New Zealand is first and foremost a pastoral country. Some seventy million sheep are committed unconditionally to keeping the grasses cropped and to helping make the sheep farms look almost as manicured as the Swiss Alpine villages. About twenty million lambs slaughtered annually, frozen and exported, are the major source of income. The sheep also produce sheepskins and wool; even their bones are pulverized for fertilizer.
Orchards are also prominent in various parts of the north and south islands, the fruits coming on so as to meet winter markets throughout Europe and North America.
FIGURE 9.3 Natural beauty. Milford Sound in New Zealand is one of many scenic extravaganzas in New Zealand. The country offers a range of natural beauty and climate.
New Zealand resembles California in several ways. It is about the same length and its climate is generally benign except for the mountain areas. No place in New Zealand is far from the oceans or mountains. There is a serious earthquake hazard. The soil is productive, especially when fertilized.