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WWOOFers who visited us in 2012

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As part of a team Ashley had toured widely in the USA promoting a charitable cause, after which she craved wide open spaces and the country. Perhaps earlier life had prepared her for this - at home on a houseboat in Washington state. During January she helped us here in Izaut with a variety of tasks; in this season work is not so easy to organise but winter months open space to prepare jam and chutney. Ashley is pictured in the 'egg room' next to our popular chutneys - based on beetroot, potimarron and butternut squash.

Feedback from Ashley
Danny & Rebecca came to us without preliminaries in February. Having made a dramatic midnight escape from an alpine ski chalet, they discovered their nearby family holiday home to be uninhabitable after winter flood damage. They much appreciated the warmth and comfort of our LivingBarn for two weeks, during which they helped us look after the hens - notably in construction of a new house for the black hens. Thanks guys!

Feedback from Dan & Rebecca
Many helpers who come here are glad to improve their french language; for Carole the inverse was true. Six months of living in Australia had given her a good start with the english language, and we were glad to help her improve. Carole was enthusiastic to help us with all tasks, but our hens took her prime energy - they're always demanding. And in the evenings she was content to share a good red wine, a habit no doubt learned at home - in Bordeaux.

Feedback from Carole
It's rare to see the scythe in use these days but on our farm it's a tool which proves valuable. Most folk these days use the noisy, malodorous strimmer; the scythe costs far less both to purchase and maintain, and you can still hear the birds sing while you swing it. Downsizing was of prime interest to Richard & Fiona, and thats why they came to us from urban life in Berlin. Why race to get things done when you can slow down and just enjoy flowers, birds and bees? Thankyou guys for making us feel something more than peasant drop-outs. They are pictured here on a rainy April day helping to decorate the LivingBarn.

Feedback from Fiona & Richard
We grow approx 600 beetroots here each year, and weeding them isn't done in a few minutes; it's a tedious job if done alone, and so I was glad of Anita's help in July. After the job was done, we ate beetroot salad - what better way to celebrate? Anita came to us from a boring bank job in Wellington, New Zealand; she applied herself to work here with enthusiasm and used spare time to plan a forthcoming trek in the Pyrenees. And I'll not forget that forest run we did together- thanks!

Feedback from Anita
You might think that beetroot juice is purple but in certain concentration it is red; that I knew but it lay buried in my cluttered memory until Brett unearthed it. And why might this be significant? For the first time this year we had a glut of tomatoes which needed bottling for sale, but this enourmous orange-yellow variety lacked colour. So thats the story behind 200 jars of tomato sauce. Brett came to us from the States but her roots were in France - witness the family name 'Rousseau'. During October she helped us in home and garden and all our jobs got finished quicker.

Feedback from Brett
Inaki made history here. At close of his stay with us in November he took with him 20kg of potimarron squash, transported on the Spanish frontier bus in two strong shopping bags. Why? Back in his home Basque region, he had been recruited onto the team organising an eco-festival and there's no better base to a soup than squash. Inaki helped us dig potatoes and care for chickens. He will be remembered for his inquisitive mind and a challenge for all things orthodox.

Feedback from Inaki