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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Number 19, 1976.]

Back to the Farm

Back to the Farm

Dear Salient,

A couple of weeks ago I [unclear: reasted] Victoria University and walking through the Union building reminded me of the endless hours I spent discussing alternative life-styles. Looking back I realise that we only knew about communes, organic farming, soft technology from other peoples experiences or from trendy publications like 'Whole Earth Catalogues'. In reality we knew nothing, most of our friends weren't interested and we didn't know how to get involved in the alternative movement.

Now that a year's gone by we'd like to share some of what we've learnt with any other interested people. If people want to have a glimpse of some alternatives in the agricultural world (i.e. people not using artificial fertilizers/poisonious sprays and insect companion planting, mulching, planting according to cycles of the moon) then there's a scheme called W.W.O.O.F. This stands for 'working weekends on organic farms'. This scheme encompasses a wide range of farms - from straight, to biodepmanic, to communal type ventures. While some only can cope with weekend visitors, others are looking for permanent members. The address to find out more about W.W.O.O.F. from us: c/o Stephen Jacobs, 41 B Devon Street, Wellington.

He can supply you with the list of W.W. O.O.F. farmers in New Zealand. As far as visiting the farms, it pays to write first if you can. The nearest farm to Wellington is where we are now living, that is, c/o Peter Stanley, No. 5 R.D. Palmerston North (Ph: 894 Kairanga). Visitors are welcome anytime in fact we really want people to come and share ideas with us.

On the gardening side there are 10 acres of market garden, four of which are rotated as a green crop each year. There's also fruit and nut trees, chickens, a goat and 3 sheep. Other than that one of the [unclear: girl] is doing a welding course, another guy is learning a bit about carpentry through the local learning exchange as there are plans to build a bee hive, a solar dryer for fruits and grains, and a geoderic dome for a potting shed and everyones quite involved in things like conservation, the Soil Association and canvassing against nuclear reactors and riding bikes.

Contrary to popular belief there are quite a few 'communities' who desparately want people to come and live with them. So if you are planning to drop out, or have finished and don't know what to do except Honours or go teaching why not get a couple of back copies available c/o Post Office, Waitati Otago, at there are plenty of communities writing in wanting people. These people would probably be very happy to have a few lawyers turn up as a big problem is fighting local councils over building permits, health regulations etc. I imagine even accountancy students would have some use!

So if you are sick of sitting in the cafeteria, and want to see a different N.Z., take advantage of these suggestions.

Best Wishes,

Paul Callister.