Wednesday, 16 May 2012

WWOOFing at Villa Westergärd

The first WWOOFing place I worked on was Villa Westergärd on the central south coast of Finland, near a town called Tammisaari (or Ekenaas in Swedish).  It is not an organic farm but rather a  ‘Tantric retreat’ where they do (you guessed it) Tantric yoga retreats and grow some organic veggies to feed themselves, the retreaters and the wwoofers.  

While I was here there were no retreats on the program, so I still don’t know what they involve, and there was just one other wwoofer.  We spent most of our time raking, weeding, getting stones and rocks out of the vegetable garden and picking nettles.  The nettles are dried and eaten over winter or, in my case, fried on the day in olive oil with garlic and chili and eaten with rice, a bit like you would do spinach.  They turned out to be surprisingly tasty (but that could have been helped by the copious amounts of garlic I tossed in).

This is what Villa Westergärd looks like

When I first arrived on 1 May, the surrounding countryside looked like this

and less than a fortnight later, it looked like this

There are chickens, dogs, cats and a goat (who turned out to be my favourite)

There are also Icelandic horses, not ponies,

including the oldest horse in Finland (37 years)

She’s the mother of the brown one above on the left and the one on the right is the dad.  When they told me she was the oldest horse in Finland, my immediate thought was ‘Please don’t die while I am here’.  Can you imagine the trauma?

This is what the wwoofers do - chop fire wood and build the wood pile 

and weed the garden

And this is the location 

which, in case you were wondering, is close to

neither of which is more than a dot on the map.  Mostly it’s trees and water around here, in fact lots of trees

and lots of water

as well as some non-organic neighbours

It wasn’t just the fluro green lawn that gave them away - it was also this (unless of course they are a not so secret terrorist cell)

These are some sunset pictures taken from about 9.45 to 10pm out of my bedroom window

Pretty isn't it?


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  2. thanks Francesca, I'm going there for a long period from May.