WWOOFing ... again in 2010

The joys of volunteering 
at an organic farm in France

Like last year, we decided to spend one week at the farm La Ferme Du Pescher in the Drome (26), to help with the various activities at the farm.

Claudia worked with the vegetable farmer Olivier by attaching the growing tomatoes to string which in turn is attached to a flexible metal string, to allow it to be adjusted to the new growth. Likewise with the cucumbers. Unlike last year whn we had had an abundance of vegetables and fruit to choose, from only courgettes, carrots and lettuce were ripe enough to eat. Just as delicious, though, fresh out of the ground!

Jim again helped with the production of goat's cheeses; he is almost an expert by now and was able to relieve Florence, the main organizer at the farm, by taking over her work for the week. He noticed the difference in the milk compared to last year; a natural product it undergoes fluctuations just like any other, and the cheese tasted a bit different as well. Florence is very proud of her blue cheese, an absolute delicatesse!

Another WWOOFer, Darcy, came to the farm the day after us. A naturally curious young woman from Northern California it was fun to pull weeds together, as this work is meditative and allows the helper to either let his/her mind drift or engage in interesting conversation.
In an evening session Jim also taught her how to "roll the cheeses",  an important part of the cheese-making process

The weather was ok but not as we expected: instead of sunshine and lazy time on the sun deck (we were WWOOFer Luxe this year and got to stay at the Gite Panda) the gusts of wind kept us indoors most of the time. This also meant that there was less of the spirit of last year which had been created by all these different people around, visitors, guests staying in the various rental accommodations, helpers, friends of the family, etc. This year it was one farmer less, Dani, who had moved further south and sold his house to Belgians who had not arrived yet, and - possibly due to the weather, not many guests.

Nevertheless it was a nice experience, to see Florence, Olaf, Juliette, Olivier and Nicolas again and to engage in worthwhile activities in this beautiful part of the world.

Happy WWOOFer greetings 
Claudia  & Jim