Back to Nature: Organic Farming along Eastern Spain

Back to Nature: Organic Farming along Eastern Spain


Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is a loose network
of national organisations that aims to connect people and
facilitate homestays via work on organic farms. This past June,
I WWOOFed my way along the East Coast of
, grasping onto the feeling of freedom that came with
living off the land.

The first farm I went to resided in a little corner of the
Garrotxa Volcanic Zone National Park. Every morning – with a trusty
labrador companion – my host and I would feed the animals and tend
to the vegetable garden before spending hours forking hay into the
shed for horse feed come winter.

The second farm I stayed at was surrounded by miles upon miles
of centuries-old olive trees that thrived on hardly any rainfall. I
spent most of my days here picking herbs and preparing them for
sale at farmer’s markets.

During my time on these farms, I soon realised the fantasy I had
played out in my head – happily soaking in
sun while learning about different plant types
and landscapes – was nothing like reality. It was better.

Under the sweltering heat, I was learning more than just about
nature. I had the time and space to think about how people interact
with the natural world and how people choose to organise themselves
as a consequence. My body was covered with grime most days, my
hands and legs itchy from walking around in grass and among hidden
sandflies, hair unkempt, muscles fatigued, but I never felt

Certainly, as with anywhere in the world you go, not everyone
you meet will be as free-spirited or open-minded as you expect. Yet
I was blessed by the kindness of my hosts who opened up their homes
to me and taught me everything they knew; blessed by their friends
who embraced me with the warmth of their stories; and blessed by
everything in between that culminated in the peace of mind that I
will carry with me back to the city.

@jasfoong_ |

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