Wwoof, Wwoof

No we haven’t gotten a dog (yet), I’ve got something better – free labour!

This winter, Bruce and I came to the realization that we cannot maintain the Wainui property alone.  There’s plenty of grunt day-to-day maintenance chores to do and often times not enough time for the fun creative projects.     Which would you rather do?  Yeah, I want to spend more time on creative projects too!


We joined the Wwoofing network in New Zealand.   Wwoof stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms and anyone who has any size property in any stage of organic practice can join to become a Wwoof Host.    It costs $40 to join and we have access to thousands of Wwoofers from around the world.  It’s a great way to meet people and expose them to the awesomeness of New Zealand.

Here’s our profile:

Main Description: We are an American ex-pat, mid-40’s couple, no kids living on a lifestyle block on Akaroa Harbour. Nestled in Wainui Valley, we are in the midst of building a retreat/sanctuary. We have lots of interests and projects and try to cater to wwoofers interests. All skillsets are welcome. We have a separate lovely sleepout to offer with stunning views. Prefer couples or self-guided individuals. Minimum 7 night stay. We are very social and enjoy intellectual conversation, metaphysics, meditation, music, & board games.

General Description:   The tentative name for the retreat center we are developing is Birdsong. There are heaps of Kereru (wood pigeons), Bellbirds, and Fantails here. Early risers will delight to be awoken by their calls; late sleepers should bring earplugs or a sense of humor. Most of our moderately sloped (15% on average) property is in trees or bush, so there are plenty of walks to take and secret special places to find. You must be able to negotiate uneven terrain to Wwoof here, by the way. We are at the beginning of establishing a permaculture and forest garden system, so that means lots of compost making, weeding, mulching, and plant propagation, seedlings at this point. We dabble a bit with Biodynamics and the EM Bokashi composting method. We have a well-established flower garden and something is always in bloom. Our big harvest time is in March and April, when we have pears, walnuts, and Blackboy peaches aplenty and need lots of help collecting and making jams, jellies, and experiments with fruit wines. There are other sorts of general small farm tasks as you might expect. At times there may be more artistic and/or building projects going on, and a person who could do some artistic/creative work here would be very welcome indeed. We have a good library for organic, permaculture, spiritual and science fiction enthusiasts. We have no animals aside from worms and bees. Experiments with a top-bar hive system are in the beginning stages. Besides the birds and the sound of the occasional farm bike, this is a very quiet, restful place. The views are spectacular. It’s about 2 km downhill to one of the two best beaches on the Akaroa harbor, though the water is rather cold for our tastes. We are good cooks but always looking for someone to help. We have no food issues ourselves, but can easily accommodate vegetarians. Vegan and other limited diets will have to do more of their own cooking, which should not be a problem as we are well stocked with staples. We have a variety of interests, including organizing Kiwiburn, the official New Zealand Regional Burning Man festival {http://www.kiwiburn.com}. Others include German board games (i.e. Settlers of Cataan), alternative structures, orgone, sacred geometry, loom weaving, science fiction, music, movies. We are both over educated and can converse on a wide variety of topics. We lived in San Francisco for 15 years and are quite open minded. We are both social people but slightly introverted. A self-motivated detail oriented person or couple will do well here. Your accommodation will most likely be in a very nice sleepout with ensuite that we use for paying guests when there are no Wwoofers staying with us. Lucky you! One week minimum stay, please.

No sooner did we sign up than our first wwoofer response came through.   And through a friend of a friend, we’ve connected with another young person from the States who’ll be visiting New Zealand for a few months.    We’re picking her up on Saturday and she’ll be with us for the month of September.     The universe has answered our call for help.   Oh, thank you universe!