New Zealand is known for it's production of world class dairy products, and Taranaki in particular is a strong and traditional dairying area. Come and see what it is all about straight from the cow!
We are a mid thirties couple and 20 year old teen living and working our 400 cow conventional dairy farm. Ian works full time on the farm. Jack (20 year old) works part time and studies whilst I (LeAnne) am a self employed accountant who divides my time between the farm and my local practice in Inglewood.
We have 3 family dogs and also a welsh pony stud on the farm. We are 6km to the nearest small town of Inglewood and 20 minutes to New Plymouth (the nearest city.) You must love dogs to be here as all of our dogs are very friendly loving pets. They are part of our family and they do live inside.
The ponies belong to my mother mostly. We have a mixture of youngsters from foals to adults including stallions and broodmares. They can be handled but we reserve this for experienced horse people only. LeAnne rides over the farm on her own horse when she has time but we are not an "equestrian center" with most activity centered around the cows.
The farm is a mixture of contour with views to die for. It is dotted with islands of natural bush and is a haven for loads of bird life. We enjoy entertaining and pride ourselves on great food and hospitality. We raise most of our own meat on the farm (beef, lamb, veal and occasionally some pork and venison) and eat loads of fresh produce that we swap and trade for locally. We love to cook and share our food - so expect good hearty meals made from scratch with love. We tend to center our lives around the kitchen with general conversation and banter. Expect a sometimes loud, chaotic and friendly home life with a lot of laughs and some fun. We can cater for vegetarians and other diets if we are given notice.
We lead an active lifestyle and when not farming we volunteer for a few local charities and sports clubs, fish, play sport, and generally get out and about.
Every day is different and we are finding that we do different things with different workaway people. We have been hunting for wild rabbits (which we then cooked) foraging for blackberries, swimming at the river, neighbourhood BBQ's, beach excursions, "cheese" making, friendly cooking competitions, late night card games, tours of New Plymouth city, participation in our team sports, possum shooting, crop swap, sustainability projects, community activities, fundraisers and facilitated the pick up and drop off for Mt Taranaki walking trips (and we've even done a few ourselves in the rain!) We are expecting people with great attitude who love to work hard, don't mind getting dirty and can have fun whilst doing it.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Looking for a variety of skills - any help is good help! Anything from feeding animals, handling ponies, gardening, riparian and sustainability planting projects, cooking/preserving and help around the house. We are busy people and there is something always going on around us on the farm, everyone is expected to pitch in when needed.
Over the winter months (May/June/July) we focus on farm maintenance - repairing, cleaning, tidying, weed spraying, water blasting, scrubbing and preparing for the coming season. The dairy season ends in May for us when the cows stop being milked- so everything is about getting things in ship shape for the coming season.
August - September are our busiest months of the year with the herd calving (having their babies) We farm big days here and look for all round help to keep things clean, help with calves and general farm labour. Also additional help in the house would really be appreciated if farming is not your thing - anyone who wants to keep house, cook and keep up with the housework would be hugely appreciated over calving time (and you get to stay in the dry and warm!)
October - December we are in full swing of farming, Milking twice a day, making sileage, feeding calves and cows and generally keeping things running.
Jan - March things start winding down. Calves are now weaned and we get nicer weather and summer activities of making hay and seasonal maintenance. This is where we focus on weed spraying as well.
We are looking for physically fit people with energy and enthusiasm who wish to learn what NZ farming is like.
Most volunteer help is done in the mornings and workawayers help from Monday to Friday leaving you free to explore in the afternoons and weekends. We are happy to be flexible if you have day trips and activities planned.
We've embraced the workaway philosophy, we have full time staff to manage the day to day running of the farm, so the workawayer's help is for the extra activities and projects we have.
We are pretty good with those who are not strong English speakers - attitude makes up for everything. So long as you are prepared to learn and be patient with us - we do get there in the end!
We recommend you plan to stay at least a week to get the feel for the place - obviously you can stay shorter or longer by arrangement. Most of our previous workawayers have stayed 10 days and wished it was longer!
Accomodation is a modern 2 bedroom self contained cottage next to the main homestead. It is sparsely furnished - however meals and access to homestead provided. One room has a queen bed, one has two singles. The cottage has it's own bathroom. You may at times share with others (one in each bedroom) We try to keep it all to a minimum but our farm has proved very popular and we are enjoying having people - so it does seem like the more the merrier at times!
We do sometimes book the cottage for online rental in which case we keep workaways in the main house. We have a spare bedroom with queen bed and shared bathroom with one other.
The Taranaki Region of New Zealand has recently been voted the second best region in the world to visit by Lonely Planet. And no wonder, with mountains. beaches, incredible landscape, world class art galleries and museums- there is something for everyone. If you are into walking, scenery and the outdoors- then this is the place for you. Fairly untouched and off the usual "tourist" track - the region is (in our opinion) one of the best kept secrets of New Zealand travel.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
We are a well travelled couple who grew up in Taranaki but have lived all over the world. We take pride in the place we live and are looking forward to sharing our experience and knowledge with others.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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