Sunday, 29 April 2007

organic farm

the small lavender farm with the owner's house in background

Yesterday we took the ferry across the Waiheke Island to visit friends Hana and Jake who are currently WWOOFing (working on an organic farm). Its a pretty amazing set up where they work for 4 hours a day in exchange for free room and board. The farm they are working on is land share between several families who jointly run two separate projects, 'the olive project' (for olive oil) and the 'grape project'(wine). The profits from these projects are put back into running the farm or go toward living costs. The different houses on the land are technically owned by everybody and they practice some forms of communal living like a shared kitchen, meals, and work. Separately one woman runs a small lavender farm then sells lavender oil and Lavender water to shops, through the Internet, and at local markets.

Hana and Jake have embraced the lifestyle. Each they wake up naturally, eat a breakfast of rolled oats, seeds and yogurt, outside with their hosts, then get on with working for the next 4-5 hours. This means something different each day... gardening, grape picking, digging trenches for irrigation, housework, and if you are lucky, barefooted grape stomping. After working they eat a main mid-day meal then spend the rest of the day doing what they please. For Hana, this means sewing union caps and for Jake, well he's been biding time reading and playing guitar. Dinner is really just a light snack, followed by a relaxing evening, an early bed.

the protective netting for these olive trees looks eerie and beautiful, don't you think?

jake showing us the fermenting grapes that earlier hana and pressed via foot stomping

They have been on the farm for three weeks, which is a long stay for a WWOOFer, so they are saying goodbye and Tuesday and coming back to Auckland just in time for craftwerk(this Thursday)! Hana will be selling her fabulous union caps that she made while on the farm so maybe they will faintly smell of lavender.



alisonmc said...

What a wonderful lifestyle! It's almost enough to make me want to try it out for myself. Almost - I don't like getting dirty :)

VictoriaE said...

That is an amazing landscape. No wonder I heard a travel show presenter say on tv the other night that New Zealand is the most beautiful place in the world!

Eve's Bijoux said...

I didn't realise that they still made wine by the old feet stomping method.Sounds like they've got the comunal living thing down pat.
Of course you can add me to your blog roll. I'll also add you to mine.

melissa said...

oh, how idyllic. i've neevr been to waiheke, but i have friends from there and they've inspired me to visit someday. thanks for showing us the farm!

Fiona said...

It's a lifestyle I can only dream of. Envy! :-)

pinkflowerbuttons said...

Beautiful photographs, especially the second one. Timeless. Beautiful countryside, go organic light working hours and an afternoon on the side.