Oh the wonderful thing about woofers, is woofers get a lot of work done!
We have finally started to host woofers after almost a year hiatus. The last time we had woofers was during the big Feb 2011 earthquake. Quakes, house renovation, visitors, and our travels didn’t allow much time for anything else last year and I’ve missed having the opportunity to host interesting young folks.
We are also trying out a new woofer hosting model – to only schedule woofing for one week a month, but to take anywhere from three to six woofers at a time. More bang for your buck. Get them in at once, have a really good and fun hardworking week, tackle some big projects on the property, and then have a few weeks to recover and live some semblance of a normal life.
In mid-February we started up our new model and had four woofers: Corentin and Rosalie from France; Leandre from Belgium; and Kimba from California. All twenty-somethings with lots of energy and good attitudes.
It was a great week though a bit chaotic early on until Bruce and I could get ourselves into a routine and stay focused. The schedule generally went along the lines of: everyone up and down for breakfast between 9 – 9:30; work from 10 – 3 with breaks; a few hours in the afternoon free time for fun; dinner prep around 6:30; dinner and evening activity 7 – 11 pm.
The big project for the week was to start getting the new woodshed loaded. A pile of chopped wood was sitting in the orchard from last year and needed moving – this required the gang to wheelbarrow endless piles of wood uphill and into the trailer and then take the trailer around to the woodshed for unloading. We must have done about four rounds of that. Then it was into the forest to chainsaw and haul out wood to the trailer – that took a few rounds. And lastly the boys moved all our excess building timber from the garage and into the storage bays of the woodshed. All of which took several days to accomplish. But we now have one new bay full of wood (the right hand side in the photo) and this wood will now sit and ‘cure’ for the next one to two years.
The ladies helped with the wood hauling and also got in an afternoon of weeding with me in the lower paddock. My poor garden beds have been virtually overtaken my weeds and twitch and it took a few hours to completely uncover and clear a few areas. The ladies also spent a good day cutting blackberry in the gulley – we ended up with about a cubic metre of blackberry cuttings to dispose of!
But all was not just hard work – we had some glorious summer weather which we took advantage of – almost every afternoon we’d go down to the beach and have a swim or a poke around. We foraged for fresh seaweed for seaweed salad and cockles (small clams) for a delicious pasta meal, and we stopped by the side of a road to collect these beautiful yellow plums which we made into jam. Kimba offered haircutting services and Corentin made friends with a crab.
The kitchen was humming all week trying to keep the six of us well-fed. I also now ask all woofers to select and prepare a meal during their stay and we were well treated to chili, tuna bread, and lots of crepes!
It was a great week and we got a lot done!