We’ve been here a week waiting to see what a typical day would be like and haven’t yet found it – each one is different. We were Wwoof virgins ten days ago – as far as we were concerned a woof was something that you heard from a dog, but one week at Andy and Sophie’s farm has changed all that. When we arrived we settled into our own caravan: flowers on the table, beds all made – this took the camp out of camping (in a good way!) Two veteran wwoofa’s took us on a tour of the farm – the loo with a view (50 miles we reckon!), the burgeoning gardens, the village of yurts and finally the rest of the family: the horses Maurice, Dan and Isla, Bug the dog, a collection of chickens with a frigid cockrel and various multiplying cats.
From tour to table, Andy’s call of supper and the sight of a huge paella accompanied by a couple of bottles of local wine and we realised our notion that we’d be living off a farm labourers meagre diet of homegrown berries couldn’t be further from the truth. Some cliched expectations did come true though and come 8am we were shovelling shit for a pre-breakfast work out! In these early days we were relegade bottom rank wwoofas but as others left and our days amassed we have graduated to hacking with the horses, baking scones for breakfast and sampling the local market as Andy’s hareem of bag carrying women! (The bag carrying in question was of a live, flapping, crowing and hopefully more virile gentlemen for the lady chooks, with a view to expanding the feathery family.)
At the moment its a scourching 43degrees and luckily Andy and Sophie aren’t slave drivers so we are able to soporiphically lounge about in the shade until the sun starts to go down and we are raring to work again – bottling tomatoes, weeding the garden, planting cabbages and sprouts or back to shit shovelling (you never really grow out of it!) It’s amazing how quickly each day passes and evenings too, spent debating wordly issues over a glass of homemade strawberry vodka under the stars (and Sophies new solar LED fairy lights!) It’s been such fun – we feel part of the family and don’t want to go home!
Portugal Smallholding is for sale! PP275: Quinta das Abelhas 275,000 euros Tabua Farmhouse, cottage, 2 yurts and 3 caravans. Ecologically designed, solar electricity, own water source, phone and internet. 3 hectares organic land with permaculture gardens, fruit, nut and olive trees, grape vines, paddocks, stables and manege. http://www.pureportugal.co.uk/listman/listings/l0067.html