help exchange   Host 23898
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Help Exchange

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: September 21, 2020

Come and experience real farm life on a small scale! Spring is here so there are lots of little lambs and calves running around the farm :) Jobs include grass mowing, planting, mulching, weeding, window cleaning, small building jobs depending on skills, and of course some work with the animals.

** Looking for 2 helpers to start asap **

** Ideally helpers will be practically minded, mature (23+ yo), hard working and able to work without supervision at times. People with interest in sustainable living, permaculture and experience in building are best suited but it is not a must **

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 12 beef cattle with calves. This is a breeding farm, which means we produce baby animals for the sale rather than fatten them for slaughter (but we eat our own meat). We have a small White Galloway stud with extremely pretty cows, and very cute new born calves :)

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 year old dog (Foxy breed), 2 guinea pigs, a few pet sheep, 2 horses and 8 chickens. Our cows are quite tame too and some will eat out of your hand. I work the horses with Natural Horsemanship principles and I am happy to share some of this knowledge with you. But please note that in winter, the horses are mainly turned out.

We have a piano, a guitar, a small drum kit and a ukulele and would love you to play, as our daughter is the only musician in the family. Artists and musicians are most welcome in our house ;)

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. 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 the long white sandy beaches of Bream Bay or to the stunning scenery of the Whangarei Heads and Tutukaka Coast. Truly some of the most beautiful coastal landscapes in the world on our doorstep :) 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.

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. Apart from pasta, that we love, most meals are made from scratch with unprocessed ingredients, a lot of which are coming from the farm (vegetables, meat, herbs, fruit, eggs...). And I bake my own bread :P We can cater for vegetarians (please precise any specific diet requirements when you enquire).

We welcome gay / LGBTQ people and accept you with whatever beliefs you may have as long as you are good people :)

A bit more about us :

Ben 46, Swiss (german-speaking), Delphine 45, French and Jelsha 8, Kiwi Swiss and 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. He is a keen mountaineer and mountain-biker, make-and-fix-everything-kind-of-guy, he has done an amazing job building our house. Pre-Covid19 he used to travel to Australia for 2-5 weeks at a time for work, now he mostly does building jobs around the community.
I am an Agricultural scientist specialized in dairy farming, now fully working on our farm. I also love to make things myself like home-grown produce, home-made dried meat, cheese and bread, home-made cosmetics and soaps, Maori weaving to make my own bags and baskets. And in general, when we need something, we try to see if we can make it ourselves first! You are welcome to join me in the bread-, soap- or cosmetics-making frenzy if you are into that kind of stuff :)

Jelsha is a delightful, very determined little girl, she has a gift and passion for music and loves to play with our helpers if they are keen.

We met in NZ 17 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 11 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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