WWOOF stands for
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, and is an organization that matches up people interested in learning and experiencing different ways of growing things with farm hosts looking for cheap labor (the deal is you work ~6 hours a day in exchange for room and board). We thought this would be a good start to our exploration and a great way to shift our overall mindsets from our prior routine (pounding nettles with a pick ax is a great way to clear your mind after three years in the corporate world!) Below is a set of general pictures from the experience. Slideshows around specific jobs or particularly beautiful elements of the experience are on the way.
Mixed-use polytunnel (a low cost kind of greenhoues) combines hang-out space with herb and veg garden.
Kale the Snail
Burying tarp to create a workshop space inside one of the polytunnels. Efficiently using this cheap indoor space is a big part of our hosts’ plan to turn their site into an education center, rural business incubator and crafts exhibition
Clearing nettles from the chicken coop. Between the deep roots and burning started to hate them, but apparently lots of vitamin C and can provide some relief for carpal tunnel and other repetitive stress injuries.
Chicken coop. Fresh eggs for us, fresh poop for the veggies. Fresh worms for them whenever we dig anything.
Another view of the main mixed-use tunnel. Kitchen/bar and lounge for post-work hangouts
Three tribes of chickens and one of ducks, and only one dog to keep the peace
Watering the plants felt odd while listening to the rain on the polytunnel, but apparently impossible to make any holes in the plastic, and the rain water ends up in their bolehore (the water source) anyway. But there’s still the labor and pumping…
Putting broccoli into a raised bed, mulched with straw. Mulching keeps weeds down, maintains moisture in the soil, and when it decomposes adds nutrients to the soil.
At the neighbors with Bella and Barney
Home base for our hosts
Bella and Barney, the sheep dogs from next door. Unfortunately, neighbor only has ponies and donkeys, which the dogs try to herd. It doesn’t go well.
Pulling out thistles. It’s a constant battle.
Ducklings… so… soft….
Pulling out docks from a field in the mist. At first thought the mist seemed magic. At some point wanted a little less magic.
Wheelbarrow of woodchips for mulch. A lot of WWOOFing work involves moving things from one place to another.
One of the veggie patches we planted.
Enjoying a walk on the road through East Portlemouth on our one sunny day
Cooking up some massaman curry at the end of the day
A pint of Otter from the barrel at the local pub, the Pig’s Nose. One of the few places to go for miles, so all the people from the area always there, so a great scene with old farmers, vacationers and the teenage children of both. The beer is delicious and the opposite of the land- warm and flat.