Any WWOOF hosts out there?

Discussion in 'Jobs, projects, courses, training, WWOOFing, volun' started by christopher, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Hi,

    We have been hosting wwoofers for a long time and have had fantastic results. With people from Japan, New Zealand, Australia (superior wwoofers, FYI), Canada, US, Mexico, England, Ireland, Scotland, Beligium, Holland, Germany, Austria, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and a few others.

    This has made our farm move forward fastly. I would suggest it is a good way to move forward for many people, especially ew farms with ambitiouss plans.

    We are on the WWOOF Australia and WWOOF independents list.

    Anybody here involved in WWOOF?

    Best,

    C
     
  2. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    g'day christopher

    writing form the prospective of a wwoofer who is having a hiatus, i'd like to offer you the following:

    wwoofing here in australia, as an australian, has been one of the highlights of my 'alternative' life to date. every 'host' (family, farm, suburban block, ic, mo, individual) that i stayed with during my time as a wwoofer all contributed to what i believe is the true meaning of wwoofing; to foster cross-cultural relationships and to deepen the understanding and raise the level of consciousness of those that arrive on your doorstep as to the wider issues and implications of living in a heavily degraded environment.

    together we shared some of the greatest emotions known to humans; compassion, empathy, sheer joy, bliss, and not to forget, pure love. whether it was creating food forests, revegitating degraded landscapes, building homes from reclaimed timbers and incorporating in to them materials that were low in embodied energy, to 'merely' visiting some of the most breathtakingly beautiful places that only a 'local' could know about, you (as wwoof hosts) do a fantastic job, no matter what part of the world you reside.

    I offer my full support and encouragement to each and every one who has ever contemplated becoming either a wwoofer or a wwoof host. get out there and do it! you have nothing to lose, and a whole lot to gain. sharing is one of the greatest and most powerful of ways to create inner peace for yourself, and for those around you. i look forward to the day when we become hosts, and i look back to the days of when i was a wwoofer with the fondest of memories.

    peace and good will to all the wwoofers and wwoof hosts out there in the world, may you all experience a return on your labours a million-fold.
     
  3. Cornonthecob

    Cornonthecob Junior Member

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    I haven't as yet..but next year am going to spend four lots of one week (hope that makes sense!) with a family who have an organic farm near Noosa (Sunshine Coast)...am looking forward to it.

    Will report on how it goes.

    :)
     
  4. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    good on you cornonthecob!

    you are guaranteed a great time!
     
  5. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    We have really been blessed with WWOOFers. Great folks, mostly younger than us, either taking time off from college or getting ready for c0ollege, or, just graduated (we think philosophy majors all end up being wwoofers).

    My MIL was here and we had 6 wwoofers from UK, France, Belgium, US and Denmark. She asked at dinner why they were here, working their asses off on our farm. She could understand what was in it for us, free labour (we explained that there was a lot more than just free labour in it for us...), but what motivated them?

    One of the wwoofers, Jessie from Netherlands (oh yeah, Holland, too) said "well, we get to travel around from place to place, meet nice people, get off the road and see some place, and for us, this is really valuable. Thye work is fun, too...."

    Even our bad woofer stories (we have had a few wing nuts over the years) have made excellent stories after a month or so... :lol:

    Our farm has benefitted hugely, and the stone part of our house was built using mostly wwoofer energy. Out farm functions to a large degree on wwoofer energy...

    Corny, you are going to have a great time!
     
  6. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    I have spent more of my adult life than not being a wwoofer and I agree with everything ecodharmamark said.
    I have often thought, that a great way to save the planet would be to get all the disenfranchised, unemployed youth somehow involved in wwoofing. It would really speed things up in terms of earth repair, and save a lot of money spent on the war on drugs...
    Having said that, it ain't all peaches and cream, is it? The arrangement can be horribly exploitative (on both sides of the arrangement) if everyone involved doesn't have pure motivations. I am now in a position where effectively I am a glorified wwoofer, coordinating and hosting other wwoofers, and I think that over the whole span of my experience I have suffered more expoitation as a host than I ever did as a wwoofer, if that makes sense. (insert rolling eyes dude) Still, I would never hesitate to recommend it to anyone and everyone at any stage of their lives. I believe that wwoof changes the world for the better!
     
  7. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    true, richard, "...it ain't all peaches and cream". however, if people (both as hosts and wwoofers) are going in blind, then who do they have to blame?

    I've heard the stories, both from here and os. one such story sees a group of rather timid folk being ordered to work for up to 10-hours a day, and for their labours? they were 'paid' in frozen pizza and lice infested sleeping quarters! thankfully these stories are few and far between (well, at least here in australia).

    when anyone is considering either becoming a wwoofer, or a host, one needs to take into account all possible scenarios, then work back from there. hopefully, by applying some judicial work in searching for a host when studying the handbook (i was forever flicking through mine and honing my skills at 'matching' myself to the thousands of hosts on offer), or 'screening' potential wwoofers when receiving their initial 'contact', both host and wwoofers can usually find the time spent together mutually rewarding.

    i've been very lucky, i agree (or very astute), but i stand by my claim that of the dozens of different wwoof hosts i spent time with, not one of them exploited me in any way. likewise, i always tried to be mindful of the 'culture' of any given host, and always asked plenty of questions at 'first contact'. this is the simple platform that wwoof provides - a system to match yourself to others for the best possible outcome.

    sure, i guess wwoofing could be a bit of a 'hit-and-miss' venture for those going in 'green'. I imagine all the years i spent on the road hitching, and the fact that i've only ever wwoofed in my birth country, have contributed to my ability to 'pick the right ones'.

    like you, richard, i've also found myself filling the role of wwoof 'facilitator'; working between the host, and the wwoofers on some of the larger properties. and no doubt like you, i've seen some pretty silly things done by wwoofers at times. Once again, i have not seen hosts reciprocate these actions - i would not have been there in the first place if this was the case. could this stupidity be blamed on the host or the wwoofer? i say, blame should be layed squarly at the feet of the person who was responsible for the act of stupidity.

    example: wwoof host implores wwoofers not to ride cycles into town on this particular night; wwoofers have been (over) indulging in intoxicating substances, and the weather report predicted severe storm front approaching. wwoofers go to town anyway. outcome: storm arrives, river floods (as they do in this particular part of the world), wwoofers create 'issues' at local pub, call host for support. host takes wwoofers gear to pub (after crossing flooded creek) and deposits gear on footpath outside of pub, takes bikes and returns to site.

    the above scenario could have been avioded if wwoofers had only bothered to listen to 'local' advice. but, once again, i've seen very little of this kind of thing, almost entirely due to judicial selection of hosts (and those same hosts selectively chosing suitable wwoofers).

    having expressed all of the above, i would still encourage anyone to take up the life of wwoofing, either as a wwoofer or as a host. i still believe that it is the most beneficial way of obtaining mutually rewarding outcomes between travelers and farmers (or blockies, housies, unities, you get the drift). use the information you have available to you; thoroughly screen potential hosts, or wwoofers for that matter; be very clear in expressing your needs and expectations; but above all, be prepared to be challenged, stimulated, possibly indoctrinated, maybe even incarcerated (well, maybe not that one), and definately, most definately, be prepared to work AND have fun!

    cheerio, richard, and all. may you all find wwoofing to be the absolutely life-changing experience it has been for me.
     

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