The Garden of Eden

I offer wwoofing opportunities in the Garden of Eden to those who want to experience working on an organic farm and learn what they can here for a minimum of one week (preferably longer).

This is a permaculture farm and a work exchange, and it’s very humble. Please be prepared for chaos and hard work! Outside of work hours there may be opportunities to learn about things like herbal medicine, fermented foods, fibre crafts, beekeeping, etc, or to relax, sleep, study, walk, or enjoy my library of health/permaculture-related books. It’s pretty quiet here apart from wwoofers (no TV!), and I’m mostly working, online, and on and off the farm. There is a lot of work to be done, and it’s important that you have realistic expectations. Having said that, it’s a very educational insight into the realities of farming, especially creating a permaculture project from scratch, and you will learn heaps.

Guest accommodation is an old caravan and there is a sleepout with a basic kitchen, and there’s also a gas powered shower and  a compost toilet, shared with any other wwoofers who might be here at the time. Or you can sleep in your own campervan, or a tent if you prefer. We all share the kitchen, wifi, and electricity in the main house.

I moved here in 2012 and have gradually converted a commercial kiwifruit orchard into a biodiverse permaculture farm.  I have 2 alpacas, 10 sheep, 3 ducks, 12 geese, 40+ hens, 2 large dogs, and 5 beehives, as well as lots of trees, berries, vegetables, flowers, and medicinal herbs. Most of the work currently is weeding, pruning, fencing, tidying, painting, planting, mulching, compost making, and general maintenance.  There is usually not much work with the animals although you can play with them in your spare time if you wish.

Meals are usually fresh raw salads, eggs, cheese, meat, rice or potatoes. It’s mostly seasonal, fresh, local, inexpensive and healthy. There is always fresh fruit available. I can cater for vegetarians but gluten/dairy-frees/vegans may need to buy their own plant-based milks, gluten-free bread, meat substitutes, etc, as my budget doesn’t stretch to expensive luxury foods. I don’t generally offer desserts other than fruit but wwoofers can feel free to provide and share them! There are also breads, spreads, cheese and fruit available most of the time.

So, that said, you will be very welcome here if you can guarantee that you:

1. don’t smoke or vape

2.  are willing to commit to staying for at least 6 days

3. will cheerfully work 4 hours x 6 days a week,  6 days work minimum, or 6 hours x 4 days if you prefer. Wwoofers who stay for more than 6 days can take the seventh day off.

4. are able-bodied and fit enough for manual labour.

You also need to be happy working alone, and flexible with tasks, hours, food, accommodation, etc. The longer you stay the more you learn. I am also a learner, and I’m happy to share with you what I know about permaculture, organic growing, beekeeping, etc, and offer you practical experience in this lifestyle, with all its pros and cons.

We work in nearly all weathers, unless it’s really pouring with rain, so you’ll need to be equipped with sunhat, raincoat, boots, etc. I have some spare gumboots that may or may not fit you, and gloves for use on prickly tasks but if you want to wear gloves all the time you’ll need to bring your own.

Some things you MIGHT learn here:

To not judge a book by its cover

How to make sourdough rye bread

Just how much time, effort, patience and care goes into producing food

How much effort, energy and commitment you are capable of

How to weed

How to tell the difference between weeds and useful plants

Theory, use, care and maintenance of a basic compost toilet (Rotaloo)

How tolerant you are of lifestyles different from your own

How bees make honey

What else you might need to learn in order to live a rich, productive, contented life

The longer you stay the more you learn.

If you are interested in this please email me with the details of who you are, where you’re from, how old you are,  what you’re offering, what you are wanting, and when  you’d like to come.