Monday, November 5, 2012

My October

It looks like I haven't done a blog post in over a month. I want to do a quick one about my month of October, with the promise of more posts to come. During October I stayed at two different farms, I will call them farm 7 and 8.
Farm 7 was in Dannevirke, which is a small, agricultural town just a couple hours away from Wellington, which is the southern most city on the North Island. I had a really good time at this farm.  My host had a lot of knowledge, not only about organic farming and gardening but about the world in general. Her husband ran a dairy farm, so it was all the raw milk I could drink – yum. But I worked with Lynn who produced most of the food supply for the household. There was a veggie garden, fruit trees, and heaps of animals – cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, dogs, cat, and two types of ducks. My favorite part of being there was, for some days I was completely responsible for taking care of the animals in the morning and afternoon. The pig just had six piglets which were super cute – my favorite was this little ginger one. While I was there a sheep had two lambs but rejected one, it almost died it's first night but we rescued it and brought it in the house and started to bottle feed it. That was cool – except I was worried it wouldn't make it, in the end it survived but she gave it to a neighbor because he already had one that he was bottle feeding. There also was this big goofy dog named Tangy. She was a year old Leonberger with heaps of energy.  Always up for a walk in the bush.  I learned a lot during my two weeks there.
Farm 8 was in Lower Hutt, which is a small town near Wellington. This farm was completely different than #7. It wasn't really a farm more of an urban garden.  One thing that was a first for me was there were two young kids a girl of 7 and boy of 10.  I am never really around kids so it was quite fun.  I played a lot of Monopoly.  The family also owned and operated an organic coffee caravan which had a permanent location during the week but went to markets on the weekends. Sometimes I would help out and work in the caravan taking coffee orders. Most days I was just doing odds and ends in the veggie garden. One day I got to attempt milking a goat (they were milk sitting). It was much more difficult than a cow because their teats are a different shape, hard to grab a hold of. I am sure with some practice I would get the hang of it. But while we were there we also got to hang out with some baby goats and that was fun too. A tragic story happened while I was at Farm #8. When I arrived their duck was sitting on 6 eggs. One day one of them hatched (for some reason none of the other eggs did). So we had this cute little duckling for about 3 or 4 days. Then on Saturday while I was helping in the coffee caravan, the little girl opened the door to check on the duckling and a cat ran in and grabbed it. It was a sad day. Farm #8 was cool because I got to visit Wellington on my days off and Wellington is everyone's favorite city in New Zealand. It is a nice city with a lot of free museums and good food, coffee, and beer. While in Wellington I got my hair cut for the first time since being in New Zealand. It was at an academy and cost $9.50. I don't really like it and can no longer put all my hair in a pony tail. But I can't really complain about a hair cut for less than ten dollars.
On the first of November I took the ferry from Wellington to Picton, on the south island. It is a three hour ferry ride, which for most of it is just open water but the last hour is through the Queen Charlotte Sound, which is quite beautiful. I didn't have to be at my next farm for a couple of days so I took my time getting there and spent a couple of nights at a campground. I heard they filmed part of the Hobbit there. It was quite beautiful next to a river.
I arrived at my new farm on the 3rd of November. It is near Abel Tasman National Park and I am hoping to do a little backpacking after my two weeks here.
From a hike I took out of Dannevirke
View of the Ruahines
Ginger piglet!!
View in Wellington from the Ferry

Queen Charlotte Sound from the Ferry

Queen Charlotte Sound from the Ferry
Queen Charlotte Sound from a hike out of Picton
Pelorus Bridge campground

Pelorus Bridge campground

Sorry for the mirror shot but wanted to show my new haircut.  I guess I don't hate it that much

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