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WWOOF-ing in France


currypuff
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Has anyone been wwoofing in France? (Willing workers on organic farms). If so, where, when and how was it?

I am trying to debate within which regions to apply to. I would love to learn the art of cheesemaking (preferably goat) but am open to anything not too far from Paris in terms of travelling by bus/train. Also, I thought this program was "free" other than applying for the book, but my friend tells me that one has to pay $5-$10/nite for lodging? This didn't seem right... I thought the work exchange provided room and board for free already... *confused*

Also, I know the French are known for their hoity toity snobbiness to foreigners, but I do not think this would really be a problem on a farm in the rural areas? My experience is that they are quite friendly outside of Paris.

Any input, advice, recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Merci.... :laugh:

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The French are actually quite friendly, especially if you show an interest in their cuisine and culture.

Even in Paris!

And yes, often you pay for the privilege in exchange for them showing you how they do things. It's considered an honor to learn from someone with more knowledge than you, and spending a few euros a night to offset expenses is nominal compared to the valuable things you're likely to learn in the process.

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Just like David said.

5-10 $ a night seems really cheap when you're buying knowledge, and even for a room without the knowledge. I certainly would charge more but I'm from Paris :cool:

For cheesemaking, and particularly goat, just any region makes it now. Places where goat cheese is a traditional item are Berry (around Bourges and Sancerre), Loire valley, South Burgundy (around Macon), Poitou-Charentes, Aquitaine (particularly Quercy) and Provence.

Edited by Ptipois (log)
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Currypuff,

I am so glad that you started this thread because I had never heard of WWOOFing and had no idea that this existed in France. A quick search on Google turned up a lot of information and led me to the the French site where you can order the list of farms who are willing to give you a room and board in exchange for working a few hours per day plus a small fee.

www.wwoof.fr

5-10€ seems to be more than fair price considering what an amazing experience you are likely to have.

I am very tempted to try this myself. :smile:

I don't want to get off the topic of food and turn this thread into a debate over whether or not Parisians are rude, but very much agree with what both Ptipois and David have said and don't think you need to worry about the French being snobby to tourists, even in Paris.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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I didn't mean to suggest that all French are snobby, definitely not. Nor did I want to turn this into a political discussion. I'm sure most of them are nice. Most of them I met (I've been to Paris twice, Nice as well as Melun and Chateau Fontainbleau wherever that is) have been pretty good. It's probably no different than the culture here. Not everyone can be nice!

I think I'll lean towards the Loire Valley. It's not far from Paris and they have lots of wines too. In elementary school, I make a fake brochure for this place = ).

Anyway, wwoof is set up as a work exchange for room and board on an organic farm. Members pay a fee for an annual membership. This membership gives them access to a listing of farms who are accepting workers. The prospective wwoof-er writes to the farm they are interested in to see if an arrangement can be met. http://www.wwoof.org

I plan on wwoofing for 3 weeks in France, and then travelling for another month to Italy and Greece...

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  • 8 months later...
Has anyone been wwoofing in France? (Willing workers on organic farms). If so, where, when and how was it?

I happen to know this awesome organic goat farm in the south of france. Bruno, the farmer, is the sweetest guy ever.

I did an internship there as a first year student of an école d'ungénieurs. However, while I was there, I met a couple of woofers.

Bruno is usually booked quite a long time in advance, and many people, seing that I talk about his cheese on my blog, email me to know how it is.

I loved it and everyone that went there did too.

Let me know if you're interested. I know that's nowhere near Paris, but he'll offer you a bed + food for free (well, you'll have to work on the farm).

xxx

fanny loves foodbeam

pâtisserie & sweetness

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  • 1 month later...

This is very exciting, thanks for bringing it to our attention.

I'm not sure I'm ready for farm labor yet, still getting over an accident, but there are some fascinating descriptions on the web site. Too bad you can't search by interest or category, only by department. Still, it makes for fun reading. What a great way to experience France (whose residents are quite hospitable and friendly to les Americains, in my experience). Someday...


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Also not France, just adding to the general WWOOFing testimonials....My wife WWOOFed in Scotland a couple of summers ago for a few months (Inverness and the Shetlands), she had a great time and learned a lot. Didn't cost her anything but labor...

Edited by markemorse (log)
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  • 1 month later...
I must say I really wasn't paying attention during Matt Gross' early postings on his Frugal Traveler series in the NYT but he has a nice description of wwoofing in Southern France here.

You might not have been paying attention here, either, because I posted the same thing a month ago (see a few posts up). :raz:

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