Gidday everyone. The greatest love of my life is hiking, especially climbing. The equally great love of my life is WWOOFing. After many years working full-time in the corporate sector, I decided to leave it all behind and go to New Zealand in November 2018. I never looked back. I spent five months hiking from top to bottom and during the winter of 2019, I spent 3 months WWOOFing on a beautiful property on the Banks Peninsula, about an hour away from Christchurch. My inner farmer was unleashed. I finally found my true vocation. Never in my life have I experienced such joy and happiness. There is something sublime and truly magic about being of service to others where the only thing that matters is trust. WWOOFing to me is an absolute privilege. The work on a farm is never ending and to be able to contribute to the quality of life of the custodians of that land simply feeds my soul. I returned to Australia in August 2019 and due to my WWOOFing experience, both in New Zealand and in South Australia, I landed a part-time job as a Park Ranger at Darebin Parklands (Alphington, Melbourne). As a result, my skills and experience have skyrocketed. In that job, I used a giant agricultural tractor, I did loads of mowing and brush cutting and operated all kinds of tools. Planting is my absolute favourite job in the world. I hand-weeded and became familiar with many native plants. I adore working with plants and working outdoors. One of the jobs I enjoyed was path patrol. This involved making sure the Darebin Creek shared trail was safe for cyclists so I would do a lot of pruning and blowing to make sure the path was clear of debris and overhanging branches. Before I started work as a Park Ranger, I did a lot of volunteer work at the site of the Alphington Farmers Market. I helped to build all the edible garden wicking beds during the summer of 2019. My experience with edible gardens has got to be one of the most rewarding jobs of all.
Values are really important so here are mine: simplicity, integrity, courage, respect and two-way communication.
I love a host who practices kindfulness, mindfulness and above all, patience, peace and cares for self and the environment. It’s really important to me that I work with a host who is a non-smoker and that there is no smoking on the property.
You’ll get the best out of me when I work alone.
I am a mindful person. Caring for all living organisms is the most rewarding and satisfying work of my life. I strive to live quietly and peacefully. Therefore, I look for a host/s who is solo or a couple who will welcome me into their home and let me become part of the family. Becoming part of a family and harmoniously connecting with a host is the most wonderful thing about wwoofing for me.
One of my favourite jobs is planting. I love working with plants. I even talk to them! I have a very keen interest in edible natives and I adore the company of animals.
I have a campervan which I like to call my “hikers hut on wheels”. I have nearly 600 watts of solar power so I’m off-grid and looking forward to all my solar outdoor showers! This means I can spend part of the year hiking and traveling and part of the year wwoofing.
And finally, about my companion, Tété. She is a strictly indoor cat who is harness and sling trained. Tété came to live with me after my return from New Zealand. After spending so much time caring for animals, living without one became unthinkable to me so when my neighbours rescued her from the streets, I took her in and she has been a complete joy in my life. She has a beautiful soul. She is loving and tender. Caring for her is a treat. She has everything she needs in the campervan. The windows are fully tinted and the cabin windows have thermal blankets up when the van is parked. This means that she can see out but no one can see in. If I take her out, she walks with me in her sling for some fresh air and only when it’s quiet and there’s no one around. She can hide in her sling or she can look out if she wants to. She is no trouble at all and she really is out of sight/out of mind. She’s a real treasure.
One last thing, I draw inspiration from women and men who are open-minded and non-judgemental. I am drawn to those with extraordinary inner strength who dare to defy convention.
While I don’t yet have any Aussie reviews, because I’ve only just joined as a wwoofer in Australia, I’ve inserted below two reviews from my hosts in New Zealand.
From Victoria and Kurt
25th August 2019
Janette is an amazing WWOOFER. We had originally arranged for her to stay for 2-3 weeks but she was so great, we asked her to stay for 3 months!! Nothing was a problem for her and she was up to learning whatever she needed to get the job done. I would come home from work and listen to Janette talk about all that she had accomplished in the day with such joy and enthusiasm. She worked hard and loved her work so much that she rarely took a day off even when we pressed her to have a rest and take her 2 days per week off. She blended in with our family seamlessly (including our very energetic puppy) and we enjoyed her infectious laughter and intelligent conversation immensely. It is difficult to express all that Janette contributed during her stay suffice to say she was, and is, FANTASTIC 🙂
From Ken Phillip and Ramona Jane
14th April 2019
We are so grateful to Janette for her influence and inthusisam her gentleness and her awesome personality. Janette gave so much of her own time, her wittyness and positive attitude the willingness to learn new skills she will give it a dam good go to accomplish any given obstacle, she’s a treasure we will miss you Janette and thank you again. Xoxox
Why I joined WWOOF
I joined WWOOF Australia because my job at Darebin Parklands ended in August 2021. I thought this would be a good opportunity to return to my beloved WWOOFing and be of service there during covid. WWOOFing for me is about achieving a strong bond between me and my host and at the same time, between me and the land I’m being trusted to care for. To me it’s all about the relationship and that can’t be achieved in just a few days. When I go WWOOFing, I like to learn about the land and about my host. I like to listen, learn and explore. I like to spend time doing a job once and doing it properly. So I like to spend time with a compatible host. I want to stress again the importanct of values alignment. I talk a lot about values because that’s a good way to achieve compatibility.
Languages I speak
Skills I would like to learn
Organic Practices, Permaculture/Biodynamics, Biodynamics practices and techniques, Regenerative Agriculture, Syntropic farming, Soil conservation, Animal Care, Worm farming, Building, Natural building methods, Using and caring for tools, Mechanical, Cheese making, Preserving food, Wild food foraging, Fermenting food, Off-grid living skills, Environmental recovery/regeneration work