Our nation's farmers are world experts in growing food, which takes a lot of time and energy and doesn't leave much in the day for other pursuits.
Which is why the author of New Zealand's latest book comes as something of a surprise - a fifth-generation sheep farmer from the Manawatū.
Publisher Allen & Unwin was so impressed by Tim Saunders' short stories they asked him to write a book about the realities of life on the farm.
“I said, 'What do you want a book about?' and she said, ‘You're a farmer, write a book about farming,’” Mr Saunders told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp of his book, titled This Farming Life.
His prose captures farming life in descriptive terms:
“Every day I watch the light quietly corral across the paddocks as the sun makes its slow climb across the Tararuas.
“I'm aware of its sweeping arc across the sky. At night I see the moon change its face, the stars drowsily shift position with the seasons.
“I take notice of small changes in the weather which helps me gauge how I will structure my day, my week, the coming months.”
Mr Saunders says he’s halfway through the book and hopes it will give people a glimpse into life down on the farm.