Wwoofing

For different languages, cut and paste into Babelfish.

Introduction

We are hosts for the “Willing Workers on Organic Farms” (WWOOF) scheme. You do need to be a WWOOF member with a current book – it costs $60.

We have room for 2 or 3 wwoofers in our guest house, a 3-bedroom cottage next to our house.

Non-smokers please, and note that we eat meat and can’t prepare separate food for special diets.

Conditions and work

Conditions are very comfortable.  We require wwoofers to do 4-6 hours a day of work, including keeping the guest house clean.

We provide an evening meal, and wwoofers make their own breakfast and lunch from basics we provide (bread, pasta, noodles, eggs etc, and produce from the garden).

Wwoofers are required to do one hour a day of weeding. Other regular tasks include mowing, planting and watering trees and vegetables, and looking after animals.

We often have some ‘medieval’ tasks that can be done. Past wwoofers have made armour, done woodworking projects, sewn banners and costumes.  If you have a special interest, let us know and we can often accommodate that.

Getting a place

We get many more requests for wwoofer places than we can accept.

We don’t take advance bookings, as many wwoofers like to stay longer than they originally intended.  We only take booking requests by email, and usually respond within 12 hours.

Duration

We ask wwoofers to stay for two weeks initially, so we have time to get to know each other.    After a week, we can usually take you into Canberra for the day.   Canberra is the national capital, a beautiful and interesting city, well worth a visit.

Often we will then invite wwoofers to stay for longer periods, if space is available.  The maximum stay is two months; for those seeking a visa extension, it’s more interesting to have different two wwoofing placements.

Facilities

We have internet available, for checking emails.  It is not to be used for downloading movies, playing internet games or video chat.

There are five television channels, including SBS which has foreign-language news.  There is a DVD player and a small video library, or you can hire movies from Goulburn.

The guest house has an excellent library covering permaculture, organic farming, owner building etc.  We have many books on medieval crafts next door.

Poisonous animals

Most wwoofers are concerned about dangerous and poisonous animals in Australia.  It’s basically all true, but not likely to be a problem for you.  The real danger you face in Australia is traffic accidents on long road trips.

There are poisonous snakes on the property.  When walking through long grass, wear boots and long pants, and make some noise.  They’ll keep away.

The really big spiders are quite safe, and Australians ignore them.  Redback spiders (1cm across) are the biggest risk around here, and may be found in piles of old stuff lying around the farm.  You should wear gloves for certain tasks, though we usually don’t bother.

To contact us or comment on the website, email rhysh@webone.com.au.

Photos

Here are some montages prepared by a wwoofer, Adrien, which he prepared to show wwoofers what they were getting into.  (Click to expand)

6 Responses to “Wwoofing”

  1. Silvan from Switzerland Says:

    I had been wwoofing for about three month in total at Cockatrice Farm between July and October 2009.

    When I heard about Cockatrice Farm I didn’t really know what to expect. I read about all this medieval things and was really keen to catch a glimpse on all this stuff but I just had no idea how it would going to be. What I found, was much more than I expected. Rhys and Allison are great people with a good sense humour and very open-mided. The way they accomodate (in a very neat little house close to their own) wwoofers has a lot of advantages as the day of a wwoofer can differ quite much from that of a working Australian. It allows a lot of space and freedom to plan your days. If you show interest, you can learn lots of things and help with all kinds of stuff including armouring, planting, cooking, fencing, removing serrated tussocks (great fun 😉 ) …….. or what ever you can do best.

    Because they leave you a lot of freedom you are required to take responsibility, be honest and fair. Whist working on the farm during the day with the other wwoofers the dinner on cockatrice farm (the cooking is taken in turns) is always a great opportunity to socialise, chat, playing games (ask about Munchkin or D&D!) whist you improve your English. This is another thing while staying on the farm is a great thing – Rhys and Allison help you all the time to improve your language and tell you about mistakes (if you wish).

    Rhys and Allisons lovely property became my Australian home and the two great friends. I want to thank them a lot for letting me stay and coming back on their farm. I came back twice until now and I will return a third time – for sure :)!!! I hope they are going to visit me sometime – they are welcome at any time! All the best and tanks a lot!!

    Cheers Silvan

  2. pat from france Says:

    what can i add to silvan coment…
    i was living with silvan during two month in cockatrice farm , where i spend a total of six month !
    like silvan said, if you want to have fun, meet great peapole, lurn a lot of differents stuff about australia and medieval, it’s definitely the place to be !
    Rhys and Allison are now good friend. they were my kind of aussie familly when i was there.
    i try two other wwoof place in australia, and so i can say Cockatrice farm was the place i prefer, far ahead of the others 🙂
    like silvan said , if you like card game or roleplay game, you will have a lot of fun there 🙂 ( do not win to often at “500” playing card game, after that they get pissed and they don’t want to play anymore :p )
    well, a last word to say : i will be back !

    • cockatrice Says:

      Rhys here. We loved Pat and Silvan to bits, except sometimes during card games when Pat won far too many. However the International Championship match was won by Australia!!

      (Pat however is the World Champion Serrated Tussock Remover, otherwise known as the Cave Troll berserker.)

      We haven’t played cards or roleplaying games since they left, so it’s not all we do.

      Pat became a very fine cook while here, and Silvan’s knopfli (sp?) was pretty good too. We miss them both.

  3. maud from france Says:

    I was in cockatrice farm for 4 month and it was very difficult to leave this place.
    This farm is close to goulburn a nice city where Aldi is the best place to buy food!!!
    When you arrived in the farm you first meet Rhys who pick up you in the train station, and after Allyson, both of them are very welcome, generous and make you feel like at home.
    After you meet all animals chooks, ducks, cats, horses, cows, alpagas, and dog Carra a lazy dog who is very friendly.
    Come next other wwoofer with them you share an house and so much fun in the evening.
    If you stay for longer, lot of thing change new chooks, new dogs arrived, you meet new people…
    In the farm during the day you work most of the time outside, weeding, gardening, tree planting… and the famous tussocks, I hate it but is great fun!!!
    And a part of you’re time is also helping with medevial project and you improve your sewing, trust me I’m a doctor like says Allison.
    Medevial night can be lot of fun with the cooking Daly, but is the possibility to learn some art and science like armoring, luceting…
    And you can part of some medevial event and be drunk, and do some silly things like sing on the table…
    I very looking forward to come back in this place, Allison and Rhys are part of my familly like some special to australians wwoofer. And all people I meet at this farm are good friend and I’ll never forget them.

    • cockatrice Says:

      Rhys here. Maud arrived in the lead up to a major national medieval feast we were running. She sewed lots of banners and costumes, and helped greatly with the cooking and serving for the event.

      Because she was such a champion and worked so hard, Maud was mostly excused the tussocks, though she helped a lot with other parts of the garden and the farm. She came with us to the big Rowany Festival, where we all had a lot of fun.

      Maud had studied English at school, but was not a confident speaker when she arrived in Australia. She is now able to communicate easily, which will help her enjoy the rest of her Australian holiday. We look forward to having her back too.

  4. Matt (Matthias) Says:

    I was on Cockatricefarm for one month and I can definitly say that it was one of the best times I have ever hade.

    And I am not talking about killing tussocks (that sucks). But about Allison and Rhys who are one of the nicest persons I have ever met and quite easy to understand (they don’t have this realy bad australian accent. They are realy patient people who want their wwoofers to feel good.
    They introduced me in the art of making medieval armor, weapons and fighting (which was great fun). Otherwise I would never made this experience.
    Another very nice thing was that every wwoofer had a day he had to cook the dinner (my second one was a disaster) so that you can try meals from different countrys.
    But my favourite activity was playing Munchkin which is an realy nice card game and a very goog way to improve your English.
    Finally, I can just recomand everybody to visit their farm and I hope I can arrange to visit them a second time before I leave Australia.


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