Arriving to WWOOF at Jan-ols GårdenAugust 21, 2017 in Sweden
We drove the short distance between our stopover and the farm that would be our home for the next two weeks. Jan-ols Gården was reached via a gravel track off the main road. We parked beside the riding school ring and jumped out to meet Mikaela who was there to greet us. Walking up to the house there was a field of small ponies on our right and a field with the larger ponies and horses on our left. The goats were in their field at the bottom of the hill.
We met Salomé then Mikael, both WWOOFers from France who had been at Jan-ols Gården for a number of weeks (Mikael was on his second placement there). In the house we were introduced to Tobbe, Mikaela's partner, their Saluki Charlie and Afghan Hound Howie. We later met Olivia, (Tobbe's daughter) and the two house cats, one of which was an extremely affectionate Rag Doll called Luva. Vicky felt wonderful being around so many animals and Will loved having new people to chat to!
That afternoon we drove the short way to Olivia's house that the family was in the process of renovating to make it fit to live in. Poppy sat out under the shade of a tree while we shifted a huge pile of branches and small trees and created a stack ready for a bonfire. We enjoyed the work until near the end when we discovered 2 Adders who appeared to have made a home out of our assigned project! We switched to removing the electric fence from the posts surrounding the field and returned, hoping they'd moved house!
After a while Tobbe's parents came over and introduced themselves, before picking a bucket of rasberries for the family and WWOOFers. They chatted with us for a while, with Tobbe's Dad Roger, using 'Svenglish' (a cross between Swedish and English!) We enjoyed feeling part of a team again.
We returned to the farm in the afternoon and ate lunch in a relaxed and jovial atmosphere. Later we walked back to Olivia's house and finished shifting the wood and dismantling the electric fence so that a sturdy wire mesh could be erected to protect the goats from wolves roaming the surrounding forest.
Back at the farm we put the goats on leads and led them from the field to the stable. When we say we 'led' the goats, what we actually did was to hang on to their leads while they pulled us towards any tasty looking foliage. They were a lot stronger than expected and we sometimes felt we were being drawn and quartered, but it was lots of fun, especially when the kids came running in after them and we had to round up the stragglers by picking up the little balls of soft fur and carrying them in!
Around 9:30pm the 6 of us shared a meal of pasta bolognaise in the large country kitchen and dining room before returning to the stables, giving the goats more warm water and carrying the kids to their separate pen with a bag of hay for the night, so the nannies would be ready for milking in the morning.Read more