Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Awakino Station

Welcome to an insight into my life as a farmer, mother and cook.  I am Jaz Mathisen, mother to two little farm children with another on the way.  We call Awakino Station, a 20,000 acre farm set in the heart of the Waitaki Valley, New Zealand home where we run sheep, cattle and deer. 


Since becoming a Mum I have taken a slight step back from the physically demanding role on-farm to slot into more of a homesteading mama’s duty.  I cook for our shepherds daily, enjoying the challenges of growing, harvesting and foraging for our food along with preserving the surplus.  I find nothing better than cracking open a jar of peaches that sing of the summer’s warmth in the cold depths of winter. 


My children are never far from my side, their clothes are rarely clean and every job takes 3x as long but it is such a rewarding lifestyle and one that I am constantly grateful for.

Awakino Station is a child’s dream.  There is the river to splash in, tussock covered hills to explore, animals to raise and a bustling kitchen with a baking tin full of something yummy to eat.  I feel extremely fortunate to be able to raise our children on this piece of land.  Every day throws something new and we always try hit it head on with great enthusiasm.  


Dan my partner is employed here on his family farm as the manager and I am the station cook.  Every day I cook morning tea and lunches for our shepherds.  There are six full time workers on Awakino, who help tend to the fine wool sheep, hereford cattle and red deer that roam the 20,000 acres.  There is always something to do on the farm.  There is always something to do in the garden.  And there is always something to do in the kitchen.  It’s a balancing act where a list of priorities is paramount.  We wake up early and go to bed early, exhausted and already mentally planning and preparing for the next day.

I am extremely passionate about utilising what we can grow here on Awakino and I love sharing seasonal recipes that showcase our farms meat and the fruit and vegetables from the garden.  We are lucky in a sense that we have an array of meat available at our doorstep without the intensity that other homesteaders have to endure.  Mutton and beef are fattened at a large scale for the domestic market, exporting and our freezer.  We keep house pigs that not only clean up the house hold scraps but they then provide us with beautiful pork.  As I am writing this Dan has just come home with a wild deer, giving us venison.  These animals provide both our family and employees with fresh, flavoursome and free-range meat.


Not only do we eat to the seasons but we also farm to the seasons.  We have very distinct seasons with hot dry summers and snow in the winter.  Summer sees long and dusty days weaning lambs, fawns and calves.  Evenings are spent riding the pony down to the river with the dogs and having a swim, washing away the sweat and dust of the day.  Autumn arrives and we have beautiful windless days, perfect for picnics and jetboat rides on the nearby lake.  It is also a time to prepare for the upcoming winter.  We have had baleage cut and stored and winter crops growing as the grass becomes dormant over winter.  With winter we slow down a little.  We see severe frosts and temperatures dropping into the negatives, the snow is always capping the tops of the hills and livestock are shifted behind break fences daily, giving them fresh crop to satisfy their immense appetites.  Just when you think you cannot see another frost the weather turns and blossoms start to open.  Spring has arrived and with that comes the joy of new life.  Baby animals everywhere, and orphan animals if the kids are lucky.  A vegetable garden to think out and plant and a list of preserves planned for the summer months.  Spring has to be my favourite, it just sings of a fresh start, of joy and optimism.  And I do hope you all enjoy seeing a snippet of our spring farm life on Homestead Mamas.


Please join us by sharing, continuing the conversation below, and connecting with Jaz at the following:




MORE Stories

Homestead Ingenuity

I began my homesteading journey from the perspective of a Nutritional Therapist, closet herbalist, and beekeeper. This mentally gave me a few barriers to diving into the conventionally accepted tools for animal health such as antibiotics, injectable vitamins, generic minerals and mass produced bagged feeds…

Read More

Deeply Rooted

I am not well traveled. I’ve never flown on a plane. I’ve never been north of Ohio or west of Texas.I’m not as well traveled as some may say one should be, but this piece of land has housed all of my fondest memories…

Read More

Embracing Joy on a Humble Life Journey

Do you ever worry that your kids will miss out because of this homesteading lifestyle choice? This fear crosses my mind time to time. I’m sure many, if not most of you, could agree that it can be extremely difficult to get extended time away from the homestead for more than a full day, especially in the busy summer months when daily chores demand our regular attention…

Read More

Healing on the Homestead

“In some Native languages the term for plants translates to ‘those who take care of us’ … the land knows you, even when you are lost.” – Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass…

Read More

Forest Farming Amateur

I kept our sheep a secret. After mentioning to a friend that I was thinking about getting a small flock, she looked at me with crazy eyes as if I had said I was going to burn my house down. I had just that day committed to buying my first two goats…

Read More

Babies, Business, and Bumper Crops

Babies, Business, and Bumper Crops: How I am Learning to Homestead with Babies in Tow

Have you ever had one of those days? You know the days when you are cleaning the baby’s diaper, milking the cow, scooping poop in the barn, wiping noses, and cleaning more poop off of kids’ shoes…

Read More

Frontier Homesteading

Hey there, Homesteading Mama’s!
I’m Rachel from @frontier_homesteading. My husband Ryan, three children and I have been homesteading for about 10 years now, first in Wyoming and now in Alaska.
We currently have milk goats, pack goats, sheep, a pig, a cow, chickens, rabbits, bees and a dog. Seasonally, we also have more pigs, meat chickens and turkeys….

Read More

Holiday Stained Glass Windows with RuthAnn

Stained glass windows date back to the 7th century. With the earliest known reference dating
from 675 AD when workmen were imported from France to Britain to Glaze the windows of a

Read More

Join In The Conversation

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

A Patchwork of Homestead Mamas

An inspiring & encouraging community of Homestead Mamas. For growers, hunters, foragers, & explorers; with little hands & little hearts alongside.

Join Our Community