My Wwoofing Experience Thus Far (1 Viewer)

We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!
D

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I deleted myself
I'm slowly going to edit it a bit for grammar and layout over the next few days as i have time, hope you don't mind!

By all means please.
Glad to have finally finished it, and that's cool, thanks for featuring it
 

TChungMayMay

Burrito fund contributor
StP Supporter
Joined
Apr 12, 2015
Messages
33
Location
California
I'll chime in here too - I did WWoofing last year as a way to get fed between jobs, since I ended up leaving my summer job about a month before I'd planned to and needed to stay in the area. I had a fantastic experience and a kinda meh experience, and I'm definitely planning to do it again in March.

Fantastic experience was at a small farm up in New Hampshire. The lady running it was great and super excited to have some help - they don't get a lot of wwoofers there, since they don't really encourage long stays and don't have space for more than one (or two if you're together) people. I got up at like 8am every day and about half the time, was upstairs in the kitchen before she was, which was nice. We tended to work 4-5 hours and then stop for lunch and I'd have the rest of the day to go do whatever. She and her husband took me along when they went swimming at the local lake, which was super cool, and I helped her out at the farmer's market and got a really neat look at the life of tiny rural NH town. She fed me basically all I wanted to eat, even got a couple of extra groceries for me since I have some weird allergies to common foods, taught me how to make jelly, showed me a shit ton about natural growing herbs since she'd just kinda let that stuff flourish in between the stuff she was actually growing, and in general it was super cool. I didn't feel taken advantage of at all - yeah, she's getting 4-5 hours of free labor, but she's also feeding me, giving me a sweet room in her house, hosting me in a part of the country I wouldn't have gotten to see otherwise since it's so rural and all private land, and teaching me a bunch of stuff I wouldn't have known. So I called that one a win.

The second farm was a homestead farm, also in New Hampshire. It's a young couple that just bought the land a couple of years ago and are in the process of setting it up how they want it. They had a couple of large terraced beds with a bunch of different things all in together, some chickens, and some goats, and I think they were planning to expand further once they get a bunch of downed trees dragged out and a pond dug. They both worked full time during the day, so they'd just leave me alone and trust me to do 4-5 hours of work on my own, on whatever projects they'd left a list. They were really nice, and definitely accommodating regarding food - since they both were gone all day they left the house open and were just like "make lunch whenever, don't leave a mess please". They had three beds for wwoofers, a queen in one room and two twins in another, but I was the only one there at the time. I was a little lonely and didn't really click with them - they were nice, but definitely the type of "young, foodie, have finally made it to the middle class, /normal/, et cetera" type you see in a lot of food scenes and our interests didn't really overlap. They also didn't *quite* represent what I'd be doing correctly - I was under the impression that I'd be helping them with construction stuff mostly, since they were working on a tiny house. In actuality, I spent the week doing way, way too much weeding out of season and some other frustrating tasks that would have gone better if they'd been more experienced and taken care of things at the proper time instead of letting it get out of hand. So it was pretty meh and frustrating for me, but I can see how other people might've enjoyed it if they more into having the freedom to roam around unbothered and less worried about doing 4-5 hours a day of not super interesting tasks in exchange for food and access to their kayak (which was part of the deal, but it was cold enough that I wasn't interested).

I'm planning to do it again in March for a month or two, probably on different farms, and honestly, it takes a bunch of stress off of me, knowing that as long as I can get to a place to woof I can (likely) get a hot meal and a safe place to air my bedding out, if things go to shit or if I'm traveling cross-country and don't want to spend money on food.
 

SEMICHRIST

Wanderer
Joined
Jun 6, 2015
Messages
87
Location
Somewhere
Website
thesemichrist.wordpress.com
@stukovthetuna thanks for sharing man, sounds like a great formative experience, and you learned the most important lesson of all; when to leave. its been the #1 thing I've learned travelling, and applies to jobs, houses, girlfriends, family, anything.

great info and painted a good picture for me of wwoofing.

where you from in Louisiana? I'm from Lafayette myself.
 
D

deleted user

I deleted myself
@stukovthetuna thanks for sharing man, sounds like a great formative experience, and you learned the most important lesson of all; when to leave. its been the #1 thing I've learned travelling, and applies to jobs, houses, girlfriends, family, anything.

great info and painted a good picture for me of wwoofing.

where you from in Louisiana? I'm from Lafayette myself.

Hammond, but I'm not originally from LA, I've been returning here because my family is here and I can get good work easily. Lafayette is great, probably the best place to be in Louisiana.

@TChungMayMay thanks for sharing, I can relate to that a lot. Your experience sounds alot like mine. Mostly meh, but if I have food and free time to just be its good.
 
Joined
May 28, 2015
Messages
261
Location
Florence, South Carolina
Great post :). I've done the whole WWOOFING thing a number of times.
I was gonna post my own thread about my experiences, but I figure I'll just chime in here, instead.

First place I went this year was a farm/bed and breakfast up in Maine. I'd just hitched across the country and found myself in the mood for some good old fashioned work trade.

The good:

Excellent food. The hostess was an amazing cook. Fresh, organic veggies, lots of quality meat, and they cooked a final supper when volunteers left. These were usually real special and fancy. The volunteer got to pick. The couple leaving when I arrived cooked fresh lobster. Amazing food.

We were also within hiking distance of the ocean. Again, the property itself was beautiful.

I got to spend two months hanging out along the Maine coast FOR FREE. I also met some seriously bad ass people, like this one kid who just finished hiking the Appalachian trail. We hit it off great and we still touch bases. He invited me to visit any time I pass through his state.

The accommodations were cozy enough. Nothing too fancy; just little one room cottages with beds and lights. But hey, I was fresh off the road and used to sleeping behind abandoned buildings or bushes. It wasn't a big deal at all.

The man of the farm ran his own little garden where he grew hundreds of pound of veggies to donate to the local food bank, which was awesome.

The bad:

I don't know what it was, but I wound up clashing horribly with the hostess. She was known for having a strong and sometimes difficult personality.

She wasn't a bad person, and she could be pretty generous and thoughtful, but our communication styles and general natures just did NOT work well together.

For instance, I was assigned a spot of the herb garden to weed with another volunteer. We get out to the spot, and neither of us can make out what is a weed vs. an herb or bush. Not wanting to pick perfectly good plants, I go in to ask the hostess what we should weed and what we should keep.

She was having a cup of coffee inside with two volunteers who were done for the day.

"Why, weed the weeds," she said.

Uhm. Okay. She already seemed kind of annoyed with my presence, so I went back outside and told the other volunteer what she said. We shrugged and proceeded to weed only what we were certain was a weed.

The hostess got mad at us for not weeding thoroughly enough.

It continued like that a lot; I would misunderstand her about something, or she would snap at me for leaving crumbs under the table and forgetting some beets in a pot on the counter.

"It's getting to be a pain in the ass reminding you to clean up after yourself. You would drive roommates crazy."

It got to the point where I felt generally uncomfortable and very awkward around her. I'm sure I did things to annoy her, but I really tried to get along with her better.

That was really the main problem, that and the fact that she kept giving me more and more boring jobs. It got to the point where I was on my hands and knees, weeding a single patch of violets for the full 6 hours of my allotted work time, while the other volunteer got to do more interesting things.

It was odd, and she really wasn't a bad person. We just could not seem to get along. Incompatible personalities, I guess.

Anyway, winter was approaching. I hitched out to New York State where I found work on a goat farm for the cold season.

The good:

I was MUCH more compatible with the hosts. I didn't have any issue getting along with them, and they loved the quality of my work. They also were not the types to lose their tempers over crumbs and coffee drops.

I ALSO GOT TO WORK WITH GOATS AND COWS!! I love animals, especially goats. They trusted my competence with their animals so much that they paid me to farmsit for them when they went on trips.

I handled several animal escapes, and after that the man of the farm started calling me a farmer. It was sweet. They were both very warm people.

The man of the farm taught me how to use some power tools and how to cut lumber with a bow saw. They were very willing to gear the work toward my areas of interest.

The hostess drove me to town on my days off, plus they lived within walking distance of a huge national
park, where I hiked to when it wasn't too cold.

The bad: Really not much that was their fault. It was just sort of isolated out on the island during the winter, and the Northeastern cold can be bitter.

I'm out and about traveling again, but farms were a good way to end last year.

WWOOF is really one of the best hosting programs you can find, totally worth the yearly rate. I recommend it highly, but it's good to share experiences and read them because the website is pretty filtered when it comes to reviews.

Good luck and WWOOF hard (if you want) :)
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2017
Messages
1
Location
85 Grand Street, Croton on Hudson, NY 10520
WWOOF might be an awesome volunteer program that is user-friendly and accessible too all, but that comes at a price. You've got to do your own vetting, no agency to filter out bad farms. Below is an account from me, a mom of a WWOOFER, to an ECO-RESORT in TRINIDAD.

"NO LOVE LOST"

This is an account of an incident during volunteering at Casacita Eco-resort, from the parent of one of the first WWOOF students to this “farm”. My son and his classmates (high school seniors) made their selection and signed up here, offering volunteer labor to a resort-farmer setting up her establishment, without any recommendation or sponsorship of their school or any parental guidance. The expected organic tree fruit farming, organic fruit jelly making, and the cleaning up of the beach in preparation for turtle nesting had allured enough the kids who left for the adventure with excitement. Casacita’s hostess’ initial enthusiasm and positivity upon receiving her new volunteer students came to a screeching halt, upon the very first instance where the boys in turn, needed her, to volunteer her own support and assistance.

It might have been the unfamiliar and foreign scent of all three American teens that attracted the numerous insect bites, but one of the three, after 2 days at Casacita became infected by (what turned out to be) a mosquito borne viral disease, that caused dramatic swelling and pain in his ankle and foot. In the next couple of days the symptoms quickly progressed, accompanied by headache and numb arm, raising the alarm of parents back home who had been seeing photos of the affected leg, covered with bites.

The hostess advised the boy to take shared medication in the form of prescription anti-inflammatory drugs which instructed by the parent he refused to take. When under the guidance of his pediatrician the student requested to be seen by a doctor for antibiotic treatment, it took 4 hours before the hostess was able to get back to Casacita to bring the boys to the local hospital at 1 am. He was dismissed without getting proper attention by a doctor and after x-rays confirmed there was ‘no broken bone or other ligament damage’ …Duh! An injury or accident had not happened nor had ever been a complaint of the student! The discomfort from the symptoms, obvious concern of the teen himself, was met with visible irritation and grumbling, that soon became loud, drawn out berating of the teen, blaming him, in front of four other people, for “childishness”, being a hypochondriac, and inconveniencing her while she had meetings, a school test the next day, and private business.

At this point, the teen’s parent back home quickly arranged an earlier return flight, and the student made it to the airport by taxi.

Back in the US, the symptoms progressed— no appetite, fatigue, vomit, sore throat, extended fever reaching 103.6°, red spotted rash covering the torso, neck and limbs. A dozen blood tests from numerous clinic and hospital visits over the course of the next two weeks were not able to pin down the exact type of tropical disease he has been infected with. Now, a full month later, the disease seems to have run its course, with symptoms subsided.

I am writing this as a witness bystander to the events. Throughout the ordeal, the hostess’ hands-off approach, defensiveness, quickness to blame, and condescension towards the U.S. parents were the most surprising to me. In one voicemail left after the teen had left for the airport, the hostess said there was “No love lost”.

It might have been the hostess’ belief that she offered a free trial stay at her resort, testing impressive menu plans— but as the farm was not yet established, and not yet actual farm work to be done, the teen volunteers were not earning their keep in labor.

My son and the third classmate arrived home safely, 5 days later, with lukewarm sentiments. Lessons the teens might have learned while clearing underbrush and removing debris on the property, recreational trips to the tropical beaches and touring the Trinidadian cultural activities, seemed dampened and offset by the displeasure and lack of support their host had shown towards their comrade who was in need. I believe all 3 had shared lessons in understanding responsibility, togetherness, and trusting of authority versus trusting oneself.




Great post :). I've done the whole WWOOFING thing a number of times.
I was gonna post my own thread about my experiences, but I figure I'll just chime in here, instead.

First place I went this year was a farm/bed and breakfast up in Maine. I'd just hitched across the country and found myself in the mood for some good old fashioned work trade.

The good:

Excellent food. The hostess was an amazing cook. Fresh, organic veggies, lots of quality meat, and they cooked a final supper when volunteers left. These were usually real special and fancy. The volunteer got to pick. The couple leaving when I arrived cooked fresh lobster. Amazing food.

We were also within hiking distance of the ocean. Again, the property itself was beautiful.

I got to spend two months hanging out along the Maine coast FOR FREE. I also met some seriously bad ass people, like this one kid who just finished hiking the Appalachian trail. We hit it off great and we still touch bases. He invited me to visit any time I pass through his state.

The accommodations were cozy enough. Nothing too fancy; just little one room cottages with beds and lights. But hey, I was fresh off the road and used to sleeping behind abandoned buildings or bushes. It wasn't a big deal at all.

The man of the farm ran his own little garden where he grew hundreds of pound of veggies to donate to the local food bank, which was awesome.

The bad:

I don't know what it was, but I wound up clashing horribly with the hostess. She was known for having a strong and sometimes difficult personality.

She wasn't a bad person, and she could be pretty generous and thoughtful, but our communication styles and general natures just did NOT work well together.

For instance, I was assigned a spot of the herb garden to weed with another volunteer. We get out to the spot, and neither of us can make out what is a weed vs. an herb or bush. Not wanting to pick perfectly good plants, I go in to ask the hostess what we should weed and what we should keep.

She was having a cup of coffee inside with two volunteers who were done for the day.

"Why, weed the weeds," she said.

Uhm. Okay. She already seemed kind of annoyed with my presence, so I went back outside and told the other volunteer what she said. We shrugged and proceeded to weed only what we were certain was a weed.

The hostess got mad at us for not weeding thoroughly enough.

It continued like that a lot; I would misunderstand her about something, or she would snap at me for leaving crumbs under the table and forgetting some beets in a pot on the counter.

"It's getting to be a pain in the ass reminding you to clean up after yourself. You would drive roommates crazy."

It got to the point where I felt generally uncomfortable and very awkward around her. I'm sure I did things to annoy her, but I really tried to get along with her better.

That was really the main problem, that and the fact that she kept giving me more and more boring jobs. It got to the point where I was on my hands and knees, weeding a single patch of violets for the full 6 hours of my allotted work time, while the other volunteer got to do more interesting things.

It was odd, and she really wasn't a bad person. We just could not seem to get along. Incompatible personalities, I guess.

Anyway, winter was approaching. I hitched out to New York State where I found work on a goat farm for the cold season.

The good:

I was MUCH more compatible with the hosts. I didn't have any issue getting along with them, and they loved the quality of my work. They also were not the types to lose their tempers over crumbs and coffee drops.

I ALSO GOT TO WORK WITH GOATS AND COWS!! I love animals, especially goats. They trusted my competence with their animals so much that they paid me to farmsit for them when they went on trips.

I handled several animal escapes, and after that the man of the farm started calling me a farmer. It was sweet. They were both very warm people.

The man of the farm taught me how to use some power tools and how to cut lumber with a bow saw. They were very willing to gear the work toward my areas of interest.

The hostess drove me to town on my days off, plus they lived within walking distance of a huge national
park, where I hiked to when it wasn't too cold.

The bad: Really not much that was their fault. It was just sort of isolated out on the island during the winter, and the Northeastern cold can be bitter.

I'm out and about traveling again, but farms were a good way to end last year.

WWOOF is really one of the best hosting programs you can find, totally worth the yearly rate. I recommend it highly, but it's good to share experiences and read them because the website is pretty filtered when it comes to reviews.

Good luck and WWOOF hard (if you want) :)
 
D

deleted user

I deleted myself
Just a edit i made just now i was for so dumb reason nerves to post, in case so of the earlier comments about wwoofing being exploitative/waste of time...

Edit:
I didn't state this earlier, but this farm also landed me a job cleaning out a grow-op which the pay was 4 Qs of some of the best weed id ever smoked. On top of the smoke they hooked me up with to take to my camp whenever i wanted. Honestly this farm and farms like it are the saving grace of WWOOFing.
 

Timothy Englert

Wayfarer
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
42
Location
Buffalo Ny
Website
tenglert.com
I stayed at Steven Gaskins The Farm in the 1980s. What a sub cult that was! After a week they said I should leave which i gladly did..I was preaching against white sugar [which like many cults, they used a lot] and it did not go over too well. My hitch hiking pacifist anarchist pure food days...LOL
 

CelticWanderer

Vagabond
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
269
Age
28
Location
Augusta GA, USA
I used helpx to farm hop from GA to CO. Had really nothing but great experiences. Pretty much got adopted by a family in arkansas haha.
After backcountry with the CCC next year i plan on using that money to go walk across ireland, using helpx as i do but also to get deeper into the culture and community.
Maybe if i get the gumption ill write a post about my time doin the helpx thing.
 

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