So Many Sheepies

After I left uni, I went WWOOFing for a couple weeks. So that’s volunteering on an organic farm in exchange for food and a place to sleep.

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Green Acres, a farm in Taranaki on the North Island

The one I went to had like a billion different things going on:

  • macadamia nut orchard
  • avocado orchard
  • sheep

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  • horses (the big one kept jumping the fence into the little pony’s area to eat her grass…)
  • geese
  • ducks
  • chickens (fresh eggs!)
  • turkeys (they perch on the fence at night!)
  • a dog (Sam the bearded collie)
  • other fruit trees like lemon, persimmon, orange and guava
  • vegetable garden including beets and yams and taro (taro is like potato but much richer)
  • native tree plantings between pastures (matai, kauri, karaka, rewa rewa, pohutukawa, totara and kahikatea)

I was the only WWOOFer there at that time, and I stayed in a little shack/hut/cottage thing near the main house.

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I learned oodles of things from Chris, the farmer.

  • how to herd sheep (it mostly involves just opening the gate and letting them run through but sometimes you have to do a little zigzag chase/clap/yell thing)

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  • purpose of shelter belts (treelines planted between the pastures to shelter them from wind)
  • why not to plant bamboo in shelter belts (it keeps sending up shoots on the wrong side of the fence…)
  • how to sort through yams (and cook them too!)

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  • how to identify native New Zealand trees
  • how to shear a sheep (or at least part of one)

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  • how to sort wool into different quality grades

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  • the latest gossip on a local travel agent who had been neglecting to actually book flights for people…
  • how to plant grass

You could even see Mt Taranaki from some of the pastures!

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the best view!
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