Caretaker Farm is the home of Audrey and Dorothy Sharp and their family. "The Farm was called Caretaker Farm because both Mum and I believe that the land is here for us to "caretake" or take care of and that as our time on its surface is very short we have a big responsibility to look after it well while we are here."
Audrey had a 30 year vision of how the property was to be developed and is 15 years into the project using organic and natural agriculture methods, Permaculture design, creating a forest and a peaceful healing place to stay and learn.
Eventually the property will host a live-in language school for foreign students (up to 12), along with opportunities for kiwi youth to receive alternative practical tuition in a small school for students who have dropped out of the conventional public school system.
"I want to be able to offer an alternative individualised programme worked out with the young person that allows them to achieve practical successes and to be able to explore their creativity and strengths."
By creating a self sustaining forest and educational farm using permaculture design, natural agiculture and organic methods it is hoped that the property will provide support on many levels for family members and other people who come here now and 80 years into the future.
"I have tried to create something similar to a Maori papakaianga where family members are always welcome to come and live, but it also needed to be self-supporting."
An educational facility offering an alternative style of learning by taking into account each person's unique learning is seen as one way of financially supporting the property's costs. Growing garlic, firewood and forestry trees and offering farm-stay accommodation are other ways the property will support itself. Finally, it is hoped that the farm can be used by dog owners as a place that they can freely walk their dogs.
There are many accommodations on the farm and Audrey and Dorothy welcome both those who wish to exchange their services for accommodation (WWOOFers/Helpers) and those who can afford to pay real money to stay.
We welcome anyone who wishes to either experience and or contribute to our project . We are a flexible open hearted family who welcome cultural and a work exchange with others. You must like nature, animals and be prepared to fit in with our environment and remember "Don't judge a book by its cover, as often there is a lot to learn behind the cover"