Amazing tastes of the exotic, eels in the wetland, a display of endangered, rare and unique creatures found on Brian Hales' Wimbledon farm and sheep galore are set to attract hundreds of visitors to Wimbledon this Sunday.
Mr Hales and an army of helpers have been busy pulling together a diverse range of attractions for the exotic sheep day which has grown into the biggest free, on-farm event in New Zealand.
Mr Hales is happy to provide a free day down on the farm to share his passion for wool and all things country.
"It's what I want to do," he told the Dannevirke News. "All visitors need to bring are their raincoats and gumboots."
In the yards will be dorper, damara and meatmaster sheep.
These breeds won't be shorn as they generally moult, but Mr Hales said they had awesome meat qualities.
Alan Clarke's shearing gang of Neil Weggery, Danny Broughton and Richard Welch will be in action shearing, with the 10.30 session concluding with the pressing of a bale using the old, historic Sandow press.
Arapawa, Pitt Island, karakul, gotland, jacob and awassi sheep will be shorn, along with an angora goat.
Visitors will get the chance to taste too, with Doug Hales and his wife, Sharron, in the Engine Room Cafe.
"This year we're featuring the meat of the meatmaster, Pitt, arapawa and the good old romney, in the kitchen space where the engine once ran the plant in the woolshed," Mr Hales said.
"Doug and Sharron will cook four whole sheep respecting the flavours and characteristics of the meat. Reflected in their dishes will be the cultural backgrounds from the places of origin of the sheep and some of the modern fusions of our cuisine. We don't like waste, so they'll cook the whole animal making the best of each cut.
"Be prepared for hot, spicy, sour, earthy and other flavours that linger on the palate."
Other taste treats include the dorper cross damara, in the Meatmaster Cafe.
Meatmaster is a new concept breed of sheep developed in South Africa about seven years ago.
It is extensively farmed in Australia to supply Asian restaurants and is a frying and grilling meat.
"Clyde Harris from Wimbledon Road Farmkill will exhibit and barbecue meat cuts from the meatmaster to enhance the quality of this meat for visitors to taste," Mr Hales said.
And Mr Hales' sister, Kathryn Willoughby, fresh from a trip to Spain, will be in the Rioja Cafe.
The Rioja region is the original home of the merino sheep and they still range freely through the valleys on their annual move to summer pastures.
"I will be combining traditional ingredients with a view to using as much of the sheep as possible," Ms Willoughby said.
Mr Hales' niece, Leah Greville, will be shipwrecked at Cattleyards Cove, but with a good supply of Pitt Island lamb and with her friend, Pauline Wardle, back from the beach with a whole lot of tasty seafood, this will also be a great place for lunch.
"It's sounds pretty good to me," Mr Hales said.
And, of course, it wouldn't be a woolshed without smoko.
Tina Everitt, from the Cock and Pullet Cafe, Herbertville will be in the Smoko Hut with tasty morsels.
Some are selected from the Country Calendar Cookbook as an appreciation of the contribution Country Calendar has made to Mr Hales' farm over the last year.
Head down to the shearers quarters, where butcher Tony Coleman, from Auckland, will have been cutting up meat, helped by Daryl, Khan, Tull, Mayah, Jesse and Laura.
You can then head into Tony's Takeaways, select a recipe from the wall and take an exotic meat pack home to cook for yourself.
Dannevirke's Bill Gundersen has been attending the exotic sheep day for years, usually with an arapawa to shear. This year he will have a ryeland and a shropshire.
The open day runs from 10am to 2pm.
IN THE SHEEP PEN
• Owen and Glynis Poad, Majacraft Ltd, from Tauranga, manufacturers of spinning wheels. Acknowledged worldwide for the beauty and quality of their products, they are one of the foremost manufacturers in the world.
• For the past 10 years Tracy White has run a fibre and textile gallery in Woodville - Inspire Fibres. She has hand-dyed luxury fibres (wool, silk, alpaca) and runs classes for spinners, felters, weavers and other fibre arts.
In Shed 15 is the craft shed:
• Melissa Fryer has been part of the slippers in schools programme and will have samples of how the Pitt Island wool knits up.
• Alaistair and Denise Newton from Newwood Alpacas and Carding, Foxton.
• Angela Juggins, with a display of Maori weaving.
• Suzy Brown, from Hawke's Bay, has taught spinning in Europe and the United States.
• Angela Daish, from Gisborne, will be exhibiting her range of spindles, wool and fibre.
• Neil and Sara Thorburn from Kane Carding, will have naturally coloured and dyed wool for sale for spinning or giant knitting.
• Sue Grayson, from Waipukurau, will have looms, wheels, luxury fibres, yarns, slithers, dyes and felting needles.
• Irvina Lunt, of Duncraig Black and Coloured Sheep, from Otane, Central Hawke's Bay, will have raw and carded fleeces for sale.
• Anita, from Ragamuffin Crafts, sells soap and felted hats.
• Norsewood's Jeff Bryan will be exhibiting native birds carved into old totara posts.
• Heather Newland, of Motea, will have flax work, stone and rongoa on display, also a korowai made from houhere (lacebark) which has been harvested at Brian Hales' farm.