Come tomorrow I have officially been in New Zealand for 2 weeks – a week and a bit of that has been spent
here at Rivervalley Farm.
Rivervalley Farm is a fruit farm run by Harold & Jo (a very friendly and nice couple) in a place called Kaukapakapa. (Its roughly where the 16 is on the map)
I’m working here as a woofer (WWOOF stands for Willing Worker On Organic Farm) and the basic deal is I get accommodation & food in return for 5 hours work a day.
At first I thought getting into the working frame of mind again would be quite strange, being as I’ve been a travelling bum for the last 2 and a half months… but it was actually not to much trouble at all! Generally I spend my time here either helping renovate one of the houses on the land or working the orchids.
The main fruit for this time of the year for Rivervalley is the feijoa fruit (the harvest is March – April time depending on the weather). When working on the orchids I have had the task of Mulching (a technical term for forking the grass cuttings & weeds to the base feijoa tree). Its a job I found myself getting quite competitive about and trying to improve my times… starting at an hour a row I managed to get it down to 25mins! This is obviously my calling in life…
Whilst the feijoa fruit is the main fruit of the farm, there are also Orange Trees (producing some of the most sweetest oranges I have ever eaten!) Grapes, Passion Fruit, Melons, figs… The list goes on! One really cool feature of the house is the big glass house that is built off the back of the house (or in my terms… mega awesome conservatory). So when eating dinner your in the midst of a little fruit haven!
Also dotted around the farm there are a few chickens, some cows and some bee hives making manuka honey (the honey from the bee hives is amazing!)
I’m finding the nice thing about being here is realising how nice fresh fruit is in comparison to the fruit from the supermarkets, makes it so much more appealing!