The Farm Life. 2 Weeks Stay in review!
So why do I choose to volunteer in a farm?
I live by the mantra of trying out new things. Especially, the idea of – buy memories, not things.
Since I have never tried farming or do anything in related to farm work, so I thought why not? Canada have lots of farms, so let me give it a try.
So after signing up with WWOOF Canada and choosing the farm to work in, here I am now WWOOFing in the Weller’s Farm.
The farm is located at Stanstead, QC. In between Quebec city and Montreal, pretty close to the US border.
What is WWOOF?
WWOOF is known as World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms or Willing Workers On Organic Farms. WWOOF is a cultural exchange.
They have lists of organic growers and farmers who need help in many countries – and people who are willing to offer it in return for food, accommodation and the opportunity to learn about a different way of life.
If you are interested in WWOOFing, click here to find out more.
Who are in the Farm?
Our host is George, Tonie and John. They are a family who have been running the farm for many years.
George, a 70 year old gentleman, who loves to build. Almost everything around the farm and/or in the house was build by him. He loves intellectual conversations. We often discussed about culture and all sorts of topics during meal time.
Tonie, a 60 year old lady, who is still very active for her age. Her ability to climb through bushes and all really impressed me. Thou she’s very petite in size, she is extremely strong and fit.
John, a young man, son of George, loves his cats! Just like his dad, he loves solving problems. He taught me a few board game that requires quite a fair bit of thinking, that I have never played before.
And I was lucky to have the company of another Wwoofer, Jacopo from Italy.
What does the Weller’s farm do?
– Grow most of their vegetables.
– Harvest, prepare and preserve home grown food as well as wild foods and berries
– Make fruit jams, ciders and wines
– Cut trees into firewood, logs into lumber, and lumber into buildings
– Breed Golden Retreivers and Beefalos
– Flying in small airplanes
– Square dancing
My Activities here
My first few days, I was assisting Tonie in placing wood chips around the berries trees. Apparently i was told, berries trees love the acid from the wood chip. And because of the acid from the wood chips, the berries will taste sweeter and better when it ripe. What makes the whole experience more amazing was the fact that when we were placing wood chips, we saw thousands of snow geese flying across the clear blue sky. What a magnificent view!
We also harvested apples from the apple trees. Sometimes, my new friend and I would just self declare – APPLE BREAKS! I have never tasted apples that taste so AMAZING! Apples that are harvest fresh from the trees are the best! But we are not alone. We have the cows who were watching us all the time, giving us hint to feed them. And you could tell the cows love their apples to the core. When we were not giving them apples fast enough, they moo-ed EXTREMELY loud to get our attention. It’s kind of like their way of saying – GIVE IT TO ME NOW!! Which is actually pretty fun to see. Oh ya, I don’t really like feeding the cows directly, cause they do have lots of saliva.
So after harvesting the apples, we segregated the apples into few different category.
Bad ones are for the cows. Not too bad ones, we made them into apple cider. The good ones, we have it for our consumption.
As the farm is of 320 acres, they have plenty of trees. We help to remove fallen trees and branches and put it through the wood chipping machine. Those usable logs will then go through cutter into lumbers.
On most morning I was lucky to be able to play with their golden retrievers. Even from the first day, the dogs have never cast me out. They were quick to accept me into their play. Currently there is four 4 weeks old puppies in the farm. Super duper light, fluffy and cute! I love the adult dogs too! Super calm dogs that only seeks for some loving attention. Although Tonie told me that she didn’t train the dogs, I realized few of the dogs know some of the command pretty well.
I also got the chance to have a short flight on the farm’s own private plane. A FREE nice little sky tour of the surrounding. As they have their own private Airport, the Canadian police actually uses the Weller’s Airport for dropping off and picking up their officers for border checks. And by the way, the plane’s name is call Blue Bird. Hahahahah!!!! (You will laugh at this if you know Hokkien)
I also had the chance to do a few interesting stuff, such as harvesting the high bush cranberries, and make them into Jams. Bottling home made wine. Made home made bread, cider, squash, risotto and various local dishes!
Also, because it’s Thanksgiving Day in the United States on Thursday, we had a potato peeling party last night! Basically all guests come for the purpose of peeling potatoes. We peeled in total 350 pounds of potatoes, that will be brought to church on Thursday.
Finding No. 1
Do you know Wild turkey can fly?! Surprise surprise! Saw about 50 of them taking flight when they got frighten by us.
I always thought turkeys are too fat to fly.
Finding No. 2
Lights are not good for the development of young puppies eyes. Puppies should be kept in dark areas till they are about 4 weeks old. So the next time when you are taking pictures with very young puppies, remember not to use flash.
Interested to go WWOOFing?
Check out the link.
Will give an update on Dos and Donts for WWOOFing on my next blog post!
With Love & Respect,