The Good, the Wet and the Rooster - Wwoofing
at Cape Trib
by Alison Gotts
Published in Earth Garden - June/August 1995
is our second year as WWOOF hosts and we wonder how we ever did
without them. We run a commercial permaculture orchard at Cape Tribulation
in Far North Queensland, where we grow Mangosteens, Salaks, Breadfruit,
Soursop, Rollinia, Abiu, Black Sapote, Mamey Sapote, Rambai, Rambutan
and lots other fruit.
wwoofers for a week is like a whirlwind going through the place
- hundreds of jobs get done, the place is spruced up, great dinners
are cooked and a good time is had by all. It is always interesting
to see how others perceive us and we look forward to reading their
comments in our guest book. Here are some selected comments, from
them, and us:
"Your hospitality has been superb. We didn't
expect muffins and croissants for breakfast, champagne and soursop
ice-cream" - Trish and Del, USA.
apologies to other WWOOF hosts - we didn't mean to raise the ante!
Trish and Del were with us at a time of celebration. Do they think
we eat like this all the time?)
"And all the spiders. My God, I've never seen
so many spiders in one house." - Sharon, the Netherlands.
do other people have in their houses, then?)
"After my experience with the Whipper-snipper
I might consider not to finish my university application after and
just rely on a career in Denmark, whipper-snipping all the pine
trees. It sure was fun."
- Rebecca, Denmark.
parents will kill us - we've turned Rebecca into an environmental
"What a life! Fighting off weeds, green ants,
mozzies, march flies, pythons, rats - you name it. It's been a true
wet tropics experience."
- Daren and Lyn, England.
it didn't even rain that week! They had it easy.)
"Digby: Do you know where the tenth
Alison: Did you check for pythons?
Pythons: Mmmmmmmmmm....duckk a l'orange...my favourite!"
- Janet and Nanda, the Netherlands
python-proof duckhouse only works if you shut the door before
dark. Otherwise the python is waiting inside when you put the
ducks to bed. Duck dinner comes to those who wait.)
"The python that dropped in at teatime was a
lucky experience. Fighting off the rooster made me feel down on
the farm." - Fina and Bryce, Spain.
rooster always susses out the wwoofers and attacks when they least
expect it. When they leave, even the meekest wwoofer is ready
to take him on, so he starts to behave himself - until the next
unsuspecting wwoofer appears.)
"In spite of being stung by a swarm of
wasps, being attacked by the rooster, losing my good watch, and
having four rats in the caravan (this was all on Day One), I have
thoroughly enjoyed my stay here." - Syth, Scotland
amazingly, Syth survived with us for seven days.)
"I particularly enjoyed chopping down banana
trees (must be the aggressive part in me!) and learning some things
about bananas that I didn't know before." - Susan, Scotland
amazing what wwoofers don't know about bananas - machetes, banana
trees and an enthusiastic wwoofer are a volatile mix when they
go into the orchard to trim the bananas.)
"In ten days we've heard the chook chorus at
4:00 am, eaten pawpaws before the ducks could, been taken for a
walk by Jess (our Rottweiler), created new ice-cream flavours -
banana and soursop was a hit at the market, and experienced lots
of rain." - Pierre and Caroline, Melbourne
wwoofers around has taught us a lot about ourselves. We found to
our amazement that we really do enjoy playing host and making people
feel at home. And because of this we are now considering starting
a 'Bed and Breakfast' business on the far. The rave reviews our
soursop ice-cream always receives from wwoofers has encouraged us
to consdier producing it commercially.
wwoofer leaves us their parents' address and an invitation for us
to visit. In another year or so, we should have enough addresses
to consider a world trip, staying with all the wwoofers' mums and
dads, who, it turns out are about the same age as us.
have been really enriched through wwoofing and would encourage other
organic farms to join the scheme. We only take wwoofers for two
weeks out of every month, to allow us some personal space. Otherwise
because of our location, we would have wall-to-wall wwoofers during
the dry season.
caravan is gradually being reclaimed by the rainforest and we are
planning to build a cottage to replace it. Oh for a wwoofer who's
a stonemason! We live in hope that one a wwoofer with a degree in
civil engineering will walk through the gate, because we need to
build a bridge across the creek. The other skils on our wwoofer
wish-list include a landscape designer to construct a flowing water
garden, a dam builder, a worm specialist..... the list just gets