A year down the track and the Whanganui Lifestyle Farmers Club is proving to be a great learning and sharing exercise.
In May last year, the club was formed by Wanganui Veterinary Services and Wanganui Farm Supplies to provide the ever-increasing number of lifestyle block-holders a better understanding of land and animal care.
Inaugural member and part-time Wanganui Veterinary Services worker Marie Grice said word of mouth had spread and, by the club's first birthday, member numbers had swelled to nearly 50.
The intention was to hold three or four club workshops a year at different member properties and, after the first, it was quickly obvious there were more facets to lifestyle farming than originally thought.
"We aim to provide the chance to view and share in other people's efforts and aspirations, the ability to learn about and access products and services, provide a directory of other resources, but especially the opportunity to meet new people, socialise and have a sense of belonging to a group that represents them in some way," Grice said.
The club invites contractors and other farming industry players to the workshops to pass on handy tips on what needs to be done on farm and how to do it.
And because most farm products essential for a successful operation are packaged with the larger mainstream farms in mind, the workshops are an ideal chance for lifestylers to form small groups to buy goods and share, saving on cost and wastage.
On an educational basis the club intends to hold at least three afternoons a year on different properties covering a variety of topics on each day, coupled with a club newsletter and relevant articles provided to the group.
The ability to meet people who have a huge amount of experience and knowledge in different fields allows people to not just rely on businesses whose focus has largely been on traditional farming.
No matter what your situation, if you have a lifestyle block you will most likely find something in the club that is of interest to you, not the least of which will be a whole lot of fun.
You can join the Lifestyle Farmers Club by contacting Wanganui Veterinary Services or Wanganui Farm Supplies.