Category: wwoofing

forever learning

one of the main reasons i wanted to volunteer in europe was to learn. in the six months since i left england i feel that i have learnt more practical knowledge than i would have done in six years at home. its interesting to see how people live their lives and my ideas on farming and smallholdings are changing and evolving all the time from seeing how other peoples work. on one farm in particular i learnt how i would definitely not do things. their self sufficiency revolved around being able to eat lots of meat twice a day and it was scary to see the amount of fuel that this kind of lifestyle uses up. however, we did learn how to make rope in the most traditional and non-fuel consuming way. here is a bad diagram of their handmade machine:

here is a better video of a more professional machine:


the woodman’s cottage

we are working on building a beautiful straw bale house in the italian mountains and it reminds me of one of the first and most wonderful straw bale houses that i ever saw (on tv). kevin mccloud is such a wonder.

poor man’s cow

i have fallen completely and utterly in love with goats. i dream about having my own one day and already i miss their sweet smell and affectionate ways. our host in slovakia refered to them as the poor man’s cow – i prefer to think of them as the intelligent girl’s friend.


photo taken by louis


making houses, kefir and ketchup in italy.

czech point

internet has been so sporadic for so long. i’m working on a vineyard in the czech republic and the summer seems to have flown by.



the last weekend we had a wine tasting with over 20 different wines and at the end of the night our host sliced the top off a bottle of sparkling wine with a dagger. apparently it is a necessity with this type of wine.

under the epoisses moon

after 6 weeks at our first farm it is time to move on and learn some new things. we have three more lined up: 1 in bulgaria with a horse and cart and no electricity, 1 in czech republic with bees and goats and wine, and 1 in italy with a eco house to build and homemade toothpaste. lots of interesting things to see and learn.

to thank our wonderful host in france we made a collage to commemorate our stay.

jeff’s website: http://jeffanimaux.free.fr/