Tim Shand on Country Calendar

The Country Calendar programme screening on TV ONE at 7pm on Saturday night is about the Shand family of Waterfall Bay.

The publicity for the programme says ..

Family Sound  

Farming mussels has allowed the Shand family to stay living in an isolated part of the Marlborough Sounds they have come to love.  

Tim and Raewyn Shand brought up their 10 children on family land overlooking Admiralty Bay and French Pass. 

Tim Shand was tragically killed in an accident two months after Country Calendar filmed at their farm in late 2012.  

In 1924, Tim's grandfather started farming 500 hectares of steep land at Port Ligar, near Cook Strait. Sheep have been farmed on the land since the 1880s and provided most of the income for families living in Pelorous Sound during Tim's childhood. 

But many of the area's sheep-farmers have given up over the last 50 years as wool prices have fallen and the cost of transporting stock has made meat farming less economic. 

Some farms have reverted to scrub, but Tim and Raewyn were determined to find a way to keep going.  

The couple diversified into mussel farming for additional income in the 1990s and today the family runs a 20 hectare mussel farm as well as their sheep farming operation. 

Mussel farming is a major industry in the Marlborough Sounds, earning $170m in exports each year.  There are around 500 farms covering nearly 3,000 hectares of water. Raising 10 children on such an isolated farm has been full of challenges. 

Education is one and Raewyn has been home schooling her children for the last 33 years. She sees everything as a learning opportunity, from farm work, possum trapping and gardening, to formal sessions with a textbook around the kitchen table.  

She says her home-grown education methods have worked and her "graduates" have made their way into some interesting and exciting careers. 

Meanwhile two of the older children have returned to the farm with their partners and are helping out with both the aquaculture and land-based activities in the family business. 

For more from Country Calendar, visit tvnz.co.nz

For more about the Shands' property, visit: waterfallbay.co.nz

The Marlborough Express