WWOOF Volunteers a rewarding experience!
Meet Beverley & Larry Turner WWOOF Australia Hosts at Emu Ridge Farm
Emu Ridge farms eucalyptus oil and produces a range or natural products. We are the only commercial eucalyptus oil in South Australia, operating a tourist attraction, retail & online shop.
We reached out to Bev and Larry to see what they have been up to and why.
How long have you been a WWOOF Australia Host and why did you choose to be part of this program?
Hi we began hosting WWOOFers when we began our business about 25 years ago, if it wasn’t for their initial help with the down turn in wool prices we would not have survived our challenging days, many farmers lost their farms, but we diversified to a new sustainable way of farming from sheep to eucalyptus oil, and went back to farming our natural resources.
What is it like living where you do?
Kangaroo island is a beautiful unspoilt wilderness fresh, clean and green just the way we like it! Kangaroo Island lies off the mainland of South Australia, southwest of Adelaide. Over a third of the island is protected in nature reserves, home to native wildlife like sea lions, koalas and diverse bird species. In the west, Flinders Chase National Park is known for penguin colonies and striking coastal rock formations, like the sculpted Remarkable Rocks and the stalactite-covered Admirals Arch.
Things to do on Kangaroo Island whilst you are visiting Bev and Larry: https://southaustralia.com › places-to-go › kangaroo-island
What is the main Airport I fly into to visit you?
You have 2 ferry choices, Kangaroo Island Connect and the Sealink Ferry and you can also fly with Rex or Qantas, its ½ flying ti,e or about 45 minutes on the ferrys.
Describe your Sustainable Lifestyle and why you chose to live like this.
Emu Ridge believes in farming our natural resources in a sustainable way, promoting and selling PURE NATURAL AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTS. At Emu Ridge, we have a genuine belief in the need for sound environmental management in every aspect of what we do. Farm land is more commercially viable and ultimately self sustaining through re-vegetation and farming of our natural resources. This has meant a change in direction from general farming practices (i.e. from wool production and grain cropping to farming our native vegetation which nature has spent thousand of years developing specifically for our environment).
Our main concern is the redevelopment and preservation of the natural environment. Most importantly, we want to farm without the use of chemicals or sprays. Waste products are recycled and re-used throughout the distilling process, helping to preserve the environment. The boiled leaves from the “old cook” are reused as a fuel for the fire in the distillery, and also as sterile mulch. We are also responsible for our own water.
We produce a Eucalyptus oil that is unique to the world. The leaves that we use to make our oil from is called the Kangaroo Island Narrow Leaf Mallee or Eucalyptus cneorifolia. It grows predominantly on the eastern side of the island. There are over 1000 species of Eucalypts, among those, there are only around 10 which have enough oil in the leaf to be of commercial value, ours is one of the top three and you will only find it on Kangaroo Island.
Emu Ridge is a unique attraction where you can find out how a traditional Aussie bush product is made. They will show you the past and present process of eucalyptus oil distilling. Eucalyptus oil was Australia’s first true export overseas and one of Kangaroo Island’s major industries that employed more than 600 people in the 1930s. Emu Ridge is now the only remaining commercial eucalyptus oil distillery in South Australia, and is proud to have preserved a major part of KI’s heritage and produce a eucalyptus oil that is unique to the world.
What would be a typical day for a WWOOFer?
A typical day vairies greatly depending on the time of the year and the stills of the volunteers, caring for our orphaned wildlife and the emus is their main job and its something so satisfying and unique. It could be bottling or making oil, making souvenirs, cleaning anything that needs doing of the day, jobs are always varied and fun.
Where do WWOOFers get to stay? These days they have a choice of having their own accommodation in an old bus at the distillery or living with us as a family in the local town.
What is the weather like and what is the best time of the year to visit? September to April is the best time to come to enjoy the warmer weather and beautiful beaches.
Is there any particular piece of clothing if any you would recommend be the number one item to bring with them? Clothing neat tidy and work wear.
What will you teach WWOOFers during their stay with you? Sustainable farming practises and how to make amazing natural products from something that grows naturally on our farm, and how to be responsible for our own power and water.
What has been the best memory to date an experience you have had as a Host with WWOOFers? As we have been doing it for so many years, we have had young children that have stayed marry and have children of their own, 4 lovely girls from Holland, my daughter has gone to visit them twice and we to have also got to travel overseas and stay with some of our volunteers a truly amazing and memorable experience, very special!
Do you have any advice for Hosts or WWOOFers to help them make the most out of WWOOF? Just choose something that you are interested in and what to learn about and enjoy the experience as time flys when your having fun!
Would you recommend being a WWOOF Host and why? Yes so rewarding, they are all like my children I love it!
We see you do alot of animal rescue, we are sure the WWOOFers just love that!
We are offerring $10.00 off mens T-Shirts for all WWOOFers and Hosts that join our program https://wwoof.com.au/product/wwoof-australia-mens-short-sleeved-t-shirt/
Just type in Code: WWOOFTEE