WWOOFING – fifth post RUW-RSO studytrip to Poland

RUW Foundation and the Rural Sociology Group organized a studytrip to Poland. In a 10 day intensive program different cities and rural areas in Poland were visited, interesting people and organizations met and farm work is done. The theme of the trip is “Glocalise”. Students are asked to prepare themselves well on different themes in groups before leaving and to write a concluding reflexive paper on their impressions and findings, and to write a blog. This fifth blog is about the logistical side of the trip by:

By Lianne Vreugdenhil

After visiting different stakeholders influencing and regulating Polish agriculture, it was time to do more practical work. Public transport brought us to the small town called so “easily” Szczedrzyk, Opole Voivodeship. This village is the home of Ekozagrada, an organic farm owned by Iwona and Jens Frusek. They offered us a place to do WOOFFing. Wooffing is a worldwide organisation offering working places in organic farms. The wage comes in kind such as sleeping places and food. Normally Ekozagrade has place for only two wooffers. Jens Iwona made an exception for this group of 27 people and used our strength to build fences, walls, to do some weeding, and to construct a so called ‘kräuterspirale’ (herb spiral). The idea of a kräuterspirale is to create optimal living conditions for different kind of herbs.

One of the objectives of Ekozagrada is to use as much as possible waste. In fact, in order to have the “right” to call themselves organic farmers, everything needs to be used from the farm, in the farm and for the farm. This creates “a closed circle” of production where all the resources that the farm provides are being used naturally. As a result, some of us spend the whole day recycling plastic bottles by filling them with sand. These plastic bottles would form the wall of the kräuterspirale, for example. Others used their technical skills to construct a new fence for the pigs. Another group used their creative skills to make, as Jens called it, “free style construction art”. Ekozagrada is a place where you are meant to contribute with your own skills, ideas and creativity. Most important Ekozagrada is a place where these cheerful and friendly people provide you practical knowledge on organic farming and by the end of the day you can see your achievements and it feels good.

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