Growing up in a small town as a child, I never really thought too much about where the vegetables at the supermarket came from. Even though I had spent parts of my holidays in the Norwegian mountains and at the seaside, harvesting my own food was limited to picking berries from bushes and going fishing with my dad. Throughout the years, I’ve become more and ore aware of the means of production, turned vegetarian and tried to keep myself informed, in order to make the right choices with regard to what I consume. Still, I was lacking a direct connection between what I was consuming and how it was produced. So when I got the opportunity to join a friend at his family’s country house, I was over the moon. Thanks to the attached farm and vineyard I got to really get an inside perspective on organic farming and even got to help out when oniony were picked and bundled.
Helping out on a family farm is a rewarding experience, bringing you closer to the people in the country you’re traveling in and giving you an unique peak into the world of farming. One of my friends spent 4 weeks at different Portuguese organic farms, always working on the farm for a certain amount of hours and then going surfing before and after work. An experience of a lifetime, he later told me.
Sounds like this could be something for you? WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms can help do this as well. In return for your help, the farmer will provide you with food, accommodation and an opportunity to learn about organic lifestyles. There is no exchange of money between farmer and volunteer, but you might have to pay a small fee (about 18 Euros) for a membership to the WWOOF organisation in the country you wish to go to.
WWOOF only works with farms that are devoted to organic production and cultural exchange. Being open-minded and learning about each others cultures is just as important as the unpaid work you provide.
I hope to go back to my friend’s family farm and vineyard next summer, breathe fresh air and eat vegetables I’ve harvested myself. I hope this gave you some inspiration for your next holiday!
She loves cities with imperfect facades, photography, traveling by bike, vintage hunting, and everything that comes with cheese. Follow her visual diary at anchoredpaperplane.com.Tweet