Added: Krystn Shapiro - Date: 27.06.2021 17:01 - Views: 21942 - Clicks: 4219
T hey say variety is the spice of life and house sitting is providing us with some seriously flavourful experiences. A few days ago we said goodbye to the owners and animals of our most recent house sitting asment and settled back into our routine Farm sitting new zealand perpetual travel. Set high in the Papamoa Hills the property boasts a degree view over the South Pacific Ocean and a similarly jaw dropping panoramic of the undulating peaks that line the coast. While we are well aware that each asment we undertake is unique, this sit provided quite the eye opening experience to add to our list of life lessons.
With the owners away in Mexico we were charged with taking over the reins of their lifestyle farm. Essentially it is a small scale farming operation that is run for enjoyment rather than profit. Land owners, or lifestyle farmers as they are often referred to, choose to engage in growing food or rearing animals simply to relish in the opportunity to do so, and harvest the fruits of their labour for their own consumption.
Our responsibilities were varied yet thoroughly entertaining and provided quite the learning curve for a couple of ex-city slickers like ourselves. Our brood consisted of twelve furry alpacas, affectionately named after Spanish cities, eight chickens, who decided to go through the moult littering their feathers all over their pen during our stay, two vegetable gardens and around deer. Ok… so the deer were not our responsibility, but they lived in the fields that surrounded the house and we felt like they were part of the clan!
Each morning after a cup of chai on the deck we went out to check on the animals. The boys were constantly checking on the girls, if the girls moved to the top of the field the boys followed. When the girls went over to the corner for their dust bath the boys watched in awe as legs and furry bodies rolled around in the dirt. Although the boys would like to think they ruled the roost they were at the mercy of the long legged and fluffy tailed girls. After a quick head count we open the feed shed to collect the relevant nuts and hay, I must admit this was my favourite part of the day.
As the door slid across tiny little mice would dash from the bags of nuts and run for cover. If we stood still and waited a few minutes later one rather brave little mouse would pop his head out of his hiding place and Farm sitting new zealand returning to his breakfast. One morning I made a deal with the cat who lives across the field. The next morning as I stepped out onto the deck with my tea he appeared with a little mouse clasped firmly in his jaw.
After the mice had dispersed we would portion out the feed and go about distributing breakfast. The first week or so involved simply placing the food in the relevant spot and standing back to allow the skittish alpacas to edge forward and eat. Before long they were familiar with our presence and we eventually had Farm sitting new zealand eating nuts out of our hands.
With the alpacas munching away on the hay we walked down to the chicken run in search of eggs. Often they were still warm to the touch and after filling their feeder and changing the water, and of course chatting to the hens, it was back to the kitchen for scrambled eggs on toast. Every fortnight a local alpaca breeder made a visit to the farm in an attempt to facilitate the production of mini alpacas.
Bringing with her a very fine male she would phone in advance and ask us to herd the lucky ladies into the mating pen to await the arrival of what one assumes was the alpaca version of Channing Tatum. Each armed with two ski poles to act as extended arms, we approached the herd arms out stretched. After successfully moving them into the smaller of the two fields the easy portion of the exercise was behind us. Of the ten alpacas only three would be enjoying the company of alpaca Channing and so our task was relatively complex. While attempting to capture the three lucky ladies we also had to get the remaining seven girls back in the larger field.
Ski poles in position we set about breaking up the herd, not Farm sitting new zealand particularly easy manoeuvre as alpacas instinctively stick together and separating a chosen few can prove to be quite a challenge. We waltzed left and the alpacas ran right, if we split and paraded around the edges of the field the alpacas ran to the opposite end of the fence. Ben crossed his ski poles in a bid to shield himself from another attack. Two ski poles are never going to provide any form of shelter from green stinky spit. From across the field all I could see was Ben holding his ski poles like a crucifix to ward off the evil alpaca approaching him with cheeks full of wicked green liquid.
Ski poles crossed and backing away Ben was looking desperate. As she trotted over to me Ben Farm sitting new zealand free to escape and took advantage of the fact that the three lucky ladies we required had miraculously made their way toward the corner of the field.
Ski poles outstretched he kept them from the rest of the herd and a full forty minutes after the activity began we closed the gate to the mating pen with our three ladies inside. Farm sitting new zealand we humans have the cheesy chat up line, birds have brightly coloured feathers and dogs have the obligatory bum sniff, the alpacas have the spit off.
A first date of sorts it is the name for the alpaca mating process. As you can imagine it does exactly what it says on the tin and goes pretty much as follows:. Mr Alpaca enters the arena and utters a few sweet nothings into the ear of Mrs Alpaca. If Mrs Alpaca has a headache, is frustrated with Mr Alpaca for leaving dirty pants on the floor or is just not feeling in the mood she confronts him and spits continuously in his face until Mr Alpaca gets the message.
Ladies this is my idea of the perfect speed dating system.
Why waste your time with small talk, cheesy chat up lines, bad breath and sleazy dates when a simple, yet to the point action such as spitting in the face of the below par lothario would save you some grief and allow you to continue the hunt for your Mr Right?! The breeder informed us that this was likely because they were already pregnant. She visits for a certain of times each year to ensure the selected females are impregnated and had already visited with Mr George Clooney Alpaca before our arrival at the Farm sitting new zealand. With so much fresh produce on offer we tried our hand at turning the fruits of our labour into yummy treats to sample after a hard day of herding.
We were quite surprised to see a worm farm in the pantry but soon saw the merits of saving all your natural waste for this quirky method of recycling. The worms munch through the rotting peelings, tea bags and apple cores and produce a nutrient rich substance that when mixed with soil in the vegetable patch produces prize winning produce. We managed to make use of the courgettes, lettuce, herbs, rhubarb, limes, lemons, figs, fejioas and plums that grow in and around the property and came up with some rather delicious goodies in the process.
In short the past two months have Farm sitting new zealand our eyes to what we think is a much more fulfilling way to live. There are often articles in the media warning us about the chemical content of the food we purchase from the supermarket, e-s and flavourings, preservatives and saturated fats. Looking out over the ocean and the surrounding hills and valleys was an activity that cleansed my soul.
Hearing the roar of the stags in the fields, feeding the alpacas, even making friends with the little cat who lives across the field enabled us to take a step back and appreciate the richness of life and all its gifts.
Are you a lifestyle farmer, alpaca Farm sitting new zealand or lettuce grower? This is why I love house sitting! The things you get to experience via sitting can be things you would never experience anywhere else! Thanks Nicole! I agree, house sitting has provided us with the opportunity to try our hand at things we would have never considered before.
Love kiwiana lifestyle blocks! Hahaha I would loooove to see me and the romantic trying to herd alpaca. Tipsy looks like our kind of alpaca. Tipsy never spat at me so perhaps she prefers the ladies!! Reuben and I are just sitting here enjoying all the pictures of animals!
You could change your blog to Flashpacking Farmers! Herding those animals sounds like quite the task too! Thanks Farm sitting new zealand stopping by Suzy. Herding was great fun…for me!! Awesome article guys. Was a pretty laid back deal, just a lovely woman from the USA with her own plot of land experimenting with how self-sufficient she could be.
Love these kinds of places and this one in NZ looks great! This does sound like a Hell of a way to spend a few months. Connect with. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. House Sitting and Lifestyle Farming. A thoroughly enjoyable read!
Thanks Cosmo! I must admit it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience! Alpaca herding will change your life! Leave a Reply Cancel reply Connect with. WordPress. See all. Subscribe over 40, people and get exclusive travel tips, giveaways and more! Remember Me. In. Enter username or .Farm sitting new zealand
email: [email protected] - phone:(901) 286-9156 x 3916
House Sitting and Lifestyle Farming