Romania: WWOOFing in Transylvania and back to the US

Written by Tyler Cole | 27 July 2011



After hitching into Bucharest from Bulgaria and spending the night there in a hostel, I set off the next day to a farm a few hundred kilometers north close to the larger town of Brasov. I found the farm through WWOOF, which is a network of organic and conventional farms that ask for moderate levels of work (4-6 hours) in exchange for a place to sleep and food. From what I heard, it was a good way to experience the local culture, explore the beautiful countryside, and save money to boot.

The farm was located in a national park among the Carpathian Mountains in the Transylvania region, right on top of a ridge with mountains rising on either side in a village called Magura. The family, consisting of a thirty-something guy named Iosef with his mom, sister, and sister’s daughter, had cut down on food production in favor of retrofitting their house to take tourists to gain income. This left mainly just cows and sheep to take care of as well as a smallish garden.

It took several bus transfers to get from Brasov to the farm, and it was dusk by the time I was making the final 4 km hike up to the farm. They welcomed me with a bit of food, and the next morning the work started in earnest. The big project for the day was collecting the hay that had been cut with a scythe and dried for a few days. We lumped it into large piles, carried the piles to a thick synthetic sheet that was tied to a truck, pulled it up from the valley to the house, and then added it to the winter storage pile.


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