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Revised edition of
 The Day Dad Blew Up the Cowshed, by Tales Fromn the Farm Publications

The Day Dad
Blew up the Cowshed

Revised edition 2015

Blowing up a cowshed - this farm tale really happened! In the 1960s and 70s it wasn’t unusual for returned servicemen and their farmer sons in New Zealand to blow things up. For Jennifer and Margery, growing up on a farm in Hawkes Bay, blowing up the cowshed was a momentous event in their childhood. Here is the story just as they experienced it – vivid in detail, action and unforeseen consequences!

Dramatic and hilarious, this true Kiwi story comes with an educational section on the invention of the first rotary cowshed in New Zealand by a Taranaki dairy farmer.

Book Specifications

Paperback, 210 x 277mm, 40pp
Cover: Laminate gloss, embossed title, gold foil effect
Cost $21.95

ISBN: 978-0-473-29775-6

The Dad Blew Up the Cowshed wins Dragonfly First Place book award

Purple Dragonfly Book Awards 2016:

First Place: Picture Book 6 & Older
First Place: Historical Fiction
First Place: Best Cover Design
Honorable Mention: Best illustrations & Best Interior Design

"This is a true NZ down-on-the-farm story written in catchy rhyme which will make you shake your head and laugh out loud.”
Sue Hoyle, Top Title in Upstart magazine


"A great read and a classic piece of New Zealand history. A must for any classroom
- no matter what age"
Linda Holmes, Teacher, Te Mata School


Blowing up the Cowshed
a hit with the kids

Student at Mangamahu School
“I liked the part where her Grandfather went to Gallipoli in WW1 and had learnt how to blow things up in the war.”

A cool cowshed learning activity!

Tanya Taylor of Blackwood School kindly shared some clever learning activities she developed for the book. Go here and click on the red spots on the front cover for activities)

Interview with the author (Taranaki Daily News):

"As kids we watched this unfolding drama ... We watched and waited and then there was this almighty great bang. It was unbelievably loud. We were not far from the Ruahine Ranges, so the sound went out, then it echoed back ... It sort of reverberated. And all this concrete went up into the air ... it was just the kind of a drama that kids would love. It's a story that catches kids' imagination." Taranaki Daily News read more

If you have any cowshed learning activities to share we would love to hear from you!

Like many ‘rehab farmers’, Grandpa had put the explosives skills he used at Gallipolli to good use on the farm, blowing out tree stumps and removing unwanted rocks. Blowing up the cowshed was the same idea – just on a bigger scale!

Dad was a farmer who liked trying out new ideas. In the 1970s he read about a new turnstyle rotary milking shed and it caught his interest.

At that time milking sheds were either back-breaking, traditional walk-through sheds, which weDad with cows from the book by jTales from the Farm, the Day Dad Blew Up the Cowshedre being phased out (what Dad had), or the upgraded herringbone, where milkers stood in a rectangular pit and worked the cows on either  side. 

The rotary shed moved the cows round on a rotating turn-style while they were being milked and then they backed off. The Dairy Board finally gave the rotary cowshed full approval in the early seventies and farmers started to build them.

Dad had a look at the prototype in operation and decided to build the first rotary shed in Hawkes Bay.

But to put in the new cowshed the old shed with its thick concrete floor, walls and foundations had to be removed...!



Take a peek inside

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 Dad, from The Day Dad Blew Up the Cowshed, published by Tales from the Farm



You may also email orders to us at info@talesfromthefarm, or phone us: 64 (0)3 312 4321 | Mob: 027 452 9858