Keveral Organic
Farming Community
Seaton, Near Looe, Cornwall, England/2002.05.01-2002.05.14

From Santander on the north coast of Spain, we got on the ferry that would take us to Plymouth on the southweast coast of England. We spent most of the trip sprawled out on the floor trying to keep our stomachs steady over the rough waters. It was an overnight boat, thankfully, so we were asleep most of the time.

The immigration officer was quite friendly to our barefootness. He said there was no bus to the center, so we walked across Plymouth to the bus station and semi-enjoyed our ability to finally be able to read billboards. It was, after all, our first English-speaking country on our trip. We noticed immediately the difference in consumer culture - (make your own conclusions:) block after block of huge supermarkets, big-name chain stores, travel agents, and lots and lots of thrift shops (hard to find until now).

Our bus (a red double-decker) eventually came and we had a nice ride along the coast line with a short car-ferry and up and down around sharp curves until we came to the final town of Seaton.

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02_path_20020508 (65KB)We then made our way up from the beach for almost a mile on a trail through the woods while smelling the strong scents of wild garlic, which was growing everywhere. At the top of the hill we found Keveral Farm, a community of about a dozen adults and several kids. We met Margarita, who showed us to our little caravan, hidden in the tall nettles and brambles, and then to the seperate WWOOFers' kitchen fully stocked with food. We supplemented it with spinach, radishes, and spring onions from the garden, and wild comfrey and nettles. Next to the kitchen was a big space with a Piano for OfeK, books for Erika, and things to play with for Momo.

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15_weeding_erika_20020508 (78KB)The next day Gareth showed us the fields, polytunnels and what work needed to be done. We got right to work thinning endless rows of radishes, and over the next two weeks, Erika spent hours and hours weeding, weeding, and more weeding, which wasn't all that bad. 13_veggie-boxes_gareth_20020508 (76KB)One day a week was harvesting for their organic veggie-box scheme, which they delivered to over a 100 families in the area. OfeK, on the other hand, was soon recruited by Oak for his web composing skills, and during our stay designed their website.

Because we lived separately, and worked mostly alone, we didn't get that much contact with most of the residents. We used our lonesome time to listen to quite progressive BBC radio shows (with such topics as homeschooling and the new tax on plastic bags in Ireland reducing consumption by 98%). We did have some nice conversations and made a few friendships but otherwise it seemed as if people were just too busy with work, personal problems, and weren't around much.

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People pictures of a birthday party and a spontanious communal meal.
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23_monkey-sanctuary_20020512 (96KB)On the last weekend Oak took us to the nearby Monkey Sanctuary, home to rejected/rescued pet/zoo woolly monkeys not able to return to South America out of fear of spreading disease. Here they could live naturally as possible and retire. 24_monkey-sanctuary_20020512 (79KB)It was actually run by a community of people living together with the sanctuary as their center and common interest. They organically grew a good amount of the monkeys food, and ran the visitor center (open only a few days a week) with its displays (campaigning for vegetarianism and anti-vivisection) and a small vegetarian cafe.

Next we went to see the Plants for a Future site in Cornwall. We had had this forming vegan community on our list since before we began this trip. Since we first heard of them we read their ads in many places, were they ask people to come help them with their new site. In 12 years this grazed field evolved to a forest full of edible plants and fruit trees.

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We were told if we wanted to help out we would have to bring our own tent and food, which was not walking/public transport distance away, and would probably be alone. This and a short talk with a founding member pretty much turned us off to visiting there, but we were glad to get the chance to see the site we had been reading about.

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Photos 01-07,18,19 and 28 were taken by Oak. Each early morning he would take the camera and walk a few miles in a different direction to take another shot of the farm.


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No copyright! (but be nice please...) composed by OfeK.