About & contact

Jared Gulian holding a copy of his book, 'Moon Over Martinborough'.

Photo credit: Murray Lloyd Photography

My name is Jared Gulian, and I’m still not entirely sure how I ended up living in paradise.

My partner CJ and I are two American city boys who moved to rural New Zealand in 2006. We live on 20 acres just outside the charming wine and olive village of Martinborough, at the bottom of the North Island.

In June 2013, Random House NZ published my first book, called ‘Moon Over Martinborough,’ which tells the story of our first four years on the olive farm. It became a best seller in New Zealand — rising to number 4 and staying on the best seller list for 6 weeks.

In March 2018, I’ll be launching a self-published, international edition under the new title, ‘An Olive Grove at the Edge of the World.’


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I live all over the internet, including these places:

Articles and interviews

Below is a list of my newspaper, radio, magazine, blog, and book interviews.

The property

Our 20-acre property has about 500 olive trees and a trout stream just out the bottom gate. Plus we have heaps of other fruit and nut trees — apricot, peach, pear, plum, chestnut, almond, pine nut, feijoa, and even a quince tree. Cattle and sheep graze in the paddocks.

There’s a 2-bay hay shed with a million dollar view, a veggie garden, green house, flower garden, native garden, some very well fed chickens, and some pet kunekune pigs.

Let Frances Mayes have her Tuscan sun, and Peter Mayle his year in Provence. I’ve got my moon over Martinborough.

For more on how CJ and I ended up here, read my life story as recipe at ‘Make your own olive oil in 23 easy steps‘.


Please use the contact form below to send me an email.

Image credits:

78 thoughts on “About & contact

  1. Erin

    Love your blog and am totally jealous when I read about people living in such beautiful places! We are in Cincinnati which is (sadly) beginning to look like Detroit in some ways. I lived in Grosse Pointe for a couple years; couldn’t ever get comfortable with the total poverty across Mack Avenue with lifestyle closer to lake. I do miss Eastern Market though! & all the great restaurants…

    1. Moon Over Martinborough Post author

      Thanks Erin. We used to drive down Detroit’s Jefferson Avenue just to see the line where poverty ended and wealth began. Unbelievable. Detroit things I miss: Greek Town and the films at the DIA.

    2. SoundEagle

      Hi Mr Jared Gulian,

      SoundEagle agrees with Erin. Congratulations to you on your lovely blog, informative writings and new book!

      May you continue your journey of living closely with Nature and discovering its harmony, benevolence and secrets towards greater sustainability and communal spirit!

      Happy July to you, your family and community!

  2. Ian Watt

    Hiya – great blog – real olive oil is a bit different to the supermarket stuff isn’t it! Sadly not too many olive trees here in Scotland (…yet…)

    1. Moon Over Martinborough Post author

      Yes, it’s very different. Actually, the first time we tasted our fresh oil we thought we’d done something wrong, since it didn’t taste at all like the supermarket oil! We’ve learned a lot since then.

  3. sallyhelen0101

    Hey, thanks for the blog comment. Your life sounds amazing, really enjoyable blog to read. I’ve always loved New Zealand and always enjoy the wine when visiting family over there.

    1. Moon Over Martinborough Post author

      Glad you liked the read. Yes, NZ wine is good stuff. How lucky you are to have family here.

  4. andrew

    Hi Jared…
    I grew up in the Wairarapa till I was 13…I somehow just stumbled across your “blog’ and read about your river…The memories of my childhood in the sun came flooding back….thank you for that. I remember leaving New Zealand to go and discover what the world had on offer….I was sixteen!! Years spent in New York, London and Sydney…..like yourself……racing around finding out who I was…..now I have returned “home”, although I am now about 30 miles west of you as the crow flies……..and happier than I have ever been…..a loving partner,dog and two cats…….plus everything else that country life in New Zealand has to offer…..be sure to come and visit with us here….and swap some stories…..
    Warmest regards

    1. Moon Over Martinborough Post author

      What a nice comment, Andrew. Thank you. Your lodge in Otaki looks great. A perfect place for a holiday!

  5. sally

    Hi Jared,
    I am a Brit married to a NZ’er living in Montauk NY, we have a small vineyard in M’boro and return each year for the harvest, I often check in on your blog to see what’s happening in our little town, we love it and miss it, and the olive oil from M’boro just like the wine is very special!
    ps hope you don’t mind…added you to my blog.

    1. Moon Over Martinborough Post author

      It’s very nice to hear ‘the Moon’ is helping you feel connected to Martinborough while you’re away. If you ever need harvest help, let me know. I’d love to experience that – and write about it in the blog!

  6. Jo Miller

    Hi Jared
    I have just discovered Moon Over Martinborough through Benny’s Place and have just spent the whole day at work reading all of your posts (hope the boss didn’t realise!).

    I am a Kiwi (orignially from Rangiora in the SI) currently living in Australia and have been away from NZ for the last 10 years. Reading your posts really remind me of how wonderful NZ is and how much I miss it. You are making me homesick! Luckily I am coming home for Christmas this year so I will get to see all my family, who all still live within 20kms of each other.

    The language you use when you write and all the Kiwi terms and phrases that were/are so strange to you are very comforting for me to hear again. I don’t get to hear our unqie phrases very often and you have really made me laugh out loud.

    Thank you to you and Rick for bringing a bit of comfort to a nostalgic traveller.

  7. Amanda


    6x Moonovermartinborough 250mls Olive Oil

    Martinborough Wine Centre (the best shop in town)

    !Reward Offered!


    1. Moon Over Martinborough Post author

      Thanks Ronald. Yes, we met years ago when we were both new to NZ. Time flies, huh?

  8. Martin

    Hi Jared,

    Maybe you know already but your blog is on our list of recommended reading through the Open Polytechnic Writing for the Web course. I can see why, glad you love it here in NZ and keep up the good work!

    Best wishes,

    1. Moon Over Martinborough Post author

      Hi Martin – Thanks for that. I suspected something was up when I received a flood of emails from Open Poly students! That’s great. I’ll add it to my list above. Thanks for reading and best of luck on the web writing path.

  9. Ginny

    What magical stories! I look forward to visiting your pages and sneaking a peak at life in New Zealand. Your podcasts are great too! Wow! What fun. Love the chicken story.

    1. Moon Over Martinborough Post author

      Hi Fenella – Sorry we don’t breed chooks, but here are some Lavender Araucana breeders around NZ:

      HSwansson – Carterton, 06 378 7401
      N&C Ennis – Levin, 06 362 6953
      B&M Hogarth – Thames, 07 867 3222

      Best of luck to you. They’re great birds. Although ours do have a tendency to get scaly leg mites. Never mind. The eggs are gorgeous!

      See the post on scaly leg mites in our araucana here:

  10. Sasa

    Hi Jared ^_^ I’m happy to have stumbled across a wealth of blogs in NZ today to help me relieve (increase?!) my homesickness. I’m a Kiwi living in Austria and always look for good writing in a blog too – there are plenty of food porn ones and I like them too but good writing is what keeps me reading. Look forward to your posts!

    1. Moon Over Martinborough Post author

      Thanks Sasa. Just checked out your blog and it’s gorgeous and well written too. So many places you’ve lived! Some of us are global nomads. Thanks for reading.

  11. Shirleen

    Stumbled across your blog whilst googling for an ‘official’ Martinborough tourist site to include in my blog (I’m a blog-newbie). Made me laugh until my eyes watered – love it! Its a bit like reading a story on a magical make believe place in a make believe town, except that its all real! Makes me proud that I too live in this sometimes strange, funny but awesome country (I too immigrated to NZ).

    Wish I found your blog before we went to the Martinborough Fair on Saturday. Would have popped in to say ‘hi’, for a couple bottles of your olive oil and a belly rub for Lady Lucy!

    I follow a number of blogs but none quite like yours though. I’m going to really look forward to reading your posts as of today!

  12. Tracey

    Hi guys, just wanted to say that I love your website! It’s awesome. I’ve only been living in Martinborough for about a year and a half, and I’m loving it. Sadly, I don’t have land, just your standard 1/4 acre, but a wonderful 1/4 acre!

  13. Donald Mackintosh Trott

    Last night I retired early with National Radio playing quietly nearby and apparently drifted off to sleep. At around 2am I drowsily awoke to voices talking warmly and enthusiastically about olives, hills, pigs and chickens, the moon and a beautiful ever changing stream and I thought I was in a world I used to know in my youth, thank you.

  14. Mikalee Byerman

    Good morning from Reno, Nevada! I read your fabulous interview on WordPress — congrats on your many successes. I’m hoping to ask you a few questions. I’m also in the process of turning by blog into a book … and I’m hoping to pick your brain just a bit. Specifically, I’m looking for website advice — it seems like you may have started on wordpress.com but then migrated over to wordpress.org? May we chat by email? I’m at mikalee.byerman@gmail.com…I would love to hear your thoughts. Again congrats — and many thanks in advance!

    1. Moon Over Martinborough Post author

      Hi Mikalee – I’m still on WordPress.com, but I purchased the ‘moonovermartinborough.com’ domain so that’s now my web address. You can read about domain support for WordPress.com here: http://en.support.wordpress.com/domains/

      My email address is above on this About page. Feel free to drop me a line. I receive a lot of emails so I can’t promise a speedy email response, but I will respond eventually!

  15. septicalvar

    Hi, I totally love your writing style and I can very well relate to the joy o living in such a beautiful place close to nature cuz i myself live in Hameenlinna Finland and its lovely to be surrounded by pristine lakes and evergreen woods. I’m glad so many ppl like your blog for this reason and this inspires me to start blogging about Finland! and i bet its much more beautiful;) Do visit when you get free! Tc and good luck for your book.

    1. Moon Over Martinborough Post author

      You should totally blog about Finland! Even if it’s not a beautiful as New Zealand. ;-) Actually, I grew up in the Methodist church and my favorite hymn was one set to music by your countryman Sibelius. You would know the tune as Finlandia. The Methodist hymn was called ‘This is My Song’ and the lyrics were this:

      My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
      and sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
      But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
      and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.

      Isn’t that fantastic? And so true. Good luck blogging about Finland!

      1. septicalvar

        As promised, I have already posted about two towns of Finland and now its for you to tell me which place is more beautiful ;) Of course, Sibelius is a National Hero here. Nice lyrics and really true in our case!

  16. Sindhuja Manohar

    I’m glad I stumbled across your blog – it’s a great find! It’s really inspiring (and thoroughly interesting) to see how you have adopted New Zealand as your home, especially after leaving behind “pastures” that were far different from where you are now. It takes a lot of courage to transplant yourself like that. I’m an expat too, and I’ve lived a large part of my life in suitcases, so I know the feeling. I’ve actually been to New Zealand (Waikato region) and I know the beauty that exists there is indescribable. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog. I’m definitely following it. :)

    1. Moon Over Martinborough Post author

      Thanks Sindhuja! Yes, it takes a bit of courage (or madness!) but it’s rewarded tenfold, don’t you think? I always say that doors are opening up around us all the time, and it’s up to us to have the courage to walk through. The Waikato is gorgeous. Best of luck to you there.

  17. Nanook

    Amazing that you followed your dreams + moved to heaven! I’ve always had an obsession with New Zealand! I’ve taken a trip there once + fell in love!!!!! Literally one of the most beautiful places IN THE WORLD!!!!!

  18. accidentalplanner

    Hi Jared, my name is Lucy Cooper, and I have an arts programme called ReCooper8 (I can’t resist a good-to-moderate pun!) on Arrow FM, the community access radio station here in the Wairarapa. Anne Taylor, who I think you may know, is the programme’s ‘resident’ arts reviewer, and next week I am hoping she is going to review your book…! My show airs at 8pm on the 3rd and 4th Thursday of the month, and the sunday in between – 92.7fm. It would be great to meet you properly one day and perhaps record an interview with you? You can check out the kind of stuff I do at my blog http://recooper8.wordpress.com/, click on the ‘Interviews’ category. Anyway, looking forward to speaking with Anne, and hearing about your fabulous book. I’m heading back to the UK for a trip in July, and will be taking a couple of copies with me! Thanks, and keep up the great work! Lucy

  19. Diana Chandler

    Hi there! I came across your blog while doing some homework on what New Zealand is like. We are contemplating a relocation from Kentucky, USA to Wellington. I read of number of your stories (or posts?) and enjoyed them. What part of relocating to NZ did you both find easy, and hard? I keep reading around and keep getting mixed signals. I figure at this rate I’ll have to read all I can (good & not so good), factor in a large grain of salt, and go with my gut.

    Anyways — Enjoyed the blog and cant wait to read more.

    Best of luck !!
    Diana C.

  20. JLG

    I’ve been enjoying your blog since my partner and I did almost the same thing as you–giving up the big American (and Chinese…) cities in favour of the slow life in NZ. But in our case we took over a lodge in Oamaru, on the South Island! Good on you for all you’ve achieved, and best of luck for the future!

  21. Nelle

    I am a librarian at the Masterton District Libary and I cannot wait for you to come speak here on the Saturday 6th July!

    1. Jared Post author

      Thanks! While I’m definitely very happy here, Detroit holds a very special spot in my heart. It’s a great place in spite of its troubles, and full of great people. I even sometimes become nostalgic about Michigan winters — although all that snow is perhaps best viewed at a distance. :-)

  22. scrisostimo

    Love the idea for this blog Jared, a quiet, modest farm life as a transitional bliss. I am looking forward to reading your book, all the way in Canada :).

    1. Jared Post author

      Yes, it’s a good life out here. This evening I brought in firewood by the light of the full moon. So beautiful. Hope you enjoy the book.

  23. NIcky Berkland

    Just finished your book, it was a delightful read. We also live on a small block outside of Christchurch – no olive grove but a handsome rooster who came and took up residence in our pussy willow tree. Origions unknown!! A friend gave us her last old laying hen to keep him company. He still sleeps in the tree – rain, hail, snow, earthquakes and she very sensibly sleeps tucked up in the bales of hay in the shed. You just cant make this stuff up!
    Anyway thank you for sharing.

    1. Jared Post author

      Thank you so much for the nice comment, Nicky. Stories are gifts and you’ve just given me one. I love the rooster in the pussy willow tree! I do find that the hens are often more sensible than the roosters. :-)

  24. Peggy Finger

    I met a lovely lady yesterday in my small Oil and Vin store in Midland MI. I believe she is your aunt. Her name was either Margaret or Pearl. She talked to me about you and where you’re living and what you are doing. I was of course, immediately envious! I’m from the U.P. ( you know what I’m talking about) and dream of someday just getting to CA to see the olive groves where my oils come from. I have 2 questions: Can I order your book? Can I order your olive oil? Three ?’s – would shipping be prohibitive? I am looking forward to read all of your blog, gazing at your photos and imagining. Thanks Jared!

    1. Jared Post author

      How nice that Pearl talked me up! :-) Oh, you should make your dream happen. Start planning now!

      You can order both my book and olive oil both through the Martinborough Wine Centre. You’d have to contact them to get the shipping rates, as their online shop doesn’t calculate rates for overseas I’m afraid.
      Martinborough Wine Centre Contact – http://www.martinboroughwinecentre.co.nz/content/contact-martinborough-wine-centre

      Alternatively, you can now order my book (but not the oil) from the Village Lamp Shop in Rochester, Michigan. My good friend Jim owns the store, and he’s carrying my book. Shipping from Rochester would certainly be less expensive than from New Zealand.
      Village Lamp Shop – http://businessfinder.mlive.com/1326878/Village-Lamp-Shop-Rochester-MI

  25. William

    Hi Jared

    I just finished reading “Moon Over Martinborough”.
    Totally loved it.
    How do I get to read the blog?

    Ta, William :-)


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