This Tractor Life – a memoir of food, wine and woofers

Oranje Tractor near Albany is a great little winery that also boasts one of the best café/restaurants in the Great Southern. They have an amazing orchard and garden which supplies much of the produce to the kitchen that turns out a fantastic array of gastronomic delights, and the outstanding wines are all produced to organic principles.

The owners, Murray Gomm and Pamela Lincoln have spent almost 20 years designing, building, planting and producing all the things that go to make the wonderful cellar door, café, and grounds of this little spot of paradise. They haven’t done it alone, but have had the help of many woofers – hundreds of people from across the world have worked at Oranje Tractor under the volunteer scheme – Willing Workers on Organic Farms.


Now Pamela has written a book that traces the history of the place – their former lives, their dreams, their hard work and all of the challenges they have faced to get where they are today. And a very good read it is – interspersed with beautiful photos and a witty, inclusive writing style, are a series of recipes – often taught to them by the very woofers who have helped build the place.

We have eaten some great food at the cafe, so it was with anticipation that I have reproduced some of the dishes using the recipes in the book as a guide – most are simple, easy to follow, and turn out quite splendid food.

If you like good food and wine, and a good story, then you can’t go wrong with this book – one of my favourite parts is the touching description of the part “His Majesty”– the vineyard Jack Russell, Merlot, plays in the daily lives of all at the winery. He is always on hand when we visit showing a general disdain if we happen to disturb his sleep but also a wagging welcome show.

A good Christmas present, I venture to say.


  1. Kelly says

    Just received This Tractor Life as a Christmas gift….great read and I’m looking forward to cooking some of the gorgeous recipes!

    • The FWO says

      I can recommend the Christmas biscuit (Pepernoten) and the Prawns with garlic and grass fines…also looking forward to making up a batch of the Smoked Trout Whip which we have eaten a number of times at Oranje Tractor!

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