I learned so much on Falster Farm. Not only did I learn about agriculture and the operations required to run a farm, I also caught a glimpse of a dignified and rewarding way of life. Early starts, hard work and a warm family home; these, I discovered, are three core features of the family farm way of life. There are no short-cuts to get the job done; the animals won’t feed themselves, the vegetables won’t weed themselves and the crops won’t harvest themselves. You either put the elbow grease in to get the job done or the job doesn’t get done at all. But all the effort is worth it when you can see the results of your labour; putting good food, fit to eat, on the tables in people’s homes in our market.
I learned how to handle short and long guns, ride a working cow horse, cook in a gourmet manner, and principles of manly honor.
The work was often both mentally and physically challenging. The perseverance required to overcome these challenges strengthened me and helped to foster in me both a sense of direction and fulfillment. My experiences on the Falster place led me to work on other farms and ranches, both in Texas and over here in England. I have called back for help on decisions and always get the help I seek. Karl and Nancy are an inspiration to me on the path of pursuing a profession in agriculture. Equally important, my time on Falster farm taught me much about motivation and personal responsibility, giving me wonderful memories I won’t forget.
─ Adam Dexter, London, England
Falster’s Farm, the quintessential place of harmony. I had the liberty of spending the summer of 2004 on the ranch when it was still located in Cibolo, Texas. I can genuinely say I credit the time I spent there with molding me into the adult I am today. Hard work, focus, and an abundance of patience (which is difficult to come by as a young man) all contributing to the inevitable progression in personal growth that occurred there for me. I think one of the most interesting lessons bestowed upon me was one of patience and planning and how to ask a question.
I had been given the task of filling the water for the horses and cattle in the corral. One would expect that to be rather simple. Unfortunately for me, unscrewing a hose from a faucet was, in fact, extremely difficult. I spent a good three or four minutes, wrenching, punching, doing really anything I could think of to try to get it to loosen, and to no avail. Finally, Karl walked over and asked me to set the hose down, and stop and look at the task I was trying to complete. He further explained that I should picture the task at hand, and imagine the intended conclusion. From there, visualize yourself completing the task at hand, and ultimately reaching your goal. I did this, and he then proceeded to show me a slightly different (different, being intellectual) method of the apparently difficult concept of “lefty loosey, rightey tightey.” He then set it back down, and asked me to unscrew the hose from the faucet, and after a brief second or two of struggling, the corroded hose end came loose. I look back at that now, and though at the time it may have simply been a hose and faucet, it’s turned into many, many situations since then. Everything from computer viruses to rolled over Jeeps out on the trail. I can’t express enough how grateful I am to have been able to spend that Summer with the Falster family. But I suppose extending my thanks to their family is a good start. With that said, thank you, Falster Farm, for a lifetime of priceless lessons.
─ Kenneth Morris, New Orleans LA
How important it is to work together, how motivating it is to work on a project as a team and not just on your own. Suddenly you are able to do things you never imagined you could do. It also became clear how everyone profited so much from each other’s knowledge, experience and point of view. Falster’s sharing their knowledge with us, encouraging us to put to use our individual skills. I learned so much talking to the many people that came to visit or that we visited.
It really made me think how much potential there is if you only reach out to other people, share your knowledge, listen to what they might have to contribute. We humans truly are team players
Also, I realized how important it is to really discover your passion. Watching Karl and Nancy working so freely and being so very passionate about it, really loving what they do and having their very own “mission”…that was very inspiring.
- Respecting nature, the animals’ welfare, and the environment
- Really committing to your work, feeling responsible, giving a 100%,
- Community! Opportunity! Good Food! Yes, that’s what they taught us.
— Katharina Lueg, Heidelberg, Psychology student
— Anna Sandmeir, Heidelberg, Psychology student (both for our masters degree)
And we both already graduated from our Bachelor’s program, so we’re Bachelors of Science (B.Sc.) in Psychology
My experience at Falster Farm was very educational. Around every corner, every task that was assigned, there was the gift of new knowledge. Whether it concerned tractors, cattle, chickens, pigs, beekeeping, or sauerkraut there was always something new to glean and two very patient teachers (i.e. Karl and/or Nancy) to help me grasp the concept(s). But to my surprise, farming knowledge was not the banner that my mind hung over the archway of this experience.
The concept that your life, your day, your farm, your plans, and you need to be fluid—this is what I carry with me from Falster Farm. The idea that plans are essential to guide, but to truly be productive, keep the farm going and to keep your family going you must be willing to change your plans. The ability to adapt to the situation is essential. Doing whatever task you are able, wherever you see the need, however you are able to accomplish that task. The Falsters taught that this is truly at the heart of making your dreams and passions a reality.
—Lydia Stuart, Virginia
After being on your farm, I discovered that what I definitely want is having my own farm with chickens. I miss the taste of your wonderful fresh eggs. I try to buy the eggs here in Zurich from a farmer at my village and not at the grocery store. I also want to try making the sauerkraut again. In general I try to buy more food from the local farmers.
I have actually wanted to own my own farm since I was a little girl and I still can see my future like that.
I hope I get the chance one day to visit you again. Next time you two come to Switzerland, let me know!
Thanks again for everything!
— Chuny Yondhen
I had never been to Texas before and I had never actively lived on a farm before my stay at the Falsters. As a double stranger to that world (being French and a city person) I saw, smelled, tasted and learned many different things I won’t forget and that for sure makes who I am today. I know now that farming is working but it is not « a work ». It’s a choice you do, a way you engage yourself in life. It is a way of life made of work, respect, sunshine and good food (and lots more). Something I’ll keep with me from the Falsters is: make your plans, be flexible, trust yourself and adapt it to your way (needs). Life is a fight you win when you do something you believe in.
— Marine Peixoto, Paris France.
I would say that staying on your farm gave me a profound appreciation for the true value of even a few hours of good solid work. After being on your farm, all other work has seemed much easier, and goals appear closer within reach. Let me know if you need anything else.
— Sloane Tribble, California
During my time at Falster Farm, I was amazed at the breadth of working knowledge and subject matter expertise that Karl and Nancy proactively shared with us regarding bio-dynamic farming, animal husbandry, and living a self-sufficient lifestyle. The knowledge that they imparted to me, serves to further bolster my determination to start a small farm of my own that would use the same environmentally friendly farming practices adopted by Karl and Nancy. They opened their home, their hearts, and their minds in a way that is so very rare in today’s society. As a result, the volunteers are offered a one-of-a-kind education that could never be matched at a university.
— Nikko Quiggins, Houston, TX
It’s difficult to point out specific things during my stay, as so much was new to me: America, Texas, the South etc. But learning to work with the cows was great, just managing them as a natural lot of cattle, ranging around in nature and on no grain. Of course my learning to ride (experiences) with the cow Pony “Folger” were also something I cherish. Otherwise, just everyday life. Ooh, my project—building the Earth Oven, working with you guys (sorry the Yankee expression) was rewarding.
— Bo Frick, Sweden
It was a great experience been as a woofer in your farm. The experience of building the Hay Bunker with Bo, learning to weld, has made me to reflect a lot about future sustainable projects that I want to implement in my country (West Africa) as soon as I graduate from her at Earth College in Costa Rica.
— Mohamed Jan Jalloh