The Harvest Festival

Don’t ask me how I ended up there, but the other day, I found myself on a community farm outside of a small village that was outside of our already intimate town of Toledo.

I had been invited to a “Fiesta de vendimia,” or a harvest festival of some sorts. Even though I have never actually been to a harvest festival, the first thing that comes to mind are images of plump pumpkins fresh from the pumpkin patch surrounded by barrels of hay, that may or may not be set up as a hay maze, and hot apple cider for all. Not knowing what was in store, I showed up without expectations to this annual grape harvest.

I soon learned that this farm was not just any farm; it was a community farm, a part of the international work away community, in which free spirits and eclectic souls come together in their shared vision to live communally and work collectively. Some individuals have worked at the farm for 7 years, while others have only been there for 7 days. Some grew up in northern Spain, while others have traveled from Bulgaria and Australia. Nonetheless, all are welcome. There is housing, food, and two slack lines set up for all who come with an open heart and a bright smile (and who don’t mind getting a little dirty out in the field).

 

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Grapevine (Somewhere in Spain)

Within five minutes of my arrival, I was out in the vineyard picking fresh grapes from the vine! The family buffet-style lunch included freshly baked bread, homemade pickles, delicious cheese, and an assortment of meat dishes. I even had the chance to fly with two of the AcroYogis who were working on the farm that day!

 

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Freshly baked bread (Somewhere in Spain)

Throughout my day on the farm, I noticed that everyone accepted my presence there, even as a stranger, which is different than the big cities where most people tend to ignore you and in small rural villages where many people tend to question you. The welcoming and tranquil energy of this communal farm took me back to Maui for the day.

I am grateful for this authentic experience that showed me that there indeed exists a unique “aloha spirit” here in Spain.

Paz, Amor y Felicidad,

Rowan

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