After a weeks stay at Alycia’s farm, Luca and I made our way up to Hastings on the North Island for Horse of the Year, a major horse event in New Zealand, to help Alycia with media and marketing. After a lot of stress, learning that heroes are human, some laughs and fewer bright moments, 2 apparently unforgivable mistakes, and a realization that some personalities do not work well together, we were on the way back to the South Island to find different work. Leaving is positive. I’m more disappointed than upset and am eager to learn what the point of our 2-week endeavor was and what adventures we have ahead of us. Lessons are learned.
We do not have many photos or memories from our time spent in Christchurch that are sharable, as I cannot publish media owned by Alycia Burton. But, a few of our highlights were…
Visiting Akaroa, a small coastal town right outside of Christchurch. The views were outstanding and we had the perfect weather to enjoy ourselves.
Spending an afternoon in the Christchurch Gardens. I have definitely decided that hydrangeas are my favorite type of flower.
And cruising the road in New Zealand. You can’t beat the many incredible views of this country. Every corner you take or hill you climb has another outstanding landscape waiting for you to gawk at.
After leaving the Horse of the Year horse show, we made a short stop in Wellington to visit Robert, and continued to Blenheim to WWOOF at a small hobby farm for a week. Leonie and Rene were originally from the Netherlands and moved to New Zealand many years ago. They were both Physical Therapists and had heaps of information to share about correctly using and nourishing your body. They were extremely welcoming and made us feel as though we were at home.
Their beautiful house was designed out of three octagons to allow as much sunlight in as possible throughout the day. It was decorated with all sorts of little ornaments. The gardens had fruit trees, vegetables, and many flowers. In the paddock they raised two cows that they used for meat every year and they had chickens for their eggs.
We spent our days doing tasks like weeding the garden, fruit picking, canning fruit, trimming bushes, and cooking meals. Working with the land is physically intensive, but very rewarding. WOOFing definitely teaches you life skills.
On our last night Luca made Ethiopian food because both Rene and Leonie had never tried it.
Our stay at Rene and Leonie’s taught us a lot about owning a self-sustainable farm where you grow your own food, can the fruit for the winter, bake your own bread, raise your own cows for meat, have chickens for eggs, feed the cows weeds and the chickens leftovers from the food you eat, and the cycle continues…
Luca and I are inspired to live as sustainably as possible. In the end, it is so much healthier for you and the environment, and it is not as hard as you may think it is. If all else fails, just hire a few WWOOFers…