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About the book
  • Published: 2 April 2015
  • ISBN: 9781775535959
  • Imprint: Random House New Zealand
  • Format: EBook

The Farm At Black Hills




An engaging woman-against-the-odds story about an entrepreneurial South Island sheep farmer.

An engaging woman-against-the-odds story about an entrepreneurial South Island sheep farmer.

When Beverley Forrester’s beloved husband Jim died unexpectedly, not only did she have to deal with her grief, but she suddenly had a farm to run too. Although she had grown up in a farming family, she herself had trained and worked as an occupational therapist for many years. So there was a lot to learn and new tasks to undertake – not least the need to win the trust of Jim’s loyal farm workers and the community in the close-knit North Canterbury area.

She set to work, and with the help of those around her, she learned to farm, and has also developed a successful brand of natural coloured, undyed, chemical-free yarns sold internationally, and her own fashion label, which debuted at New Zealand Fashion Week.

Resilient, big-hearted, entrepreneurial and determined, Beverley Forrester is a treasure and this is her delightful and engaging story. It’s also the story of North Canterbury’s beautiful Hurunui district, and the pioneers who built it.

  • Pub date: 2 April 2015
  • ISBN: 9781775535959
  • Imprint: Random House New Zealand
  • Format: EBook

About the Author

Beverley Forrester

Beverley Forrester was born into a close-knit farming family in Warkworth, north of Auckland, New Zealand. She trained as an occupational therapist and practised for 36 years in all areas of physical and psychiatric disability. Her lifelong interest in artisanal rural crafts took a step forward in 1977 when she bought a flock of coloured sheep, and started producing natural coloured, undyed, chemical-free knitting yarns.

After her marriage to Jim Forrester in 1986, she went to live at Black Hills Farm in North Canterbury, and some years later, following Jim's sudden death, found herself running it. It was a steep learning curve but with the help and support of loyal workers and friends in the community, she has made a success of it, and is now a farmer, sheep breeder, cattle breeder, fashion designer and yarn manufacturer, as well as having bus tours and tourist groups visiting the farm and its restored limestone and cob buildings.

As well as her BlackHills Yarn brand, in 2006 she launched her own fashion label - Beverley Riverina Handknits - which has grown and evolved, and in 2013 was the runner-up for the BMW award at New Zealand Fashion Week. She has a retail shop in the UK and outlets in the USA and Canada.

Beverley is a sought-after judge of sheep and wool categories internationally, and in 2011 she won the Rural Women New Zealand Enterprising Women Award.


Praise for The Farm At Black Hills

“Beverley Forrester was the last person who thought she should write a book about her life but like many, I am so glad she was convinced she should. Beverley married into the Forrester family, a name synonymous with farming in the Hurunui District. She has worked tirelessly to promote farming through her association with the Canterbury A&P and Rural Women New Zealand, let alone forging a brand for her own wool which has seen her attend fashion shows and events that most of us only dream of. Beverley is a courageous woman who has continued to mke her way in the world combining two of the toughest areas to work in - farming and fashion. A book worth reading. Royalties from the sale of this book will go to Rural Women New Zealand.”

Latitude, Canterbury

“This Kiwi rural memoir is an exhausting read - not just because Beverley Forrester's exceptional recall and research piles social history on top of personal revelations on top of stock husbandry on top of family fable on top of entrepreneurial nous, but because she has lived her achievement-packed 60-odd years at absolute full throttle. This remarkable woman - who worked as an occupational therapist, and now divides her life between running her Hurunui farm and a wool yarn business and fashion label - gives a perfect insight into the resilient spirit which first settled rual New Zealand.”

James Belfield, Dominion Post Weekend


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