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help exchange   Host 40090
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 3
Persons: couple or pair
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 40090
Region: Lower North Island

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Last Updated: April 16, 2018



WANT SOME SUSTAINABLE BUILDING EXPERIENCE? Help us set up our house to run in-home childcare ASAP. This means finishing our house renovations, making our back yard into a children's natural playground and edible garden, and turning our garage into Wwoofer's sustainable living space. You will also be making and using a composting toilet, DIY solar hotwater system and maybe making a rocket-stove and methane midi. Please be ready for serious rainwater-saving! Housework and animal care also involved.

We would prefer a pair of friends or couple (for company) but will consider a single.

If 2-3 people are interested we are willing to run our training cycle. (see the end of our profile).


We are offering a genuineWwoofing experience of living with us on our farm and experiencing every-day life on a small organic life-style block and organic veggie farm in the making. Daily activities will include feeding our range of animals - chickens, pigs, goats and cattle, collecting eggs and the option of milking the cow. There will also be help with cleaning the common areas of the house and with cooking (ok if you can't cook yourself, we can also use people to help do veggies and wash dishes).

Our focus is to get the house and yard neat enough and warm enough to be able to do home-based childcare, to improve an animal housing, and to get our garden ready forspring. On rainy days this will involve cleaning and finishing renovations on the house. On fine days this will involve weeding and wood-chipping the gardens, putting up dog/child-proof fences, turning piles of wood into firewood, and making compost / solar / rocketstove heating for the house. This would be a great opportunity for someone interested in permiculture or sustainable living. We can also teach you bread-making, and basic cheeses and yoghurt.

We are also trialing a Paleo / GAPS diet (both vegetarian and with meat) if this interests you this is another opportunity. Otherwise,we will also make available more "conventional" food (bread, cheese, pasta, cereal etc. for you to make some of your own meals). There will also be heaps of cooked veges and soups available.

No skills are needed, so basically if you can do the following we will be happy:

- Put in as much physical effort as a 47 year old female host.

- Be able to work consistently even when I am not watching you. ( at the same time - come and let me know if you are not sure what to do, or if something breaks etc.)

- Do what we ask you to do, and not be constantly telling us what you think we should do

- Be willing to get muddy, wet and a bit cold at times (thought it is now mostly dry and warm!)

Would expect the usual Wwoofing average of 4 hours a day for 6 days a week. As well as this either help with preparing meals and dishes for shared meals, or cooking your own meals from food or left-overs provided. Some days more work is done for time off later, and it would be expected that 24 hours work is done in the week before the sight-seeing trip.

8 acres (previously certified - stopped to establish wood-chip gardens). Is home to Texan Husband, Aussie/kiwi wife and son, 8 cattle, 4 pigs, 5 goats, numerous chickens, and one adolescent dog. We want to put in a range of fruit/vege crops for organic home delivery, but development has been slow with husband working full time and a baby/toddler at home. Husband now working on farm full time - so things are finally getting established. We are not permiculture trained, but incorporate many of their principles We are experimenting with animal rotations, solar and compost heating etc.
Due to allergies - we can only consider non-smokers.

Generally, four hours a day, 6 days a week in return for food and accommodation, as well as one meal duty per day. (On Sunday only essential duties, which is usually about 1-2 hours a day, meals help and tending animals.)
Rooms include a room with bunk beds, and a room with a queen bed.
(The 2-week training cycle can have more intensive schedule.)


We are an easy-going family with a simple farm house, that we are renovating to be even more family-friendly (Taking out old carpets, and putting in cork tiles through-out). You don't need to worry about spilling coffee on a white carpet floor! We do our best to make visitors feel welcome, and to give them information to enjoy their stay. If you enjoy old family values, then that is what we focus on. We like the calm of the evening when we know our guests have been well-fed, and are relaxing in front of the fire in the lounge room. We also like to have people prepared for our family atmosphere, and country life-style. These include the following:

- We have no wifi. We have unlimited internet, but we generally use it through ethernet cable, and don't run the wifi - as we like to be cautious about possible health risks. We have ethernet cables in each room. There is also wifi available at Foxton library 2km easy biking away. Under NO circumstances are you to create your on wifi hotspot from your device.

- My husband comes from a family of alcoholics and so he does not drink, and prefers not to have the temptation around. For the next two weeks he is away, so it is not an issue, but when he is back, we ask that there is no drinking in the public areas of the house or beers in the fridge to tempt him. (We are also non-smoking).

- We are Practicing Orthodox Christians, and we have prayers at meals etc. But we don't push our religion unless you ask us about it.

- Communal areas and work times are English speaking only. All common areas of our home are English speaking areas, as are all work-times and family outings. It is OK to translate the English conversation to someone that doesn't speak English well enough to understand. Its not OK to have a conversation solely in a foreign language in front of others during these times. Not only is this very isolating for hosts and other Wwoofers that don't speak the language, but many Wwoofers come with the goal to improve their English, and we want to offer them an environment that fosters this.

- Shower time is limited We are on limited rain-water in the house, which means showers need to be closer to 3 minutes than 30 minutes in length. We also have a wet-back, which means the fire heats our hot water. If no one stokes the fire during the day, there is no hot water! This also goes to other types of water use, for example, when washing pots do not keep the water running on full.

- Helping with meals and cleaning is part of the job description. While we want to set up the organic farm, we also don't want to be outside working all day with Wwoofers, and then have to be up till 10pm doing the extra cooking and cleaning that Wwoofers bring. We roster this on a rotation basis so it is fairly shared.

- We are a house and farm under development - a month of work with a few good volunteers will make all the difference, but be ready for building materials in the house, overgrown grass etc.

- Food is bountiful but simple, mainly vegetarian, and not yet organic. While we are setting up an organic farm, we still do not have a garden established, and most of the food is local conventionally grown food. We hope to change this by early 2017.

- TV watching is more a weekly than a daily event for us. We have a range of DVD's an a spare TV/DVD player if you want to watch something in your room.

- We are in a rural area, with limited public transport if you do not own a car. Wehave bicycles available for Wwoofer use. We are a flat 2km to Foxtontown, which will give you a supermarket, post office, hair dresseretc. There is also a few tourist attractions in Foxton itself. Weare also a flat 7km to Foxton Beach and the River Estuary. We go toLevin 2-3 times a week for a few hours, and you are welcome to join us, which will give you banks,and a wider range of shops. There is a single commuter bus to Palmerston North leaving about 7am and returning about 5:30pm. There is one bus a day from Foxton to Wellington and back if you wanted to spend a night or two there on your days off. If you don't have your own transport, expect to be able to spend your time here without experiencing night life, and expect to drive at least 1/2 hour to experience it if you do have your own transport.

- Washing takes 1-2 days in Winter. We have a washing machine but no drier - so expect to have clothes take a day or two to dry. If you don't have many work clothes, there is a few second hand shops in Local Foxton.

- Foxton is known for pollen from August until late summer. If you are prone to Hayfever and asthma, then consider visiting us winter, or consider dropping by for an overnight visit to see how you reach before committing to two weeks here.


From time to time we run a 2 week training cycles that systematically teach the skills that we use on our farm to 3-6 Wwoofers at a time. We are doing this because we find that we are teaching the same skills over and over again to individual Wwoofers and also have people come and go without learning the skills they hope to learn, because we can't teach everyone everything every week.

We are also planning a 2-week menu and sight-seeing schedule to go with these, that we hope will make your stay as pleasant as possible. This displays to you our "Country Gourmet" food. How to make healthy food from basic, cheap ingredients, including lots of your own veggies!
During this time we can teach you bread making, jam-making and making basic yoghurt, cheeses and fermented foods.

If you are interested in attending a training cycle please let us know - we run one whenever we get sufficient interested numbers.

Between the training cycles we try to focus on having family time. Which means that after the evening meal we focus on doing an activity with our son. For this reason we prefer people to come as a pair of friends or a couple in between training cycles so they have company.
Volunteers are welcome to come between cycles on the understanding that they will do whatever there is that needs to be done at the moment with no expectation of learning particular skills or experiencing particular food or activities.


SATURDAY: Early pilgrim arrival
This arrival time a day early is for those that want Sunday to be a day of rest and worship and not travel.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON General Volunteers arrive
Orientation to farm
Introducing the various gardening methods we are influenced by, organic, permiculture, biological, Back to Eden, Nutrient Dense Gardening, Square Food gardening, no-dig gardening

Planting seeds, what to plant, when and where (includes propegating seedlings, companion, intercrop and guild planting)

Growing for optimum plant, human and animal nutrition and health.
Preventing basic disease and parasite prevention with rotation.

Extending the growing season in cold weather with a range of methods from simple plastic bottles to complex greenhouse structures (includes clouches, garden tunnels, cold frames, greenhouses, passive thermal heat stores and electronically supported solar/compost heating)

When and how to harvest vegetables and fruit. How to preserve a seasonal crop.

Aspects to consider when designing a garden orientation to sun and wind. Spacing of plants, most productive plants. Etc..

SATURDAY NIGHT: Vespers (Church) or Relax Night

SUNDAY: Day off - Church, day hike or relax in bed evening BBQ or winter roast

Making and collecting solar and compost heat. Using it to heat water, greenhouses, and our house still in development.

How to grow mushrooms (theory only of mushrooms right now)

Planting low-maintanence perienials to feed yourself and your animals without constant work.

A short guide as to the advantages and disadvantages of life-style block animals: cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens. Also considers various ways to contain them

Growing crops in water including Aquaponics, Duckweed and water chestnuts.

SATURDAY: EARLY LEAVE - Vespers (Church) or Relax Night
This early leave time is intended for New Zealanders that want get back to their homes in time to spend Sunday at church and/or preparing for work on Monday.

SUNDAY: Late Leave or - Church, day hike or relax in bed if you want.
Most Wwoofers would leave on this day if they want to stay only two weeks, or have a day off to start a more casual week after this.

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