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help exchange   Host 23898
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 26
Persons: 1 to 3
Category: Non Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 23898
Region: Northland

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Last Updated: August 6, 2018

** Over August we'll have availability for 1 helper for diverse farm, house and garden jobs. 1 week minimum stay please. Ideally helpers will be practically minded, mature (23+ yo), hard working and able to work without supervision at times. **

We have `finished` building our eco home (green building, passive solar, totally off-grid) mostly ourselves and with the help of great helpx travellers. On our 26ha farm, we run about 80 sheep and their lambs and 13 beef cattle.

The place is beautiful and ideal to experience peacefulness, nature, native birds, farm animals and bush.

We are about 20 minutes away from Whangarei by car.

There is a sunny bedroom to share between helpers and/or the opportunity to camp on our land in summer. We have free wifi (but limited like almost everywhere in NZ). All meals are included with varied, home cooked meals, some home grown vegetables, meat and home baked bread :P. We also make our own fruit kefir and kombucha.

We are trying to develop our place and our self-reliance further following some permaculture principles. Which mostly means working with nature, not against, and have ultimately nature work for us. Observation and understanding of nature are an essential part of this process. Anyone with interest and/or knowledge in permaculture design is very welcome :)

Apart from the farm animals we have a 2 month old puppy (Foxy breed), 2 guinea pigs, 2 pet sheep, 3 horses and 10 chickens. I work the horses with Natural Horsemanship principles and I am happy to share some of this knowledge with you.

We have a piano and a ukulele and would love you to play, as we can`t ;)

If you like some freedom of movement and want to explore everything that is around (well worthwhile), we recommend you have your own car. But it is fine for us if you don`t, we can pick you up in Whangarei if it is one of our town days, otherwise at the nearest bus stop (Oakleigh).

With a vehicle it is easy to go and visit the area from here, what we encourage you to do, from nice short bush walks in Whangarei to long white sandy beaches of Bream Bay or to the stunning scenery of the Whangarei Heads and Tutukaka Coast. There are also quite a few surf beaches around Whangarei, the closest are less than 30 minutes away by car. Our closest attractions are the beautiful Waipu Caves with their glow worms (free) but you will need a car.

We have traveled around Northland for months before settling here so we have heaps of tips to give you to explore the area. As work inputs may be flexible, time-off is flexible too, you may work full days and then have full days off and we are happy to help you organize a trip to explore further areas like Cape Reinga or the Waipoua Forest.

We can cater for vegetarians (please precise any specific diet requirements when you inquire), we don`t mind gays and accept you with whatever beliefs you may have as long as you are good people ;)

A bit more about us :

Ben 44, Swiss (german-speaking), and Delphine 43, French. We can both speak French and German, we speak our native language to our daughter but otherwise speak English at home and with our helpers so you can improve your English with us. We live a kiwi lifestyle but we have kept the best of our cultures (especially the love of good healthy FOOD and good bread, nicely prepared meals eaten together).

Ben is a mechanical engineer turned into a farmer-builder, I am an Agricultural scientist specialized in dairy farming. Ben is a keen mountaineer and mountain-biker, make-and-fix-everything-kind-of-guy, he has done an amazing job building our house. I also love to make things myself like home-grown produce, home-made cheese and bread, home-made cosmetics and soaps, Maori weaving to make my own bags and baskets. I work part-time for DairyNZ which is the big NZ organization for dairy research and extension. You are welcome to join me in the bread-, soap- or cosmetics-making frenzy if you are into that kind of stuff!

We met in NZ 15 years ago while traveling and wwoofing for 18 months (so we know what it means to be a helper !). We have been back in NZ for 9 years, working on dairy farms before we bought our own block of land.

We love being and working outdoors and share our daily life with other people to give them another experience and to open our minds, put in our lives what is otherwise not there (what are your special talents ?). We have had amazing experiences with foreign helpers and would love to meet new ones soon.

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