Written By Daisuke Goshima
I just wanted to share my experience with wonderful Hosts Eddy & Phuong.
The hosts are managing cottages as well as the farm. This management style is exactly the same as the style of a bakery which I want to open in the future, so I could get some hints through WWOOFing here.
My first work here was making garden. This was really meaningful for me because making garden is one thing which I wanted to learn the most through WWOOF. The place where we made garden was untouched at all. First, we weeded using the fork, and soften the soil. After weeding, we made the bed for planting the vegetables. I have planted some vegetables through activity in my university, but the garden always had been made by other persons. Therefore, the making garden was a big experience for me, and it should be helpful in the future. Also, we put the wood chips around the bed. I had known this work for the first time. The purpose of the wood chips was preventing to grow the weeds and making it easy to walk according to the hosts. Furthermore, I felt the scenery became nice by doing it, so I think I want to try it when I make garden by myself. The soil of the garden looked rich in nutrition. According to the hosts, this nutrition comes from the leaves dropped down the trees. In the previous farm, I put the leaves on the soil to give the nutrition. I could learn the important role of the leaves. A few days after making garden, we planted some seedlings. To plant the seedlings, we softened the soil first, and then mixed the soil with the compost. After that, we planted the seedlings and watered them as I had done before. However, we gave the seaweed solution to the planted seedlings to toughen the roots of the seedlings. I had known the procedures of mixing the compost and giving the seaweed solution for the first time. Furthermore, the compost had been made by hands. I think that if I can recycle the food waste by making the compost at my future bakery, it will contribute to reduce the waste, therefore, I am going to try to study how to make the compost.
Hosts took me to the various farms around there. I didn’t do anything there but I could learn a lot of things. Especially, I was impressed by the system of the farms of eggs and milk. The system is that the farmers sell the products to local people at their farms. I have never bought foods at the farm through like this system. I thought it is very beneficial system for both customer and farmer because customer can get the fresh foods and farmer can save cost taking until the products is transported to the shop. Also, at the milk farm, customers leave the bottle and farmer fills milk into bottle, and keeps it in fridge. Farmer can save the cost of container as well by doing that. That is the reason why I was really impressed.
I got some data about Permaculture from host and listen to what host was talking about it. To be able to manage the farm to maintain good environment for a long time, I am going to study Permaculture and try to learn all about it to take back home. I could experience weeding in forest, making peppermint tea, cracking shell of hazelnuts, taking a greenhouse to pieces, and baking bread using various Australian wheats. I could learn lots of useful things there although I WWOOFed for one and half weeks. I believe these experiences and knowledge which I learned there will help my farming in the future. I highly reccommend vivisting Eddy and Phuong at Hillndale Farm Cottages, Thank you