It’s with a sad heart that I say goodbye to Bjorn (our first volunteer on the farm), as he embarks on the next chapter of his year-long adventure traveling the world. It’s amazing how quickly the two months flew by. I asked him to write a summary of his experience on the farm, which I’ve pasted verbatim below.
“Arriving to Forest Glade Farm Chris was very welcoming. When I saw the tent setup I was a little sceptical, however after spending a few days the charm of the farm started to grow on me. With a forest behind the campsite I was immediately exposed to the vast amounts of wildlife in the form of spotting a bush buck, frequently seeing the troop of baboons that live by the river and frogs! Tonnes of frogs.
The first project we tackled was preparing the guest herb garden, after only a few hours it was ready to be planted. After the garden we spent a few afternoons clearing Black-Wattle on the top third of the farm. The whole upper section of the property is riddled with Black-Wattles – and Wood Pigeons, Chris has been talking about using them as a food supply, making pigeon pie out of them. Chris likes their cooing, but I would be happy if he shot them all to rid the farm of the constant, “coo coo, coo coo”.
Another project we tackled was excavating the outdoor kitchen, which turned out to be a good idea because after I returned from a solo trip from up the east coast, one of the old Blackwoods fell on the gazebo! We had to relocate our chill spot to the kitchen now, which we have jimmy rigged up with tarps and it’s much nicer than the gazebo was.
Chris is also a good cook, every night I look forward to a hardy meal and an episode or two of game of thrones (which I’d never watched before). At night you can hear the crickets and the owls – it’s quite a soothing sound to fall asleep too and if you can’t sleep, the night sky looks spectacular! Free of light pollution, you can see the Milky Way, Orion and the occasional shooting star.
On the days we don’t work we usually go for a swim at Chris’s secret swimming spot, or to a local pub called Cocomos, for live music and margarita pizza with garlic and chilli sauce. On Sundays we try to go out on some kind of adventure, Sunday Funday! Whether it’s hidden rope swings or even just a hike down to the beautiful river only a few kilometres from Chris’s property.”
Of all the places I’ve visited so far, the Garden Route is definitely one of my favourite destinations. The combination of the wildlife, hikes, nature and surreal views will always have a special place in my heart. I hope to visit again one day.