jared-and-olives
Moon over Martinborough
Moon over Martinborough is the blog of Jared, an American city boy who somehow landed on “20 acres and an olive grove in New Zealand.” His award-winning blog tells stories of his experiences and touches the readers in a way that only true stories can.

Visual Aesthetics – 8
Moon over Martinborough has a very simple look. Even the header, while customized, is as simple as can be. This is a good thing in a way as it does not take the focus away from the content. I do think, however, that the blog can benefit from a re-design. After all, improvements in the aesthetics department are always a good thing.

User Friendliness – 9
It is very easy to find your way around Moon over Martinborough. It is well-organized, and you can easily find the relevant links at the right sidebar. In-post links are also regularly used for the convenience of the reader. I have only one suggestion: perhaps the font size used in the sidebar can be increased. It is not that easy on the eyes.

Reading Enjoyment – 10
For someone who yearns to someday land on her own so-and-so number of acres (preferably by the beach, though), Moon over Martinborough is a captivating blog. Add to that the enjoyable writing style of Jared, and you really have a winner. City person or country person – this blog is an enjoyable read!

Useful Info – 10
Moon over Martinborough not only talks about farming or the provincial life, but it also serves as a good source of information for expats and travelers alike. It has, in fact, received several awards in different categories. Oh, and you can learn how to make your own olive oil, too! (Now I wonder how I can get my hands on their cold-pressed olive oil!)

Overall Experience - 9
Bloggy Award
Whether or not you’re an expat or even if you’re not remotely interested in visiting New Zealand (I can’t imagine why not), I highly recommend visiting this blog!

A whopping 8 comments!

  1. Peter, on April 19, 2011 @ 7:39 pm, said,

    I have been reading Jared’s ‘Moon over Martinborough’ blog since its inception. Jared has a way of telling stories in such descriptive words that the reader feels the environment, the emotions, and the experience as if the reader were in the midst of the story. The intertwining of Kiwi vocabulary, colorful Kiwi friends and neighbors, Kiwi culture, and the setting of the narrative in Martinborough’s environment of olive groves, vinyards, and Jared’s own ‘little 20 acres of heaven’…all contrasted against the author’s ‘city boy’ ex-pat personna… makes for a very interesting read.

  2. Rachel, on April 19, 2011 @ 8:33 pm, said,

    Moon over Martinborough always makes me laugh. Jared has such a great way of making a story hilarious. Fun with livestock!

  3. Sarah B, on April 20, 2011 @ 1:48 am, said,

    I’m always entertained, often moved, and always informed by MOM blog.

  4. Justine, on April 20, 2011 @ 5:23 am, said,

    I love this blog! I love the look of it and I really love the stories.
    It is so well written, so easy to read and well laid out. I always laugh at something Jared has written and it amazes me how he can write such wonderful stories – I am envious!
    I haven’t read all the blogs and so I never stop at the current blog. I follow links and read archived stories – only stopped by a lack of time, never by a lack of interest.
    It was a great day in my household when I found Moon over Martinborough and I look forward to the full moon when the new blog notification arrives in my inbox.

  5. Princess Leelee, on April 20, 2011 @ 3:02 pm, said,

    When that big ole moon gets it’s maximum glow on, we eagerly await Jareds Moon Over Martinborough blog. It’s so fun to read out loud – the perfect bloggy under a blanket! His writing is so authentic, heart warming, tear jerking and never fails to be a great reminder of love. Love of the land, love of friends, love of animals and love of each other.

  6. Susan, on May 2, 2011 @ 10:01 am, said,

    I love this blog. It’s thoughtfully written and often makes me laugh out loud, which is not that easy to achieve. It’s not as easy as it may seem to achieve the kind of wry, warm, tight story-telling that Jared does. It’s a real writing achievement.

  7. dotteeszedlinski, on July 2, 2011 @ 4:03 pm, said,

    whooooohoooo! congradulations!

  8. lorraine, on August 4, 2011 @ 7:40 am, said,

    Hi Jared
    I was so lucky to hear your story on National Radio recently. Loved it and intend to follow your postings regularly now.

    Like you, my husband and I have just bought a “lfestyle” piece of land in Blenheim, and we have found ourselves with 600 olive trees. We live in Wgtn area and will communt.
    We are so “green” – and by that I mean completely devoid of experience. After buying our land we had only time to pick one small row of trees with rakes. Got them to the press before it closed for the season that night. We got 26 litres of oil, without knowing what we were doing!

    I hope I can ask you a quick question: to get a blended oil do you pick and press an olive variety separately , then mix the oil? Or do you mix the olive fruits together before they go into the press?

    See, I told you we were “green”.

    Lorraine

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