life on a farm - WWOFing in the Drome Provencal

How to spend a week in the hot Provence summer
WWOOFing on a goats farm

The second week of August - a very hot time of year in the Var - we set off to the Drome Provencal, somewhere one hour's drive from the nearest exit of the autoroute (Loriol), in search for cooler temperatures and an interesting experience of helping out at a farm. Through WWOOF (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) we had come across a small biological farm which produces its own vegetables and goats cheese! La Ferme du Pescher is nestled in the middle of a long valley, a 5 km drive on a forest road.

We were welcomed by Florence, who along with her husband Olivier (Olaf), are the founders of this assocation, which includes Florence as the cheese maker, Olaf the goat farmer, Olivier and Dany, the vegetable farmers and Nicolas, the future chicken farmer.


So we spent a week helping the different agriculteurs with their daily chores: gathering tomatoes, courgettes, green peppers, cantaloupes (yummy!), carrots and whatever was in season, to be sold at markets or at a small co-op store near Montelimar.

Jim helped out at the fromagerie and after 3 days was given the full responsibility, to make the cheeses in the morning and turn in the evening, so that they would be ready the following day.

Claudia worked every morning with one of the two vegetable farmers in gathering food for the various outlets, like farmer's market or shop.

The way it works is that we got free lodging in a big caravan, away from the other guests who pay to stay in yurtes, tipis or chalets; we also got free food which meant that we would go off with our little basket and search the fields for ingredients for delicious meals, fresh from the garden! What a delight, to be able to make ratatouille the way it was intended to be. A green salad with tomatoes, garlic and onions, straight from Mother Earth. To eat goats cheese fresh from the fromagerie.

It was a wonderful experience, to be able to help on such a small farm, to be included in the daily life and find out about people's motivation to live such a life style: away from the stress of most people's everyday lifes, to live by the moon calendar as much as possible and treat the world kindly, to learn from the experiences of others and to meet people who are willing to share them with you.

Back in the Provence we look back onto this week with a smile on our face!

Claudia & Jim