Hello and Goodbye!

1 August 2018

As Lena is reflecting about her time on Caerhys Farm, the next agri-activists Silvie from England, and Melis from Turkey have arrived to Wales to begin the second round of this year's agri-activism placement!

Time has passed all too quickly and while I am already preparing to leave Caerhys Farm, there are new people arriving every other day. Today I want to take a moment to reflect on my time at Caerhys before I pass on the honour to Silvie and Melis, who will be the agri-activists for round 2!

Before arriving to Wales at the beginning of May, roughly two and a half months ago, I wrote down a number of things that I would like to learn more about during my time here.  Experience of working on a farm and campaigning for environmental causes were my main interests. Besides that I wanted to use my free-time to connect to the area and engage in activities that I hoped would help me to grow on a more personal level.

This is what my list looked like:

Lena's list of what she wanted to get out the placement.

I am quite happy to see that I am able to tick off nearly all boxes. It was most important to me to learn more about farming and to gain a hands-on experience. Farm-work filled most of my working days and with all the new WWOOFers arriving to Caerhys I can now see how I have become able to carry out all the routine jobs on my own as well as to explain them to the newcomers.

I have seen the life-circle of a vegetable from sowing their seeds, to transplanting them to the open field, caring for them until finally harvesting and eating them. All this helped to make me understand much more deeply about how our daily food is grown – a lesson that I deeply appreciate!

Volunteers on the farm!

Upon my arrival I had little to no clue about why Glyphosate was such strongly controversial topic. After pulling weeds for at least an hour on most farm-days, I definitely see the attractiveness in a supposedly wonder-chemical that gets rid of weeds the easy way. But reading article upon article, as well as talking to Gerald, other WWOOFers and producers, the picture becomes more detailed and shows a strong case for Glyphosate not being long-term solution due to its potential harm to everyone’s health – whether it is humans, animals or the soil.

While we as agri-activists are doing our part in informing the public about the possible dangers of Glyphosate and try our best to support feasible solutions, there is much that remains to be done and I imagine that I only got a glimpse of all the options  there are to get active!

The second half of my wishes for Wales was of personal nature. I hoped to be able to get to know the area and the people that live there as well as to spend my spare time improving certain skills or being active in the outdoors. I am amazed at myself to see how the last bits came true: I cycled regularly to nearby places, I attended a yoga course, I went to an open rowing training several times and I swam in the sea many times!

I also met quite a few local people and I was amazed about how active the community is and how many ongoing projects there are which give this area a very special energy.

Everyone I met was incredibly friendly and many put their energies into the community!

Onions on a chopping board

All in all I can say that I am grateful for the time that I got to spend at Caerhys Farm. I have learned a great deal about the world of farming and activism, as well as about my own nature. With these concluding words I want to wish all the best to our next agri-activists, hoping that they will find similar pleasure in their work and free-time, and sharing their impressions with us and the world.

Thank you, take care and goodbye!

Lena