Permaculture Gardener Volunteer travelling Europe and beyond!

Discussion in 'Jobs, projects, courses, training, WWOOFing, volun' started by Phuein, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Phuein

    Phuein Junior Member

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    Hi :+D

    I'm a 23 year old Permaculture Gardener Volunteer from Israel, with passion for the subject. My agricultural experience is little, but beyond some small experiments and helping others, I have learned all of the Permaculture big texts - including related texts, studied the topic by myself, and visited others who do it in Israel - under a trip around Israel to learn more about this topic, and other life-related topics.

    I'm soon (starting July) starting a backpacking adventure around Europe, with hopes to reach Canada eventually, and am looking for any persons interested in getting the help of a Permaculture Gardener Volunteer for hosting. I do this in the style of Couch Surfing, and am looking to help others everywhere, and doing so expanding my own skills for joy and profit.

    Don't hesitate to contact me in any way! [​IMG]
    email: [email protected]
    mobile: +972-(0)524-881820
    skype: Phuein

    This is an Ecological Adventure! [​IMG]
     
  2. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Not too sure about the "couch surfing" thing Phuein. We are often in need of people who want to work beside us and so learn the process of sustainable agriculture. Your way gives me a picture of someone raiding the fridge and keeping me awake till the early hours with tales of stories they heard on facebook. I'm sure thats not so in your case though.
    We could talk if you plan a trip down under.
     
  3. Phuein

    Phuein Junior Member

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    Hehe purplepear, no worries, with travelers you can get all sorts and types ^_^ Naturally it's a risk, IMHO worth taking when time's available of course.

    I don't know about the "facebook stories" horror scene haha, but my idea was more towards taking the minimum needed for sustaining myself - I actually go with full outdoors gear - and helping with whatever is needed. That's only suitable for someone prepared to host! It's like growing a plant :p Some food, some water, and a lot of love and attention! Not for those with no extra time, no extra food, and no extra water! :) It's also temporary ;) AND it's supposed to be worth it - so if not planned well, it may actually not be worth it!

    I do recommend giving it a shot here and there, and seeing for yourself. It's not a death sentence to host people. (recalls stories of Brazilian side of the family which hosted often.)

    Sadly, really sadly even, I doubt I'll be able to get to Australia quickly :S I've no funds. I'm really dogging in this trip. I'd love Oz and Nz honestly; Would simplify things tremendously.
     
  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Methinks there is a communication issue because of definitions. Phuein a Couch Potato in Australia is a mate who turns up at your place, lies on your couch like a slob, drinks your beer, insults your wife, eats your pizza, and asks for a few dollars to tide him over until his next dole check comes in. (Maybe a slight exaggeration....) Is Couch surfing more like - I'll sleep anywhere if you give me a roof over my head, in return for helping out? Purple Pear hosts regularly and I'm sure they have nice couches. ;-)
     
  5. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    Couchsurfers is a website that facilitates travellers with people who want to meet travellers and give them a place to stay. As a host you have a lot of control over who you take and don't take. I don't see any more risk than the woofing network as long as you are willing to take the time to check people out and know the right questions to ask.

    https://www.couchsurfing.org/

    Phuein, have you looked at the Woofing website? It has hosts who need workers on organic (and permaculture) properties - from home gardens to full size farms.

    https://www.wwoof.org/

    Also, have you posted on the UK permaculture forum? There's probably more Europeans there.

    Sounds like a great adventure!
     
  6. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Thanks for the clarification guys - I still like "Willing Workers" over "couch surfers" though. Occasionally, but rarely, we have time to just chat and exchange cultural bits but mostly it is done while working in the mandalas or elsewhere on the farm. I suppose the scheme allows for participation by people without a farm to run. We do like to interact with wwoofers from many parts of the globe.
     
  7. Phuein

    Phuein Junior Member

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    lol Eco killed me with the couch potato wife insulting definition :p

    Sorry about that purplepear, should have put a link to their site ^^ Yes, couchsurfing isn't about farms specifically. I'm mixing things up, because as a vagabond I'm free to help non-farmers as well :)

    Thanks for the UK tip pebble. I will mention that I avoid wwoof, because I feel there's no excuse to demanding payment for their work. Many other sites replace them, and do so well without enforcing payment. I'm speaking out of experience with their corrupted system. Don't believe the hype ;)
     
  8. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    It works pretty well in NZ. I know lots of people that have woofers work for them. They've always been upfront that it's a work exchange scheme, there's nothing corrupt about that.
     
  9. Phuein

    Phuein Junior Member

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    pebble, a handful of good examples sure :) What I'm talking about is the other handful of bad examples, which people seem to hear less about. Farms which aren't good hosts, and which obviously the WWOOF system didn't filter well enough. WWOOF, supposedly on Organic farms, is very often a sham that includes non-organic farms, and pseudo-organic farms. Talking with world travelers in my journeys in Israel revealed that to me.

    Also, the Israeli WWOOF, which is a person running it here, under the authorization of the global group, charges much more than the original group, and has very poor listings. That's just one local example, easily negating the good NZ example. This complaint is from volunteers and farms alike, which I've personally met. The main group seems to ignore their complaints, and brush them away.

    It's a shame to see volunteers having to pay for anything related to volunteering... The Couch Surfing system which uses different verification schemes, but doesn't enforce them, is a much more appropriate example IMHO for how to do it better. I'm already enjoying it myself. Other websites included.

    AND I am still looking for hosts in Europe for my journey which is very soon to commence!!! :=D Don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like an odd traveler around for a while!
     
  10. Burra Maluca

    Burra Maluca Junior Member

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    How long would you be looking to stay with any particular host? What sort of work would you be willing to do? Are you hoping to develop any particular skills? Are you ok in a caravan rather than on our sofa? Are you happy with humanure toilets and well water for washing in? Can you stand the heat of Portugal in August? Are you travelling in a fancy car that's going to get stuck half way down our track? Do you wear the sort of clothes that are going to be happy getting covered in dust? Can you cope with the noise of the donkey and the guinea fowl singing to you in the mornings?

    I think you know where I'm going with this - send me a pm if you want to talk more.
     
  11. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    I think Phuein your challenge here on this forum will be that there are alot of Australians on here, a number of europeans, but not the majority I'd say?? (correct me?)
     
  12. Phuein

    Phuein Junior Member

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    Burra Maluca, I'll PM you now ;=) Thanks.

    ppp, I know, but it's still the most active and serious board I know of anywhere :) I tried other places, but only here and on Couchsurfers am I getting anywhere.
     
  13. Phuein

    Phuein Junior Member

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    To avoid repetitions, here are my answers to Burra Maluca:
     
  14. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Phuein

    Regarding WWOOF: I can only speak for the Australian chapter, as this is the only one that I have personal experience with. I have WWOOFed throughout Australia since 1999. During this time I have stayed with over 50 hosts, many of whom come directly and fondly to mind even as I write this piece. In every instance, I found my hosts to be welcoming, reasonable, rational, passionate, intelligent human beings.

    I am sorry that you feel hearsay is a better judge of the WWOOF movement/experience than actually trying it for yourself. Perhaps if you were to actually try it you might find that your own experience will be very different from that of others?

    I am glad that you have received a lot of your knowledge about permaculture from reading books. This should give you a very good foundation for any practical work you may wish to embark upon.

    Oh, and since you have studied so extensively from the literature, I am sure you will no doubt be aware of permaculture principle number one? Perhaps you might now like to best serve your interest, and the interests of those that you wish to help, by applying principle number one in a practical manner by actually trying WWOOF for yourself?

    For the record: During 2001 I traveled and WWOOFed extensively throughout Eastern, Central and Northern Australia as part of a 4-person party for a period of 9-months. We were 3 people from Israel, and myself. Very early on during the time we four spent together, the issue of money always seemed to raise it ugly head:

    "How much?"

    "Why so much?"

    "In Israel I would only pay half that much..."

    ...and on it went.

    It got to a point where I was just about ready to abandon my new-found companions, but I decided to instead teach (and learn) by example. Every time I knew we would be going into a situation where my new friends would struggle with the local culture/currency exchange, I would pre-empt their questioning with a thorough explanation of 'why' it was the way it was.

    It took time, but I persevered by using every compassionate bone in my body together with all my knowledge and experience of permaculture ethics, and eventually toward the end of our time together I had 'converted' my Israeli acquaintances from individuals that questioned practically everything concerned with spending money, to individuals that more fully appreciated the true 'cost' of life.

    Here's the link to WWOOF UK. Why don't you try it for yourself? At £20 per-person for 12-months membership, one could hardly suggest it an exorbitant amount of money to pay.

    If you ever do get to Australia sometime in your life, please try WWOOFing here - I can guarantee it will be a life-changing experience for you ;).

    Cheerio, and may your journey be a great one, Markus.
     
  15. Phuein

    Phuein Junior Member

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    ecodharmamark,

    I must say that your post feels like an advertisement for those guys :+P Which name I can't even feel comfortable raising at this point. And what's with the "teaching the Israelis a lesson in life about money" story? That even sounds racist feller.

    Just as you may raise your truly extended experience with wwoofing, many others will share different stories. I don't care about reputation or anything like that... My real main point was that I see involving money with volunteers as a negative thing, in principle - not related to the number next to the currency mark, as low as it may seem at first sight. Let's just keep it at that and move on. I don't mind others spending their money on it as they wish. And I don't mind others asking for money where I don't see it fit. I don't mind going into another thread about it, just rather not here :=S

    I am surely still looking for more invitations to come over and visit and help any house, apartment, or farm which can host me while I vagabond Europe! :+D Should be taking flight in the upcoming week!
     
  16. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Phuein

    Good luck on your journey. I hope you find what you are looking for.

    Regards, Marko.
     

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