What we learned from farm-sitting

We spent two weeks farm-sitting in Olmué, a couple of hours outside of Santiago. We learned how to live by ourselves without external entertainment (although we did find a DVD player during the second week) And at the pace of life dictated by the farm’s needs. In theory, we got an education in how to make hand-made organic wine – but sadly our efforts in this area were not too successful. By trial and error we discovered how to cook meals from absolute scratch, without any kind of processed or pre-packaged ingredient. I also learned that dogs will go crazy for peas.

See here and here for more of what we got up to.











Our volunteering was set-up through Workaway.

Farm Film Shorts

We were volunteering on a small farm in middle-of-nowhere Chile.

“I’ll be back tonight,” Mario told us after we finished the tough work of squeezing the last juice out of tangled grape vines and not dodging the wasps who were extracting as much sugar as they could from the plastic, rectangular vat of unfiltered wine. Like junkies, they eventually ODed, drowned by their own addiction, to be filtered out later.

“Like people, if you don’t try to hurt them they won’t hurt you. Behave like they don’t exist.”

I took his advice until one crawled up my pantleg and couldn’t find its way out.

“Ow! It’s in my pants. Ah! It got me again!”

I stripped down to my underwear and watched the stupid thing fly away.

“I’m going into town. I’ll be back by 6 or 7 tonight.”

Mario didn’t return for two days. This kind of thing became common. We found ourselves with a lot of time without the distractions of civilization; there was no Internet, no TV and no people.

To entertain ourselves we made movies with Rosie’s iPod touch.

Title: Dinner in Olmué
Genre: documentary
App: Reeli and Splice
Music: “Maisie” by Syd Barrett

A fairly straightforward look at the twice daily chore of feeding the animals on the farm. Splice allowed us to make several short cuts, which we then imported into Reeli. Using Reeli allowed us to add the soundtrack.

Title: The Machinist 2
Genre: surrealist
App: Reeli
Music: “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” by Klaatu

Let’s just say that watching The Machinist earlier in the day didn’t put us in a dark or reflective mood. Sorry you lost all that weight, Christian Bale.

Title: La Negra
Genre: horror
App: Reeli
Music: “Am I Demon?” Bonnie “Prince” Billy (covering Danzig)

La Negra is the oldest dog on the farm. She eats dried horse poop, drools on everyone and likes to rub her body against you to relieve her various itches, but she’s a sweetheart.