by Mandeep Gaygoat
A few of our fellow WWOOFers showed an interest in attending a Kundalini yoga class so this morning Sangeet held a Kundalini yoga class at 7am in the Station, it was amazing to see everybody attend especially when we all went to sleep after midnight. The Kriya was ‘basic spinal energy series’ a kriya which especially works on the back, perfect for the work we are doing. The energy in the class was amazing and everybody thoroughly enjoyed the class.
After class I headed to the main farm and met Shaun, I commented that he works very hard, Shaun said that he has been up since 4am, I thought wow he must have been milking the cows or feeding the chickens. He said “I have been on Facebook!”
We were supposed to be WWOOFing for 10 days but I threw in the towel, I could not handle the sleeping arrangements, it was very cold at night! Usually with WWOOFing you do not work the day you arrive and your last day, but Sangeet wanted to work as she wanted to learn more about organic farming.
As I need some muddy clothes washing, Marlene, Ruth and I headed into Balclutha to the laundrette, I say laundrette it had two washing machines and two dryers! After I loaded the machine we headed to a cafe for a coffee.
Afterwards, we headed back to the farm. When Sangeet finished working she came back to the caravan covered in mud, even had some on her face! She spent the morning planting Russian Kale and Rainbow Chard and after a battle with a hose and the muddy field watered them!
I was very sorry to leave especially as Shaun who is a hardcore farmer came over and hugged me! His advice to me was “stay away from the garden”!!!
We had lunch and took an hour saying our goodbyes. As we were heading to the car, all the WWOOFers who were staying on joined us to send us off. As we walked past the pig, Peit said that pig eats for two! This coming from Peit?!!! The goodbyes were emotional for us, it felt like we were saying goodbye to family, we bonded so well and will be in contact for many years to come I hope!
Marlene and Ruth joined us on the trip to Invercargill, they had booked into a BBH hostel:
Southern Comfort Backpackers
30 Thomson Street
T: (03) 218 383
The hostel is close to the city centre and has a fantastic atmosphere. Sangeet and I decided to book a room here.
We relaxed in the comfortable and very clean lounge and met a few different people, another guy from Germany, a girl, Rachel, who moved to NZ from Ipswich, a couple from London and a Swiss guy. After chatting for a while, Ruth, Marlene, Sangeet and I headed into the town to either find a cheap restaurant or a supermarket, Marlene had been dreaming about going to PAC and Save (a very reasonably priced supermarket). We ended up finding an Indian restaurant:
29 Esk Street
The restaurant does not look anything special but the food is tasty, they do meat and veg dishes. Sangeet and I shared a butter masala paneer dish, reasonable value at NZ$14.00.
We then had a walk to a supermarket called countdown where we stocked up on essentials like biscuits and chocolate!
Back at the hotel we relaxed in the common area with Ruth, Marlene and the Swiss guy before heading to bed.
by Mandeep Gaygoat
Today we started at 9:30am and were weeding around the garlic and shallots patch, this was outside, we were fortunate to have sunny weather, Shaun provides the gumboots, gloves and the right equipment in this instance it was a small fork. This work is on your hands and knees, very tiring and hard work!
Around about 12:30 Shaun joined and told me off for using the big fork….I thought it was easier but he said you could easily damage the roots.
After we had finished, we had a walk around Shaun’s farm which is impressive (10 acres), Chloe the dog decided to join us.
Sangeet made biryani, it was nice.
Afterwards we had a walk around Clinton. This is a small town which consists of the following shops: gas station, antiques, grocery (NOT owned by an Indian!) and a couple of cafes.
In the evening we had a new WWOOFer arrive from Germany:
by Mandeep Gaygoat
After a VERY cold night we had breakfast at the ‘station’ a communal area which sleeps about 5 people has two settees a log fire, this is where we have breakfast, lunch and dinner (dinner is cooked by us on the weekends, Shaun provides all the required ingredients) wow reading this back it sounds amazing it was actually not my standard! Especially when we have a resident mouse!
There are other fellow WWOOF’ers here, Piet from Germany, Fei Fei from China, Evita from Argentina, Marlene from France. A great set of people who were so welcoming.
Loves his food!
A Chinese girl who does not how to cook rice!
You can just hear her mind churning away ready to ask another question
Gets rash when she starts gardening, also she wants to protect animals. Me: “so are you vegetarian” Evita “no I eat meat” me “!?!!’ (Puzzled)
For farming work we had to do some weeding!!! I hate weeding at home and I travel half way around the world to do weeding!!!
As it was our first day we had to do 5.5 hours, this is very tough work, i was amazed that Shaun has to do this as well as other very hard work seven days a week. Alongside us was Pia, Shaun’s ex girlfriend, she is very knowledgeable about organic farming also has an astrological approach to farming and seeding. About half way through our weeding it started to hailstone, in this part of the country you can get the four seasons in one day, wind, sun, snow and rain!
We stopped for lunch at 1pm for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (my new favourite) and cheese with lettuce (Sangeet picked the lettuce from the farm, so you could not get any fresher and very tasty lettuce!)
After lunch Sangeet and I did another 1.5 hours of weeding. Afterwards we went to Balclutha a town about 30 minutes away, as Sangeet was cooking for everybody in the evening, we wanted to stock up on a couple of items. I also saw a laundrette there perfect for drying our clothes which I did later in the evening.
Before I went to the shops. I started the log fire, when we got back I saw Piet had done some improvements, good old German engineering! The fire was giving great warmth to the station.
In the evening we had another WWOOFer called Ruth from Germany. She together with Marlene helped Sangeet cook the dinner, we had lentil curry and potato, cauliflower curry. Everybody enjoyed the meal very much. Whatever is left is taken care of by Piet!
Ruth putting her nursing skills into use
After the fantastic dinner we all sat in the station chatting, every so often somebody would put another log in the fire…..the heat in the station was nice and very cosy. When we went back to our caravan it was freezing, it was tempting sleeping in the station with the mouse. On the way back to the caravan we noticed the sky, with so many stars it was a beautiful sight, unfortunately we could not stay out too long because of the extreme cold.