So long, Farmhands

Kia Ora, as we say in Maori — meaning ‘Be well and healthy.’ We being me and the New Zealanders I’ll be meeting soon.

Some of you may recognize my name from school tours, CSA emails, or


This me after a long day of broccoli.

visits to the market. I have been a part of Great Country farms since 2013, when I began doing summer internships. This past season, as I graduated from Virginia Tech, I began my third summer on the farm and my first fall… what an experience that was!

Now, with my love of farms and the outdoors, I have decided to WWOOF my way through New Zealand. WWOOF stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms. This is an international organization that puts you in touch with farms (your host families) where you work five or six hours a day for food and accommodation. Some may think this sounds crazy,  but if you have the chance to go half way around the world and learn tasks that you have always dreamed of, then why wouldn’t you do it?

imagesI am going to be in New Zealand for five months, beginning in January. I plan to wwoof my way around the country. The first farm I will be staying is on the , an area called Thames. This farm is “establishing continuous cover native forest from eco-sourced seed that is grown on the farm.” They also have home vegetables and fruit growing. The second farm I am visiting, only a 30 minute drive away from the first, has beekeeping as well as basic garden management. The third farm that I will be arriving at towards the end of February is located in the South Island near the Nelson area. This farm includes orchard trees, basic garden work, and some wine making. The rest of my farms are to be decided along the way.

So for now, I can only hope that I will come back from New Zealand with knowledge not only of new trades, but also of the Kiwi culture as a whole.


Meredith Roberts

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