Varnhem Cloister Church (Built in 11th Century)  http://www.flickr.com/photos/szefi/5793801595/

Varnhem Cloister Church (Built in 11th Century) 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/szefi/5793801595/

Shout out from Sweden

 

Here's Mark's next e-mail sent September 22, 2013 during his Sweden leg of the trip.

Hello all!

We finally made it to our first wwoofing location after an exciting 72 hrs. of traveling! We are currently in Varnhem, Sweden and will be here until Thursday. It is now 7:30pm and I'm just waking up from a nap after our first day of work.

Our host, Birgit, picked us up from the train station in Skøvde yesterday afternoon. Skøvde is the closest major town and is about 10-20 mins away from her farm in Varnhem.

After arriving to her farm, Birgit gave us a quick tour of her property and showed us where we would be sleeping. We are staying in a old barn. The second story of the barn has been converted into a small cabin. There are four of us so it's a little tight, but it is still very comfortable.

We immediately took a nap for a few hours after settling in. It was the first time we were able to lay down in actual beds on our trip, so we were extremely tired. After our nap Birgit took us to her town's autumn festival. It was a small gathering and everyone was extremely friendly. We had goulash with bread and cheese for dinner. It was our first real meal and it was delicious! After dinner we listened to a member of the community give a presentation about carpooling. She was encouraging people to carpool through a mobile service she created. She is hoping to bring the community closer together and save people money. We stayed for a while longer talking with people and listening to live music. I was surprised at the amount of people who know English, or at least enough to communicate. Birgit noticed that we could barely keep our eyes open so we left around 10pm to get some sleep.

Today was our first day of wwoofing.  We woke up at 8:30 for breakfast. I had a bowl of cereal, but the best way to describe it is cold watery oatmeal. I ate it with bread and jam and washed it all down with coffee. Then it was time to work!

Today consisted of preparing her vegetable beds for the winter. We started by making sure all of the crops from the year were removed from the ground before we covered her beds with a layer of cow maneuer. After we evenly spread the maneuer, we dug a shovel head deep in the beds to mix the maneuer with the dirt, and to loosen the dirt in preparation for next year. We put the mixed dirt back in the ground and covered it with a thick layer of straw. We did this for about five hours and then called it a day. It was dirty work and by the end I was covered in mud, not dirt, because it was lightly raining off and on all day.

We are dinner at 3pm. I wish I could tell you what I ate, outside of the salad with tomatoes, but it was a very foreign to me. Regardless, it was delicious! I had more than one plate, but maybe it was because I was working all day. I had to take a nap right after. I caught a food coma.

I like Birgit, her farm, the work we do, and most importantly, her food after day one. Everything is very simple and extremely relaxed. I hope every place we visit is similar to this.

Well that's the status after our first day of wwoofing. I wish I could tell you more, but I have to go eat supper so I will chat later. Hope all is well in the states!

-Mark

Onward to Germany