Wwoofers' Diaries

A page for WWOOFers at Mahalo organic minifarm!

Red's Passing

It was a cloudy day and the sun filtered down gently as we all worked steadily on various projects here at Mahalo. Stefan on the stone walkway, Jason on the foundation of the cabin, and the lovely new Wwoofer Nora gathering sticks for fires. I worked on building a wood chip walkway down the south facing gardens, reflecting on all the delicious food that will be grown during this new season. 

Meanwhile the hens and both roosters, Red and Fireworks pecked away at the green nibbles tossed their way and preened themselves in the afternoon rays. Later that day when Travis was home, Luz Elena let us know it was time one of the roosters be honored and put to rest. It was decided the larger and oldest resident rooster at the farm, Red would be the one to be honored. So Luz Elena, Travis, Nora and myself burned herbs and said our peace about Red the Rooster. Travis ended up using an axe, and then him and I plucked some of Red's beautiful feathers. He was then fully dressed all the way and was marinated in a bottle of red wine and tomatoes for days, and then cooked beautifully by Stefan. We then all honored him in the highest with a delicious and bountiful feast. 

Oh Red the Rooster. He was a beautiful soul. 

Jessica

Spring is in full bloom here at Mahalo. 

Both are beautiful.

Both are infused with a sacred magic and a peaceful stillness that dances along the edges of bubbling laughter. 

I arrived a few weeks ago when the cool wind whipped the bare arms of the trees and the flowers were just rushed, excited thoughts. Now everything is overflowing with change and there are new colors, smells and textures each day. 

I sleep beneath the stars each night with my cat Elliott in a little turquoise tent and have helped with lots of various projects around Mahalo. So far I've planted strawberries, helped reorganize the compost bins, made new vegetable beds, haul mulch and rocks around to the various plants, and along with an inspirational, insightful and wonderfully lovely wwoofer Nora; made a beautiful stone step walkway down the vegetable beds.

As a wwoofer we've had the pleasure of full moon hiking, getting involved/watching music sessions at the house and in Mahalo, eating dandelion pancakes, going and getting raw milk at a local farm and other countless adventures each day. I'm appreciative and happy to be a part of such a welcoming, supportive and creative center, and am very grateful for my time here. 



NORA

I could not have asked for a better place to have my first WWOOF experience. My short visit to Mahalo Art Center has flown by in an instant. And yet each day has been full of so many beautiful experiences; it seems impossible to only have been ten days. The landscape of Brattleboro is idyllic and the community of people at Mahalo is inviting and open. Conversations overflow with sincerity, thoughtfulness and inspiration. 

My projects were based around permaculture landscaping and caring for Mahalo’s gardens of fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible plants. My fellow WWOOFer, Jessica, is so knowledgeable and has generously provided endless guidance (plus laughter and conversation!).  Luz Elena has been incredibly kind in encouraging me to be mindful. On days when I awoke bursting with energy, I was able to take on larger tasks: digging into the earth, moving stones, and carrying buckets of fertilizer and mulch.  On more restful days I was able to reflect, to explore, and try new things like homemade dandelion pancakes, raw milk from a nearby farm, a moonlight hike and more. I leave Mahalo with immeasurable gratitude and know the seeds of personal insight will continue to spawn.  So will my inoculated mushroom log! 

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Stefan

Life is a journey. I arrived at Mahalo Art Center feeling unsure and confused. Now, I have a path. 

I've been sleeping in a tent by a stream, connecting with the rhythms and cycles of nature, night to day, stars, rising sun, feeling the earth, and fresh air. 

I picked my own project to work on. Building a stone walkway to a beautiful temple (see pictures). It's been a great learning opportunity. Digging the outline, filling with stones, designing the rocks, and learning how to set the rocks in place. I've been lucky enough to learn from a few experienced folks, including a stone mason who shared his wisdom with me.  

I'm building a path, and finding my own path here. Cooking delicious meals, being among some of the kindest and most interesting folks I've ever met, and exploring the artsy town of Brattleboro with it's meandering rivers, waterfalls, and hikes.  Luz Elena has so much energy and creativity, and bring the space to life. It's exciting to hear about her vision, and help be a part of the unfolding. 

Since I've been here I've gone to a growing mushroom workshop, done yoga, gone to see music in town, and practicing being thankful.  Each day is different, and I'm finding my way on the path. 

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#2 - Sam and Maddie! (Part 1)

Sam and Maddie stayed at Mahalo Farm in August 2013. They wrote incredible blog posts about their experience and kindly authorized us to republish them.

Photo: Tatiana K

Photo: Tatiana K

"Aloha from Mahalo Art Center in beautiful, fun, quirky cool Brattleboro, Vermont! Wow, what a summer it has been, so FULL of life and learning. It is sooo good to finally get our hands in the dirt. On June 1st, 2013, my partner Sam and myself left our home and our community in Orlando, FL to embark on a journey. Our intentions were to explore, to find intentional communities across the country and the world, to create art, and to connect with the magic contained within the universe. It was difficult to say “see you soon” to so many wonderful friends and family members back down in Florida, but we were both blown away by the love and support we were showered with as we prepared to depart. 

(...)This past week at Mahalo, we had a young womyn’s camp called Gaia’s Nature Arts camp (http://www.mahaloartcenter.com/summer-camps/). It was amazing! We had three young womyn as campers. Cara Michelle, director of camp Shemesh in Amherst, MA, was with us for the whole week. She facilitated many activities, sang songs, taught us to make solar ovens and pickles, and was just plain awesome. 

(Read more at Sam.maddie -Samadhi- experience blog

 

A new page in Mahalo's book...

Welcome to our new section, WWOOFer's diaries! 

My name is Tatiana Kovacs, and I'm a WWOOFer. If you never heard about the WWOOF program, just visit http://www.wwoof.net to learn more. Long story short: it's an awesome exchange program for volunteers in organic farms. You can travel the world and learn everything about organics at the same time! Isn't it wonderful? 

Since 2013, Mahalo farm has been part of WWOOF-USA and has been hosting people from all around the world. To be a WWOOFer at Mahalo is an unique experience, because it's a minifarm - so the tasks are way different from a big commercial farm - and because this is a blessed, peaceful space for art, meditation and healing. 

Mahalo Art Center | Photo: Tatiana K

Mahalo Art Center | Photo: Tatiana K

So, one of my tasks during my stay is to help with the website and this page. We'll be publishing and re-publising WWOOFing experiences, pictures, videos and more. We hope you'll enjoy it! WWOOFers, feel free to share your experiences in the comments. Farmers: we'll do our best to answer questions about the WWOOF program and what you need to know before you join the organization. Everybody: have fun and share the love!