Welcome To The Shear Shit Show

I’m at Tauroa Farms located in Havelock North…how can I explain this place? It’s heaven on earth. The views are incredible and the peaceful sounds of nature are constant. Heather, the woman who owns this farm is originally from Vermont. She has a lot of land here (750 acres) and she hosts wwoofers to help maintain the farm. There’s a little bit of everything here…sheep, cows, chickens, veggie garden, fruit trees, nut trees, horses and even a bathtub outside under a tree for a soak after a hard day of work. Haven’t taken a dip yet but planning on it. This farm is known for their Feijoa trees. Feijoa fruit is a staple here in NZ. Every kiwi family has a feijoa tree growing in their back yard. They harvest them in late April early May so I’m hoping to taste a fresh piece before I leave. So far I’ve only tasted feijoa cereal and it’s delicious. Heather has about 1800 feijoa trees planted on her farm. Rush Munro, an ice cream company here in NZ, uses her fruit to make delicious ice cream.

We sleep in an active woolshed. Yes active, meaning they still use it! This means that once and awhile they bring in a herd of sheep for shearing. They basically shave around the crotch area to keep them clean since they get shit on themselves. This can create diseases from all the maggots and other good stuff that grows in that area if not cleaned. I happen to witness this and it was a bit traumatizing. First, because it just seems like it hurts them and second because Nick, the farmer, was doing it right next to my bed!!! I’m not kidding. It was like a scene out of Pulp Fiction with the creepy music playing in the back ground. I have video of it. Notice my bed it's under netting to keep bugs out but not the smell of shit and the visual of maggots and sheep hair on the floor. This is where Tara and I lay our heads at night. You get use to the smell. (Check out the video) It grossed me out. They’re worried about keeping the sheep clean…well, what about where I sleep? WTF is all I thought…

This farm is very different from the previous farm. The group here is VERY laid back. There’s a kiwi, 2 British gals and a 19 yr old German boy. What’s up with the 19 year old German boys? The last farm I was at there was a 19 year old German named Emmanuel. He was so skinny and tall but he had a huge appetite. He was always eating. One night I was curious to see how much he weighed so I threw him over my shoulder, lifted him up (I had one too many Tui’s – we all did) and plopped him on a large scale. He came in at around a buck fifty. I haven’t seen a large scale here yet so I think this new guy is safe.

Each morning we take the truck out to do various jobs around the farm. There are 3 farm dogs that hang with us throughout the day. They love it. I love it. Taco wouldn’t last here. These dogs run around all day. They would run circles around my dog. My poor Taco would ride with us on the back bed of the truck if he were here. He’s too sophisticated for this kind of stuff. Everyday there’s a different job. I’ve mulched feijoa trees, went foraging for food in the garden, harvested peaches and made jam, picked basil to make pesto, grubbed hazelnut & walnut trees and we make fresh bread everyday. I got out of collecting horse manure one day because I offered to make lunch for everyone…this trick worked well; They have beautiful native trees here called manuka – bees make hives in them to produce manuka honey. There’s a nice sweet smell when you walk by the manuka tree and you can here the busy bees working away making liquid gold. Tomorrow morning I will milk my first cow and use the milk to make ice cream with an old school ice cream maker. I’m very excited…hummm, what flavor should I make it? Perhaps hazelnut since we are surrounded by these beautiful big trees.

On the "not so sweet" side...Noel (the kiwi) will be making possum for dinner tonight. YUM - sounds good? I'll try it but not really sure I want to be eating possum. They're ugly critters. Nick, the farmer, caught it a few days ago. We have been aging it in the fridge for 3 days. Farm life, gotta love it.

3 Responses to “Welcome To The Shear Shit Show”
  1. abby jenkins says:

    Oh my, it all sounds so divine....sans the maggots and the possum.
    So thrilled for you Monica, what an opportunity.
    Wish I could come visit. Help you weigh young Rolf.
    Xxoo love you and miss you.

  2. Michelle says:

    hey monica--i love reading your blog and great job on the pics too btw. i'm so proud of you and so excited for you! looking forward to reading about your new adventures each day; what a gorgeous place to be and an amazing opportunity. can i quit my job and come join you? i may not survive though; you are one tough girl. i love you and am thinking of you!!! xoxo

  3. stratton9898 says:

    Monica - this is so fun reading your blog. Keep updating. We're all living vicariously through your amazing adventure! more pics! Glad you can be in some of them! Audrey :) xoxo

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