When I tell people I am from Nebraska, they just assume that I grew up on a farm. Little do they know that I actually come from a city with almost 1 million people (including the surrounding areas). So, when I told people that I was going to “live” on a farm for the next month, many people just thought I was going back to whence I came. Oh contraire!
Heimenhaus (the farm) runs quite the operation. Today being my first day, I am sure I only saw a glimpse of it! Being a WWOOFer, I technically only have to work about 5 hours a day. However, it is not like I have much else to do and this is why I am here afterall. I think most days will go about the same as today but who knows!? (No, I won’t go into this much detail each day…..but thought it would be nice for those interested to get a taste of what my days will most likely be like from here on out)
6:45 Start work
– Today, I started out in the zucchini fields. I am pretty sure I only messed up a few by accidentally stabbing them with my knife. All that zucchini picking got me pretty psyched to make some of my mama’s perfect zucchini bread. I think it will make for the perfect item to present at breakfast one morning!
– I then moved to the greenhouse and started pulling weeds around all the Peperoni (no, don’t get excited…..peperoni is just “peppers” auf Deutsch Believe me, if they could GROW peperoni AND make cheese, I just may never want to leave here!)
– Every morning all the workers and family comes together to have breakfast. There are about 15-20 people that make up the group. Hopefully I will figure out names sooner rather than later.
Today for breakfast: homemade cheeses, homemade yogurt, raw milk (This is actually “illegal” in many US states. Sigh), porridge and breads. YUM!
– I continued on with my weed pulling. Luckily (I guess?) I had been plagued with horrible weeds at my house back in Omaha so I have become an expert weed puller. Patience is key! After another hour or so though, it started getting smoldering hot in the greenhouse. I was starting to wonder if they had forgotten me in there when Franci (my neighbor) came to save me for…..
– Potato Picking: This was so strange to me yet strangely fun (if you could forget that you have now been bending over for almost 3 hours and your back is hurting). I felt like a kid digging for rocks!!! Needless to say, it got pretty dirty. However Franci and I had some great conversation about anything from her helping me to speak German, to WWII discussions to where all we want to travel, which all helped to pass the time. Note to self: cut fingernails for tomorrow, dirt packed under fingernails= Sehr schlect!
– Back to the kitchen with everyone for a group lunch. Everyday 2-3 people will make lunch for everyone. Today’s menu (once again, ALL fresh ands straight from the farm) was fried halloumi cheese, fresh salad, bean salad, wursts and buttered pasta w/ squashes.
1:30 Back to Work
– Cheese TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got to help Ruth package cheese this afternoon. I gladly accepted to taste test. We packaged “hard cheese” (???), cut up feta, made a “pikante feta” (cubed feta w/ dried garlic, chili, herbs and olive oil), made vanilla panna cotta (like an italian custard) and labeled mocha and chocolate yogurts. I have to admit that I enjoyed the cheese afternoon much more than pulling weeds so hopefully I can get in there more. (Ruth also mentioned that maybe I could help feed and milk the cows one morning….while that means having to wake up by 5:30, I totally can’t wait!!!!)
4:00 Afternoon Break
– Everyone sat around drinking coffee, freshly made kefir (like a cultured yogurt) and chatting (gee, I wish I could understand them! As if trying to figure out Deutsche was hard enough, Swiss Deutsche is just plain ridiculous)
4:30 Back to Work
– Or, if you are me, head back to the room, go for a walk, head to the pool or just take a nap!!!!
– I am pretty much on my own for the rest of the day to do as I please 🙂 Luckily, there are usually leftovers from lunch that I can have for dinner along w/ good company and wine out on the porch table! Sitting in my room overlooking the pastures with the mooing cows is also pretty relaxing after a long day 🙂