POOCH

books'n'junk

Tag: 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:

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.

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photo taken by louis

haymaking

our last days volunteering in the czech republic involved drinking burcak, making wine with our feet and turning hay. haymaking by hand in the sunshine is such a wonderful job (when you don’t have to do it all the time) and it always makes me think of these paintings by jean-francois millet.

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.

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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.

transitioning

sunday was the beginning of a week of events about local produce, permaculture and the ‘transition’ project in semur-en-auxois.

as our french is still not good, we went to the only english film that was being screened on the day called ‘transition 2.0’. it was great, all about a project called transition¬†¬†which is about communities making small actions that all can all work together to try and make a difference to the world around them. they have them everywhere all doing different things and i think once i am home it would be good to try and get involved in something.

this film is also really good. we’ve been seeing the fun and the not so fun side of small scale farming, but so far i am still holding on to my dream of a smallholding and this film has so many great ideas.