Over the last few years a 16 room, 1880s villa nestled in Sandilands Street, Feilding has been home to over 30 wwoofers.
The term wwoof describes a worldwide network enabling people to travel and learn organic practices in a safe and enjoyable way. Typically they spend 4-6 hours a day working as volunteers, in exchange for meals and a place to stay. The New Zealand network of wwoofer hosts started welcoming tourists to their homes in 1973. These days it is a very popular form of travel for recent graduates or organic enthusiasts seeking time out and wishing to explore the world, whilst furthering their knowledge about organic gardening, permaculture, cooking and other sustainable living practices.
Owners of the villa, John and Allison Brebner have opened their home to wwoofers to share their passion for sustainable living and art. Amongst all of the wwoofers they’ve had stay, they’ve really only had one person who had a true understanding of organic practices. The others were attracted by the opportunity to see antique art and book making equipment up close, and to unleash their creative talents in the retreat atmosphere that Homeprint provides. Artists with a concern for the environment appreciate the non-toxic inks and dyes.
Also enjoyable to use, are the carving tools imported from Japan, some of which are custom-made for ease of cutting hard materials such as lino and wood.
In terms of their organic lifestyle, Allison maintains a large organic garden, planting small patches every two weeks, to ensure a year-round supply of nutritious herbs and vegetables. The garden, which has been organic for 40 years, also features a range of fruit, citrus and nut trees, and a variety of thriving natives. Needless to say, composting is an important aspect of the garden tasks.
Pictured is Jana Dorfelt and some of her artwork.