After spending just 4 days in Melbourne, I was craving nature! The city offers so much variety in things to do and food to eat, but my soul is never fully satisfied in a city which is something that I have learned along the way. While still in the States, I used the site Helpx.net to contact a flower farm owned by Lisa and Steve Kingston in Woodbridge, Tasmania. I had always wanted to do a bit of farming and I thought it would be a great place to do it. For about 5 hours a day, 5 days a week of work, I’d be given a place to stay and a 3 meals a day which is great because I’d virtually have no expenses. It is such a clever way to travel if you don’t have tons of money to do so.
I flew down to the main city of Hobart and was picked up by Steve at the airport. I immediately fell in love with Tasmania as my eyes were flooded with greenery, mountains, and bodies of water! Such a refreshing site after the concrete jungle. Most people said it would remind me of New Zealand compared to other parts of Australia and they were right; however, I still think NZ is the prettiest of them all!!
We proceeded to head to town where I’d meet Lisa and the other gal, Naoko, who was also a helpx worker. We ate dinner at a restaurant called the DrUNkeN aDmiRAl and ate delicious fresh seafood caught right off the shores outside. We finished the night by uninstalling floral arrangements that she had at a huge corporate event. There were two more events to follow for this same group that she was making arrangements for one being for an 80’s theme dance party and the other at a very quirky museum for a night of regal entertainment. Since I am in the event industry, it has been such a rewarding experience to see the floral side of things. Lisa is quite amazing too! She grows all of her flowers, only purchasing 10% from other farms to add to her arrangements. So she grows, picks, arranges, delivers and installs all her own flowers! It is one of the best operations I have ever seen. There are not many florists in the world who grow and arrange their OWN flowers! It is such a pleasure to be a part of the process. Her primary focus has been on preparing bouquets of flowers for her market stall on Saturdays in Salamanca, but word has spread and she is beginning to get more corporate and wedding events. I have even been able to help her with how to price her flowers for these types of events. She was undercharging and I have helped triple her earnings on some recent events. 🙂 She totally deserves it!
My daily routine here at the farm is quite nice! We start working in the farm at 8:30am where we do weeding, flower picking and processing; feeding the cows and chooks (chickens), etc. At 10:30 we break for tea in the garden. We work until about 12:30/1pm and then have lunch which have been a delicious spread of bread, pestos, cheese, fresh garden veggies, avocado, and homemade jams. After lunch we continue to work for a couple more hours and then Naoko and I are finished for the day. I spend the afternoons writing, reading, checking email, etc. There is not much to do outside of working on the farm since we are in such a remote area, but it is so stunning and peaceful. I also love witnessing their efficiencies on the farm. We picked wheat today for floral arrangements and the wheat that we could not use, I fed to Honey, the cow. She was so excited! Old bread goes to the chooks. They also use a wood stove/oven to not only cook their food, but to heat their entire house as well as the water! It is so amazing to witness this type of sustainability.
There is even a 5 star restaurant and event venue just a mile down the road that Lisa provides flowers for. She mentioned to them that she had an event manager staying with her and they asked her if I wanted a job! I have met with the event coordinator and I think I’ll do a trial there next week to see if I can help them out a bit. My plan is to stay at the farm until late December to help them with their chincherinchee crops (pretty tall white flowers) and possibly do 2 events a week at the venue down the road. It is a top notch establishment that uses only the best local ingredients and everyone around here has nothing but spectacular things to say about it so I think it could be a wonderful opportunity for me to learn a bit more and help them out in the process! I love the ways God surprises me and brings things into my life that I so desire, but yet had no expectation of them actually coming into existence. I thought it’d be very hard to find an event manager job, but this one has just sort of happened out of the blue and so soon! 🙂
Life is good on the farm. Even with the dirt under my nails and the lack of hot water at times, it is quite a beautiful existence and I have been inspired to one day have my own farm with veggies, animals, and flowers, of course! 😀