wwoofing in France
Because I wanted to spend a few months in France, I thought that WWOOFing would be a good idea. Working on on small organic farms in exchange for food and accomodation seemed like a good way to get to know the small villages that constitute the heart of French life. So far, it has been an excellent idea. I began with a two-week stint near Teyssieu, in the Department “Lot”. In the same region I visited St-Céré, Cahors, Loubressac, Rignac, and of course the nearby Teyssieu, which was a thirty-minute walk from the farm where I worked. St-Céré was a very good small town that had instant allure. There is a market day every first and third Wednesday of each month, and anyone visiting should make sure to check out the town on one of those days, especially in the summer. There is a sizeable contingent of expats and artists here. Loubressac was an utterly charming village that is not to be missed either, for its views and history alone.
Work on the property consisted of gardening, helping to prepare the foundations for a floor in a new studio and the terrace outside it, brushcutting and other small chores around the property. The hosts have become friends and my stay was completely worthwhile. I got to really see a lot of the Midi-Pyrénées, and am convinced that this is one of the best places in France to consider living long-term. It primarily consists of farms and small villages, connected by winding roads and hills. It is walnut country, filled with wild-strawberries, great cheese, and roses. There is a lot of oak, wild boar, salamanders, cattle, and stone houses built around 200-300 years ago. There was a blight on the grape vines of the region several decades ago, so all of the former vineyards turned to forest land and many of the farms focused on other sources of revenue. The wine of the region is known as Cahors, and is usually only found in blended reds.
I am in Toulouse waiting to go to St-Gaudens tomorrow to try another WWOOF place.
The new farm will a month-long experience close to the border between Spain and France in a region that I have heard is quite beautiful.
Toulouse is great little city filled with maze-like streets and fantastic character. There are countless small cafes, brasseries and restaurants, as well as several first-rate museums. I am strongly considering getting an apartment here sometime.