To break the journey to the first farm we spent the night on a campsite snuggled in the Peak district national park. The weather was warm, which cannot be said for the welcome we received. A lady looked us up and down and said ‘No’ shaking her head vigorously at her colleague. Similar to us, the colleague ignores her and begins to ask our details, undeterred the lady interrupts ‘Well, are there any adults with you? , we are a family campsite and we don’t allow any noise, especially music’. As 21 year olds we stare out into the completely empty field, void of not only families but any signs of life what so ever. This was followed by a threat ‘well I will come and kick you off if I hear music’. I’m not sure what within my appearance had led her to believe I was a child rock star with a fetish for ruining family holidays but it may have been the dungarees.
A close friend of mine pointed out an obvious choice for our cars name. Since it’s a VW polo, Marco (Marco Polo) seems ideal, especially since it will be travelling into the unknown. Marco transported us to the first farm and since then we haven’t stopped! Along with wwoofing activities: mowing, strimming, weeding, chicken care, landscaping, roofing, cooking, fitting drainage pipes and digging trenches, we also made time for river swimming, water fall walking and caving. The work was hard and the play was harder, the food was plentiful as was the washing up.
It’s impossible to describe everything about this place and the events which occurred over the last two weeks so I’m going to choose one good and one bad story. Do you want the bad or the good first? You obviously don’t get a choice, so I’ve chosen bad first.
SO, long story short, we got urinated on, Yes, you read that right. We were sleeping on the bottom half of a bunk bed, a drunken woofer with incontinence issues on the top…. I will let you guess the rest. Chris, my Scottish boyfriend and forever light hearted said it was a ‘wee bit annoying’, I agreed that it did put a dampener on things but I wasn’t peeved enough to tell him to piss-off. We were very close to leaving that night, but we thought once urine it, urine it to stay. I’m glad we stayed as before and after that incident our time there was wonderful and incidentally very dry.
One of the best things was the chickens. They had four chickens, (Belle, Mrs Black, Mrs Grey and Ginger) all of which had their very own distinct characters. Belle the Brave was fearless, you would loose a game of chicken with that chicken. She didn’t ruffle a feather at jumping in front of your axe for a worm, she was suicidally brave. Mrs Black was cocky for a hen, Mrs Grey minded her own business whilst poor Ginger got bullied by them all (us gingers got it tough). The other plus side was our straw bale house, it was snug, warm and had a sedum roof (see picture and links below), exactly what you need after a hard day running after chickens.
Overall our first wwoofing experience has been a great one and we are a little worried that the bar has been raised too high. Our next farm is a salad farm in the New Forest, Catch you then!
Picture of the straw bale house with Sedum roof:
See P1 of Dungaree Diaries here: https://ecopostblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/p1-the-dungaree-diaries-wwoofing-europe/