Woofing camp at the Ferme du Hayon : a real disconnection to discover another way of life

In order not to wait for the next school holidays to have the opportunity to go on a camp, the Mobility Service team sometimes offers young people short weekend stays to discover the practice of Woofing or Workaway. These practices consist of voluntary involvement in the tasks of a farm or a renovation site in private homes, in exchange for board and lodging. It is a practice that can allow you to travel and get involved in local projects with local people for very little money (you only have to pay for your journey).

So, on Friday November 26th, a small group set off by car towards the Ferme du Hayon in Meix-devant-Virton. After a 4-hour drive (because of the snow YEAAAH) we finally arrived at our destination and met up with the group of young people from the Service Civil International (SCI) with whom we were able to organise this stay. Soup was waiting to warm us up and after some discussions next to the stove, everyone went under the many blankets to be in good shape the next day.

On Saturday, we were divided into three different teams, each accompanied by a farm resident who had the task of directing us in our work. Thus, one group trained in clay plastering with Lirian in order to plaster the walls of a house, another group prepared the vegetable garden for the winter with Lise, and the third group set up and reorganised the farm’s wood workshop with Laurent.

During the lunch breaks, we stopped to eat together in “La maison des amis”. The meals were mostly prepared on the wood stove, with local and seasonal products, a real treat.

At the end of the afternoon, after our respective tasks, some of us went to help Marc, the farmer of the farm, to feed his 40 cows and bulls and to prepare some tasks for the next 10 days.

Saturday evening was spent relaxing. We were introduced to a game developed by the Zapatistas based on collaboration and Zapatista principles. A good way to discover another way of living and thinking about society. If you don’t know who the Zapatistas are, we invite you to learn a little about their struggles ;-). Many thanks to them.

On Sunday morning, we reformed our different groups to resume work. In the afternoon we had a guided tour of the whole farm and its history. This allowed us to understand the issues and values that are defended by the inhabitants of the farm. A life a little more in harmony with nature, listening to the animals, a return to a less energy-intensive and technological life and a slower pace. For us, who were all from Brussels, it was a real disconnection and an open door to another way of life.

After tidying up the place and saying goodbye, we had to go back to Brussels, but keeping in mind that all we had to do was ask so that we could come back to recharge our batteries and lend a hand to the inhabitants of the Hayon farm, many thanks to them.