Posted by: Joan Spiller | December 23, 2013


To say I am delighted with the activities of this last week would be an understatement!

I don’t know what wwoofers are used to being asked to do but am fairly sure none could be fully prepared for me & my place, lol. In my defence, I do say on my profile it’s not a farm, but more a blank canvas with an owner who is animal crazy (as opposed to plain ordinary crazy, I take it up a level as many of you know!) but very good at procrastination..

It’s not reaaaalllly procrastination, it’s more that there’s a task on every corner (so to speak) so if I tire or bore of one activity – then I can move onto the next one. Of course, the risk there is that I may only ever have half done jobs.

And that’s where the fabulous Benjamin and Quentin come into the picture!

Here they are at Trinity Hill having a wine tasting with me, yesterday. We had the day off after a week of labours. Was tons of fun, we left early, went to the Hawke’s Bay farmers market, tasted all sorts of goodies, bought a few items then raced up Te Mata Peak before hitting the wineries before heading home for a scratch tea of leftovers in the sunshine here at home.

It hasn’t been all wine tasting and laying in the sunshine though. We’ve powered through a heap of chores and I’d post pics but then this entry would crash your computers, it’s been that epic!

However, I now have an orchard planted. The tomatoes I grew from seeds are now planted out, staked using branches from trees and happily growing in their temporary garden (garden beds are the next big project and I have a carpenter wwoofer coming to help with those soon!)

I have sunflowers now in the ground (I had started them in egg trays from seeds) I have passionfruit vines staked up and better positioned for maximum growth over the summer months. I have no weeds around the house – OMG that looks amazing! And the goat boys have loved it also, as they get to eat all the weeds thrown into their paddock.

The goats have really adored having both boys here, even Billy who is not at all tame, now clamours to have a cuddle and treat when someone walks by. It’s so cute!

I felt immensely uncomfortable asking them to paint as this has NOTHING to do with working on a farm, organic or otherwise. However Ben was adamant and so it was that one day I was shooed away as they set to finishing the painting of my bedroom.

WOW. It looks amazing. I’m yet to sleep in that room, as I knew if I moved in – I would never get around to painting it. That’s all about to change now, thanks to Ben’s insistence that he be allowed to get in there and finish the task I started. (We all know how much I loved the cutting in and first hack at painting, huh!) 😉

Less exciting but equally as useful / helpful tasks included moving all the posts and old wood from various other projects into one (neat and orderly!) location. And sorting out a better hen enclosure plus shoring up a wonky tree, removing posts that were a hazard to the cows etc all done!

And then there’s the lawns – how I laughed when Ben asked to do the lawns. I was planning to do them while they did other things, but he said it would be fun to use a motor mower as they use a flymow (electric) mower back home. So who was I to let him miss out?

I am guessing around 1 hour into it (with another hour or more to go) in the blazing sunshine he was perhaps wishing he’d not offered – but he never once let up .. the lawn looks magnificent, even the (ex!) jungle bit over by the cow paddock, he tamed the lot. I’m most impressed.

The orchard planting was super exciting. I doubt Quentin enjoyed digging the holes for the trees but I hope he knows it was worth it for the buzz it gave me. I actually teared up (sheesh) when I stood looking at the trees in the ground. Must have got some dirt in my eyes 😉

In between all these chores and more, we have had some fun. I’ve harassed and teased them mercilessly. Hopefully they know it’s done with affection not malice! Both have an excellent grasp of English, including an ability to get the kiwi sarcasm style of humour , so it’s been entertaining & enjoyable for me and I hope they will think back on their time here fondly, also.

Today is their last full day here. It’s 8.30am, I told them to sleep in and we will get busy on one or two little chores (one being to set up my bedroom and the other to set up the wwoofer room in the other end of the house – the quiet end!)

Other things on our to do list today:

Get videos of both boys feeding the goats (or being monstered, as is more the case!) by the goats.
Take a walk with the goats to the lake down the bottom of the property.
Go to the beach and walk the dogs / enjoy the beautiful sunny day that’s dawned here.
Eat some yummy food and drink some yummy wine.

Today I am making them bruschetta for lunch and Mee Goreng for dinner with *tart tatin for dessert. Not exactly kiwi fare but delicious and that’s what counts!

Then they have to pack and I will see them off in the morning with more than a little sadness. But we won’t dwell on that for now .. It’s time to go make breakfast!

*Wish me luck. I’m a novice with this dessert so making it for a Frenchman is either very brave or rather stupid!!



  1. […] that I joined a wwoofer site last year. (And how lucky I’ve been!) From the vunderbar Benjamin, to the insouciant Quentin (My 1st wwoofers will always be special to me!) to several others – all of whom did various […]


  2. […] I walked the dogs, mowed the lawns (am just topping them every few days, since they were done by my lovely wwoofer Benjamin) but it still takes over an hour .. watered the roses, tomatoes, herbs, orchard, sunflowers and […]


  3. I think I would have liked to be a wwoofer in my early years and seen some of this world.. Too late now, except I am a wwoofer for myself. Love to plant and grow and farm animals. Looking at the picture, who is Ben and who is Quentin?.


    • Quentin is the one on the left in the picture, holding the wine glass to his lips .. (Dark haired / French) Ben is the one on the right (German) both lovely guys! And yes, James – you would have been an awesome wwoofer, I would have kept you here for a year or so 🙂


  4. What a wonderful experience for you and them!!


    • Truly a win / win situation (I think!) LOL I know it has been awesome for me anyway *grin*


  5. What a wonderful post! It’s amazing what can get done with willing help, isn’t it? I’ve known of WWOOFers for years, but not had actual contact with any. They must have had so much fun working with you! ~ Linne


    • It sure is Linne! We have had a lot of fun and they’ve helped with so much .. just now we’re taking a break then shortly will get busy setting up my bedroom (since it’s all painted, it will be nice for them to see it finished!)


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