Sunday, May 1, 2011

La Combe des Saveurs

Oh new farm, how do I love you? Let me list the ways...

The family. They are amazing. I felt comfortable chatting with Véronique (the mother) before we had even made it to the farm from the train station. On the way back, we picked up her kids, Leo and Tom, as well as 2 of their friends, Rémy and Yanis. The four of them (plus Rémy's brother Loic) hung out at the house a lot for the past few days (they're all on vacation; Loic and Rémy left yesterday). But the kids are fun to hang out with, joke around with, and play some Frisbee with (yes, I've been spreading the Ultimate gospel in France). Vincent, the father, is always joking around (such that I have to pay extra close attention when he's talking to figure out if I should be smiling). But Véronique and Vincent are just so relaxed about everything! They get work done, they have things to worry about, but I just feel really comfortable here. Also, for the first 3 days, another WWOOFer (an American named Elly) was here; it was nice to a) be able to talk to her about how things worked around here, and b) she was cool and friendly and fun to work with/ chat with.

The location. This place is just unbelievably beautiful. The farm is technically in a little "village" at the bend of a road, just over a small bridge with a stream/ river flowing by it (the village is made up of about 4 houses, plus a bunch of buildings belonging to the farm. But it's got it's own little signs that say Combeuil, so it's an officially designated... something). It's basically nestled in a tiny valley, foothills all around (the Massif Central is a mountainous region). And the water in the tiny river is so clear! Also, the hike I went on today was to find the ruins of an old castle; not much left, but enough walls (and a full room with an arched doorway) that you could still feel that yes, someone built this and lived in it.

The food. While I was pleased that I had to do some cooking at the first farm in terms of life experience, it did kind of stress me out- I was always worried that I would ruin the food, and then a) I would have wasted food and b) there wouldn't be anything to eat for dinner. But here, not only do Véronique and Vincent do all the cooking, but they cook delicious things- and not just for the major meals! But once in the morning, and once in the afternoon, we take breaks from the work; about half the time, Vincent or Véronique will cook something- so far, we have had crêpes (that rival those you buy in Paris) and gaufres (those sugary waffles that you can get on the slopes at ski resorts). And not just one, but really as much as you can eat! And they encourage me to keep eating, so I don't even feel bad for eating so much! Also, they have their own water source (from a spring on one of the mountains), and it's possible the best water I've ever tasted. Sorry, New York City!

The pets. Specifically, one of their 2 dogs, named Gaia. She's ridiculously full of energy (she went with me on a hike today, and was always running ahead, then stopping for a second to look back at me before continuing). Apparently I'm the first WWOOFer she's gone on a hike with, so I guess she likes me too!

As for the work, it's perhaps a little more taxing than at the first farm (mowing, weed-whacking, lifting/ moving large amounts of logs), but nothing I can't handle. Shoulder is holding up OK (hurts some during the day before it gets warmed up, hurts a bit at night) but I'm hopeful it will continue to improve. And the schedule is good- work, then a break, then work, then lunch, then work, then a break/ dinner. So I feel like I do my share, but we take breaks often enough that it doesn't feel like a lot of work.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds great! Do they produce just for themselves, or maeket too?