This past week I set off to a little town, Angermunde, just south of Berlin, Germany for my first WWOOFing experience. For those that don’t know what WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) on is, basically its a program where you can go to organic farms all over the world and work while they provide your housing and food. You can do it for as short as a weekend or for months at a time. You pay a subscription to get a list of farms that is valid for a year and you simply contact who you would like to visit and work it out individually. Its an awesome program and is an experience I would definitely recommend!
I left Saturday to go to Berlin for the weekend then started at the farm on Monday. Berlin is a really awesome city and I wish I would have gotten to explore a little more or had some friends to go out with, but I will be going back in a couple of weeks so hopefully will get to do more then. I stayed at a neat hostel in the middle of an historic bier garten. It was super cheap at 9 Euro a night and in a great location near the center of the city. I walked around and shopped at some markets around the city, but didn’t explore the museums/ churches as much as I’d wanted to.
After the weekend, I took the train to Angermunde and was picked up by one of the people that lives at Topferberge. From what I gathered it was basically a farm that 3 families and 2 other guys lived at and some had professional jobs and then some took care of keeping the farm running. Everyone was really welcoming and tried to make me feel as if I were at home. I don’t really speak and German and their English wasn’t the best but definitely enough to communicate about most things!
At the farm they grow all of their own food as well as make fruit wine to sell and medicinal plants to companies around the area. They have livestock as well for fresh cheese and milk! Unfortunately I didn’t get to make any wine since they had already done that for the year, but I did get to harvest different vegetables as medicinal roots daily. I also learned how to prep fields for planting and some basics about growing all sorts of things.
The meals daily were ah-mazing. Every morning we’d have a spread of homemade bread,cheese’s and jams. EVERYTHING made themselves. They even make their own honey from the small collection of hives they keep. Every meal was served with tea and fresh juice. Lunch is typically the biggest meal in Germany so everyday we’d have a huge spread for lunch as well. Everything they cooked used vegetables, herbs, and cheeses they make themselves and it was some of the best food i’ve ever had. For dinner we would just have a bread, cheeses, different spreads, and some vegetables and fruits.
I’d be done working after lunch and had the rest of the day to explore a little and do some much needed studying for exams this week. It got a little lonely at times, but the week flew by and I havent felt this refreshed in a long time. All in all, it was a great experience. Can be scary to go somewhere, especially in a foreign country, with no idea what you may be getting into. I have to say though that its those moments of getting out of your comfort zone that really make a difference when traveling. I’m excited for the next farm I get to WWOOF at and hopefully I can find some friends that want to join.
This week I have two exams and then I leave with my friend Amy for Barcelona for a week! Looking forward to sunshine, tapas, and pitchers of sangria!