakato, a few miles from Taupiri, but owing to a variety of circumstances and some sharp practice I lost it.  This two would be valuable country today. 

I have been gathering up stones at odd times lately and it takes me back 60 odd years to when we started clearing up the large Native Clearing at the back of the Fernlands property.  This area was clear of stumps and it was here we did our first cultivating.  The clearing covered about 25 acres abd lay between tha Tamaki and Oronokiritaki Rivers.  Quite large area had been beautifully paved with stones selected and carried from these rivers for forming the Maori ovens and it was said that this clearing had been the main hunting ground of the Maoris in southern Hawkes Bay.  We took scores of dray loads of stones and many of them had to be got up with apick and crowbar.  One dray would be away tipping into the river while another was loading.  This was very hard work but it gave us our first ploughed land and later acres of grand clover hay paddocks.  We found numerous Maori artifacts and in later years I dug up a Maori skull.  All these were given to Mr. Hill, the school inspector for souther Hawkes Bay and were later given by him to the Napier Museum.

A source of ready cash in those days was honey and Father went in for the Langstraf system and built up quite a large apiary of some 60 odd hives.  This was pure white clover super grade honey which was extracted in a four frame hand driven machine and strained into a large vat where it was left until quite cold.  It was then put into 40lb. tins and the small opening filled with a solder cap.  Each tin was painted with a special varnish and railed to McCruer & Co., Napier and, I think, exported.  Father received about one pound a tin which was cash in hand.  All the timber work for the hives and frames was done in our own workshop.

We had on the farm at this time, horses, foals, cows, heifers, calves and beef bullocks, sheep, lambs, pigs - all sizes and gender - fowls, ducks, turkeys, dogs, cats, and literally millions of Italian bees - quite a famiy!!
Father served the district for many years as a J.P. and brought him, and incidentally me as a messenger boy, many interesting experiences.  You must remember the nly telephone in the district was at our home, being connected with the Post Office at Dannevirke, so my hack and I were the connecting link.  One incident of many stands out in my memory.  A young German settler wished to send money home to bring his girlfriend Marie out to New Zealand.  He was quite illiterate in English and after much orrespondence with the appropriate authorities and many trips back and forth, Marie, a smashing German girl arrived.  Bill and his Maria duly became man and wife.  They lost their first baby and on one occassion when I called, probably to hustle him along to a School Committee meeting, I was sympathising in my own school boy way on the loss of their baby.  Bill said "Oh well Tarls, Marie and me, we must just try again."  These foreigners and their wives were great toilers and they worked the daylight hours through, seven days a week.  This German couple will both have passed on but they brought upa family and I have no doubt some of their descendants are still in the district. 

One day when I was about 16 or 17 I had ridden down to the rear of the farm after milking and before breakfast to turn the cows into new grass when I noticed a pre bred Ayrshire heifer had calved.  I decided to take her up to the shed and was walking her, with the calf along and leading my horse when she suddenly swung around like a steak of lightning and knocked me spinning.  She was not dehornrd and I'm carrying some of the scars to this day.  An old, almost blind and quite deaf dog called Kid had, unbeknown to me, followed me down and was mooching quietly along behind my horse.  Apparently the heifer had spotted him but I was unfortunately in the way of the rush.  Fortunately this game and loyal old dog tackled the calf and the heifer left me.  He kept her engaged long enough for me to scramble over a nearby fence. She was a hand reared pedigree heifer and we never had any further trouble with her.  Needless to say, old Kid lived to a pampered ripe old age.

There were several bachelors, some of them origial settlers in the Maharahara Block.  Mr. Joab Deak was a gentleman farmer and ran a few sheep.  Mr. Tom Dwyer had 80 acres, half of which was still in dense rimu bush.  We leased this property for many years as it was good cocksfoot stand and an ideal winter run for young stock, mostly replacement three year springing heifers.  For some years Mr. Dwyer cleared, stumped and dug from half to one acre and planted it in Derwent potatoes.  His only tools were a long handled shovel, an axe and a grubber.  He was a genius with fire and burnt all his stumps out and cut the logs into lengths with fire.  I was on his property feeding out hay to the young stock when I noticed his whare chimney was not smoking.  On investigating I found him in bed with a bad foot.  I stoked his fire and Mother sent him meals.  With rest and care he recovered but much later, when I returned from the War I learned that he had undergone several operations on his leg and finally died - in Dannevirke Hospital I think.
House in Napier.