Saturday, 12 October 2013


We weren't too sure about wwoofers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms). Would they stick to you like limpets and make it impossible to have a bit of your own space? Personal space is something Trev and I, hermits in training, are a bit precious about. Judging by Sarah and Hiroe, it's not the case. We've had a wonderful, wild, woolley and wet weathered week working together. Yes, the obvious next dubbya is 'weeding.'

The first thing we settled in to do together was weed the garlic, which was being encroached by comfrey. A lot of these we transplanted into pots for my goat larder garden, which is a fenced off feeding frenzy area for summer. When the grass starts to die back we'll let them in for short bursts of high protein lunches.

But our wwoofing week is marred by the weather. It rains in squalls, then the sun pops out, and so do we, only to scurry back inside as the next squall crosses over. If you don't like the weather in Tasmania - wait 5 minutes.  So there's been times where we've given in and retreat inside to read books and drink long cups of chai.

It hasn't stopped Sarah or Hiroe learning how to mud render straw bales. They've almost finished two sections of the front of the house. They tell me it's enjoyable. I find it hard to believe. Having completed the majority of the inside of the house, and the first layer of the outside and wrecking my shoulders in the process, I can think only unkind thoughts of mud.

My descriptions of the different layers mirrors my feelings on the subject, 'this layer is the consistency of diarrhea', this one like a 'soft stool'. It's all shit to me.  So my gratitude is immense. When they ask me, 'Would you like us to do more mudding?' I have to resist the temptation to drop to my knees raise my clasped hands in supplication and cry, 'Please! Please!'

It's been great to share meals with people who appreciate good food, and it's been interesting seeing things from their perspective. Milking goats, making cheese, using home made soap to wash the dishes, introducing them to the compost loo, all so same-same to us, but just a bit different for them.

And sharing our space? It's been easy. They're both lovely, gentle women willing to get their hands dirty (literally) and they've made it a positive first time wwoof hosting experience.


Anonymous said...

We've only had two lots of wwoofers here. Like you, our first two were WONDERFUL..... the last two a disaster!

We too treasure our privacy, and we have nowhere to house wwoofers but in our home. So vetting who we accept and who we reject has become an issue, and frankly I don't know how to do that by email or over the phone..... luck of the draw obviously.

Good luck with the mudding... I thought your house was finished? Like mine.... :D

Glyn Clark said...

Hang on a minute!! We were putting mud on your house in 2009!! How much does it need? :) Are you making a bullet proof house for some reason? I think you're taking this climate change thing a bit too far!!

Glyn xx

Linda Cockburn said...

Haha! the inside mud was finished years ago now. I buggered my shoulders doing it and refused to do the outside. Trev's been busy with other aspects of building so we have intensive mudding over a week or so every now and then. It's all on now, bar the final finish coat. So, if not bullet proof, then hopefully fireproofed as far as possible to be.