In April 2017, I volunteered at a family run eco farm in Brazil´s inland, in Minas Gerais, close to Belo Horizonte. Read more about my experiences, and what I learned there!
I had a very nice time with Jonas, who runs the farm, Mambo, his cute dog, and the other volunteers, first a girl from Chile and later an Italian couple. The farm is located 10 km from Itabirito, close to Belo Horizonte, in the mountains of Minas Gerais. The (micro-)climate is hot in summer and quite cold in Winter, and the flora and fauna, with which the farm is blessed, is just stunning.
There are many different animals – monkeys, butterflies, hummingbirds, lizards, Tucanos, parrots, many different kinds of birds, snakes, etc. Sometimes I felt like in a zoo or a Safari, just walking a bit on the farm, or to the beautiful waterfalls nearby.
What did I do?
Our working time was 4-5 hours in the morning, and the afternoon and weekends free.
Our day started usually with feeding the chicken and fish, and watering the vegetable garden. Later we worked on our personal projects, or things, that had to be done urgently on the farm. I, for example, liked it a lot to investigate about different planting techniques, planting in accordance to moon periods, permaculture and apply my knowledge in the vegetable garden, dedicating my time to the plants, and sowing new seeds. It´s a great feeling to plant something and see, how it grows and develops, until you can harvest it.
Learning about planting techniques, ecological fertilising methods, permaculture, plant diseases and what can be done to control it in a natural way is something, that is of very high importance to me.
On other days, when I was not working in the vegetable garden, I helped with preparing the blackberry field for the new season, which was a physically very demanding job, especially under the hot midday sun. But farm work is hard, and it was also very important for me, to learn about it.
In our free time, we cooked a lot together, especially with the Italian couple, it was impossible to don´t have delicious food on the table after an extensive cooking session. Once, we prepared all together delicious pizza in the self-made pizza oven. I think it was the best pizza, that I ever ate im my whole life 😉
The weekends I spend relaxing at the waterfalls nearby, walking around, riding bicycle, meditating and practicing yoga.
It´s delicious to put your feet into the cold mountain water, on a hot day
The first weekend, when I arrived, there was a carnaval festival in Itabirito, the village, going on. Jonas was playing drums with his carnival parade. It was a great party and we danced until the early morning to Brazilian rhythms
I had an unforgettable time and learned a lot at Jonas´farm within stunning nature! Another chapter of my Brazilian travel and learning time came to an end, but the experiences will be carried in my heart along my further way
Thanks for reading!
PS. Thanks for sharing!
Some more photos of the farm: