First day of work, Monday: I met Ulrike and Markus at breakfast (self made Müsli !), they made sure everything was alright and gave us the instruction of the day, first: harvesting tomatoes ! Who would believe there would be so many ? And doing it in the nice company of another Wwoofer made it even more enjoyable.
During my 3 weeks in Dogern, I learned much about harvesting tomatoes, peppers, beans (aka "beaning" for the Wwoofers who were there with me), eggplants, radishes, all sorts of roots... , about planting salad and spinach, onions, garlic, I got my e-bike license, and then there was the chickens ("CHICKENS CAN FLY !!"). Taking care of those was my favorite task ! While they at day look like little clumsy deamons (have you ever seen a chicken's devilish eyes ?), when you say good night to them, they look so peacefull and you can even pet them. You don't notice how many there are until you have to collect over 300 eggs per day !
Alongside with farming during the week, on the week-end we had only one task: chickens and else we could do whatever we wanted. I went to Waldshut the first saturday with one of the FÖJ and the 3 other Wwoofers and one of them stayed there with me for lunch (chocolate girl will recognise herself). In the evening we went to the Sauna, that felt so nice after 5 days of work in the earth, under the sun. Sunday was chilling at the Villa. We tried to use the upstairs room as a chill-room but there were always more people downstair (and Wi-Fi was better for watching Arrested Development haha).
What I also remember from my time at Eulenhof was when a lightning stroke the house and there was a very loud BOUM in the living room : please remember to unplug the phone when it's stormy outside ! - Playing Volley Ball with the local team on thursdays - And painting the refugees' house on my 2nd saturday there with almost the whole team and the residents. We also started painting the wall in the living room (look out for the mouse)
To put it in a nutshell, 3 weeks in a surrounding full of young people who enjoy what they do, like talking, dansing and listening to music (sorry, music girl has left, but I will eventually come back) while working, was a life experience that I will always remember as something very positive ! I thank Eulenhof with all my heart for hosting me for my first Wwoofing-trip.
Maya aus den USA schreibt: This was the greatest way to spend my first time in Germany. Markus and Uli are both open and intelligent people who will make you feel right at home on the farm and can share with you their wealth of knowledge of bio organic farming and more! I have had other WWOOF experiences in the past, but this was by far the best! Your day will include: a wonderful breakfast spread of seeds, grains and toppings for a classic German muesli. After which, you will start farm work by taking care of the chickens and tending to the plethora of vegetables they offer. This includes but is not limited to, harvesting, planting, weeding, sowing and other tasks. Each day there is something new to do and always work to be done. Get ready to be dirty!
After work, there are many activities to do in the area. I spent my time with the other great WWOOFers and FÖJ’s. We would bike to the rhine or even to Switzerland! Nearby, there is a quaint town to explore, Waldshut. There are many farmers markets and festivals that Markus and Uli will attend and you can go as well. They also support any activity which you may want to share - I started a mural in the villa! I even ran a 5k race while I was there too! If you ask, you can have German lessons as well;) Get ready to have some fun!
All the Best to: Uli and Markus. As well as Leo, Lena, Mballow and Felix!
Jaqueline aus Deutschland schreibt: Staying at Eulenhof was my first WWOOF experience and it couldn’t have been any better. I stayed for 3 weeks and almost every day was a new adventure for me. I enjoyed working on the fields and in the green houses, picking all kinds of different vegetables and learning a lot about organic farming in general. When you are staying at Eulenhof, you will also have to collect the eggs from the chicken and sometimes you will have to hack or weed, which can actually be quite relaxing with the right kind of music. For me it was also very satisfying to really see what we managed to do after a day of work.
Of course WWOOFing is about organic farming but what would the best farming experience be without the people you meet? Ulli and Markus are very friendly, helpful and caring, I really did learn a lot from them and got new ideas I haven’t even been thinking about before. Apart from Ulli and Markus you will meet the team and the other WWOOFers, all of them are really open minded and only after some days you are going to feel like you are part of a big family.
All volunteers at Eulenhof live together in « the Villa », there is lots of room for everyone and also enough space to be creative. You can either improve your cooking skills with all the fresh ingredients at hand, paint the walls in every colour possible or play the piano. Of course there are many more possibilities to occupy yourself with in your freetime: you can play volleyball with Markus and the other volunteers, you can go to the sauna with Ulli and Markus on saturdays or play boules just to name some of the activities. I also loved to explore the surroundings by bike. The area around Eulenhof is incredibly pretty and I never got bored of it. Make sure to spend some time at the Rhein with its clear water.
If you are open-minded and prepared to work in exchange for great food and a cozy home then don’t hesitate no longer. You are going to learn a lot about sustainable farming, make new friends and find a second family. I can recommend it to everyone.
Jacob aus den USA schreibt: I share in the sentiments that all the wwoofers have shared on this website, many of whom have expressed better than I can why this experience cannot be passed up. I write to those that, like myself, only luckily found themselves on this website after discovering the WWOOF program and this specific farm. I have never farmed in my life, and all my travels previously have been ones maybe similar to yours: hostel jumping from city to city, only to catch a glimpse of different places, peoples, and cultures. This experience offers something completely different, and far superior. After viewing the responses on this website, I got my plane ticket with the intention not necessarily to simply sightsee around Germany (which you can still definitely do) but to engage, live, and learn from those that live where I intend to travel. I instead got something better, a family away from my own. I was promptly picked up after stepping off the train, where I was immediately received at the beautiful house and farm at Eulenhof and quickly introduced to Uli, Markus, and the many fellow wwoofers and workers that I would get to know on a personal level.
I never knew travel could be this real. As long as you enjoy working as a team, meeting new people, and participating in something totally new; this right here is the place for you. Within days I canceled my plans to visit other farms because I found a lifestyle so satisfying here that I miss it daily. You will be taken care of like family, always engaged in activities, meals, trips, bonfires, and the opportunity to meet some of the most interesting people you will ever meet. I will never view travel and 'work' the same again. Do not miss out on this opportunity, no matter what background you come from (I've lived in the suburbs most of my life, I'm in the military etc.). My friends and family were very surprised I did something like this, and maybe so was I, but to come here is to find a home away from home.
Maddi aus den USA schreibt: How do I even begin writing about Eulenhof? I do not know if this experience can even be captured in words, but nonetheless, I will try. That was actually a common thing at Eulenhof, it was full of trying so many new things. I always heard Ulli telling me to “Be brave!” anytime I tried something new, and I still do anytime I’m nervous to step out of my box. To be honest, I had no idea what I was getting in to. I have never WWOOF’d before, and I hit the jackpot. I have to admit the other reviews made me more comfortable about just showing up to this new country with no prior knowledge of these people, but now completely understand them. As my friend Clementine states in her review, it is so easy to see why people return now, and I too hope to come back in the coming years.
When you are there, you are completely a part of the community. Ulli and Markus do an incredible job of including all of the WWOOFers in local activities, as well as their own personal excursions. Every week we had an abundance of fun things to do. As the activities manager, I took these events very seriously. We did everything from playing volleyball and boule to having movie nights, fun cookouts with everyone, and even going to festivals - both the town festival and a Jazz festival. Markus was always right there for every activity (Ulli also enjoyed a few with us). I will never understand how that man does everything he does, and still have an abundance of energy. It must be the power tea he drinks (I 100% recommend the power tea).
As for the working, that was rewarding all in itself. I have never known so much about plants, the earth, and organic sustainability before now. I looked forward to work every day. I grew to love weeding and hacking (mainly due to the hacking playlist we all put together on Spotify). I was lucky enough to harvest and work alongside Markus many times. Sometimes we found ourselves in the field, just the two of us, discussing everything from plants to politics. He is an incredible teacher, and was always willing to stop and take a break to teach me about how certain bugs help the plants or how some flowers just appeared, even though he never planted them. He is so enthusiastic and has such a zest for life, learning, and teaching. He even took one evening for two hours to teach me how to drive stick shift (manual). I had never done so before, and after some basics he immediately let me take the wheel. We drove through the town and the patience he exhibited was incredible, seeing as I was not very good. At the end he even treated us to some drinks at a Biergarten on top of a beautiful hill, overlooking pastures (no worries, I only drank cola). He also taught me to drive the tractor. The amount of things I have learned from him in one month, could fill up years of schooling.
Now on to Ulli. She is the fastest woman I have met. It started with the quick response I received when first applying to the farm, to buttering her four slices of toast in the morning and her quick herb picking. I never see her slow down. She does so much business for the operation and being able to observe and contribute was exhilarating. Also, she pushed me further with my German speaking, more than anyone else there. I will miss our long talks in the sauna every week. She was generous with sharing her experiences and even her book recommendations. Ulli was always willing to teach and share, if I showed the interest. I am lucky to have a presence like her in my life. I feel as if I have formed a lifelong bond with her, as well as Markus and the other WWOOFers on the farm. I cannot speak more highly of her. She is one tough cookie.
I guess this has turned into a pretty long review, but I could probably go on forever about my time at this farm. As much as I would like to tell all of my stories here, I will just leave this with one final thing. Thank you Ulli and Markus, for the life changing time at Eulenhof. I am counting down the days to my return.
Sara aus Schweden schreibt: Where do I begin?
Maybe at the small plants we sowed in the beginning of my stay. Felix, the gardener, showed me with a focused smile how to, with one sweep, dig away the soil, put the plant in the hole, and then sweep the soil back again and press. The plants grew, while we cultivated them day by day. And then, a couple of weeks later, tomatoes in all shapes and sizes grew on those plants. A good place to start would maybe be to tell about how much I learned. About eggs, how to see how nature works, how to correctly clean leek fast, how to teach others how to clean leek fast, patience, curiosity, peacefulness, that people can have different views and opinions and you can still have fun together and that it makes you grow!
Or maybe the best way to begin is by describing the house, how it held a warm atmosphere, almost magic. It could be so quiet and still, and also so full of life and laughter. Ulli and Marcus with their positive and open mindset that opened their house to me and us. The good conversations I had with everyone at Eulenhof: the wwoofers, the gardener, the FÖJ:s, Ulrike and Markus, the people at volleyball practice, the cat, the chickens, the plants, with everyone!
I think, maybe, the best place to start is that I never wanted it to end!!!
Clémentine aus Frankreich schreibt: I can only recommend coming to Eulenhof for WWOOFing.
I originally came to improve my German and learn about farming. After one month here, I can say that I improved my skills for both of them. It felt good to do some simple manual work and learn about the beginning of the food chain, discovering more about the German culture. However, this experience was way more than that: being around kind, funny and hardworking people, exploring the area, eating delicious food everyday. There are so many things do to in your spare time: hiking in the black forest, biking or running by the Rhein (even swim in it!), baking (bring a homemade cake for coffee and you’re the new star), play Volleyball or Boule (best activity ever!).
Ulli and Marcus are such kind people, who want you to learn things and enjoy your stay that you immediately feel good at Eulenhof. When I was reading the reviews, I was surprised to see that many people came back, but now I know why, and I hope I’ll be able to do so. In short, if you like outdoor activities, if you are hardworking open minded and willing to come across people from all over the world, Eulenhof is for sure the best choice !
I will just end with a word that I re-discovered here: my absolutely favourite German word ever (and the most useful one): Genau.
Josh aus Australien schreibt: I have spent approximately 2 months working on Eulenhof first in November and again over most of April. Both times have been very rewarding and insightful. Finding Eulenhof has been the best thing I could've stumbled upon, when initially organizing my traveling plans from back home.
The work is exhilarating and rewarding and you are bound to make many new friends not just from Germany, but from all over the world. The food is out of this world, who knew I would be shoving my face full of deliciousness everyday. I can neither confirm nor deny that this might be the best food I have eaten in my entire life......but its up there I'll tell you that!
Marcus and Ulli are so friendly and open and always going out of their way to answer any one of your silly questions you might potentially be thinking of asking. They also both go out of their way to accommodate your needs, and to make your time more enjoyable on the farm, a quality that has stood strong and I have failed not to see throughout my time at Eulenhof. I have come to value that more than anything else, and through respect of them both it makes you strive to be a better worker on the farm.
If Bio Organic farming is an interest of yours, or you love working outside, then this is the place for you. Eulenhof is a place full of surprises and laughter, but also hard work. It is most rewarding to always work with 110% of your energy at Eulenhof. You will struggle and will not like it if you are not committed to working, I guarantee that! It might be a shock initially trying to get into the rhythm of things, but after a short time the schedule of things and how things are done will become second nature to you. If you enjoy working hard outside, in rain, sun or snow then Eulenhof will not disappoint you!
Work includes: harvesting vegetables from the fields, preparing vegetables in the morning for Sedus (chair assembly factory where you will eat lunch everyday), preparing vegetables in the morning for supermarkets nearby, planting in the greenhouses, planting out on the field, hacking weeds, collecting chicken eggs and just general maintenance around the farm.
After collecting the eggs from the chicken stalls in the afternoon you will also be probably stamping eggs for the supermarkets. This usually happens because Ulli, try as hard as she might, sucks at this....so she gets other people to do it for her. :):):):) ULLI HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN STAMPING EGGS???? NOT LONG ENOUGH!!!!!!! :):):):):):):):):)
Marcus is a wonderful source for any farming related informations :) (inside joke) He always has an answer to every question you ask.
Other exciting things that Eulenhof offers: Your very own, totally not useless, electric bicycle licence. With this marvelous high quality piece of paper, you are able then to ride the electric bicycle. Remember to distract Ulli when she's making the licence on her computer. I was able to acquire one without an expiry date. OOOOOO YEAH!!!!!!!
In your free time there are many things to do. A lovely 8 Km running track that crosses into Switzerland is waiting for you! Also weekend forest walks in the hills are great. Also there is the local volleyball night every week in Dogern. But if you suck at volleyball like me, then just stick to running :) Also don't turn down Marcus's requests to join him for his weekly young mens workout training :)
There are many new wonderful people waiting for you at Eulenhof. So don't pass down the opportunity to go there. You will not regret it. I shall be back soon! Thank you Marcus, Ulli, Sarah, Nadine and my beautiful Felix. I will miss you <3
Ayla aus Bayern schreibt: Ich hatte eine unvergessliche Zeit auf dem Eulenhof. Neben dem guten Essen, dem netten Team des Eulenhofs und all den anderen wunderbaren Menschen denen ich in meiner Zeit auf dem Eulenhof begegnet bin habe ich in einer beträchtlich kurzen Zeit unglaublich viel lernen können. …div. Feld- und Gewächshausarbeit; wie Jungpflanzen im Gewächshaus setzten, verschiedene Samen säen, Salat und Kartoffeln pflanzen, einen Steinofen bauen, Kurkuma, Süßkartoffeln und Ingwer anpflanzen, verschiedenste Kulturen ernten und richten, Beikraut hacken, uns um die Hühner kümmern und und und. Die Arbeit empfand ich als organisiert und fair.
Neben all den Arbeiten, die auf einem Hof so anfallen können, kamen regelmäßige Sauna besuche nicht zu kurz. Auch das anfeuern des Eulenhof-Teams bei einem Marathon ist keine seltenen Wochenendsaktion. :P Außerdem habe ich eine unglaublich tolle Erfahrung gemacht, indem ich mit Markus und zwei FÖJ-lern zusammen eine Woche lang gefastet habe. Sehr empfehlenswert ist außerdem eine Wanderung im Schwarzwald und eine kleine Schwimmrunde im Rhein.
Vielen Dank für die schöne gemeinsame Zeit. Und allen zukünftigen Praktikanten wünsche ich eine schöne Zeit. Genießt es! Alles Liebe für eure Zukunft.