Posts Tagged ‘WWOOF’

I don’t like to put negative, ranting posts up.  However, sometimes it’s best to let things out into the world in order to detach from them.  So I will get this out once and for all before these negative, mean thoughts snowball in my head and I end up accidentally running the tiller blades over someone’s foot.  (Jokes, I don’t believe in violence).

I would just like to declare, for those under confusion, that the F in WWOOF stands for Farms.  Willing Workers on Organic Farms or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

And last time I checked Webster’s, farms are defined as being outdoors.  Obvious fact, I know, but just to doubly clarify for all those WWOOFing or thinking about WWOOFing (i.e. signing up to work on organic farms) below are the things that you can find outdoors:

  • Sunshine.  The sun creates heat; which produces sweat, which intensifies the longer you stay in the sun.  In other words, working on a farm will be hot and sweaty. The sun is kind enough to have this effect on every human being, so please don’t act like you are the only one that the sun is shining down on.
  • Bugs. They live outside; everywhere.  They will be all around you and will crawl on you as long as you are outside working in their territory: the dirt.  If youcannot handle bugs, I suggest not signing up to farm.
  • Dirt.  It is the foundation of the outside world.  It is the foundation of farming.  It is impossible to avoid getting dirty, muddy, and dusty while farming.  DO NOT wear your favorite cute outfit while farming–or even bring them to the farm.
  • Nature.. and nothin’ else.  On a farm it is just you vs. nature; you vs. those big logs in your way; you vs. those roots that need to be dug up; you vs. all the work that has to be done.  There are no magic tools or people (slavery was abolished ages ago) that will do all the work for you.  Therefore you will have to use your whole body –all your muscles– to do all the work.  That’s why it’s called manual labor.

It will be hard.  You will get hurt.  Get over it.

That’s it.  Thanks for playing.

Read Full Post »

Hello West Virginia.

That’s right. I said goodbye to Washington DC, a job, a sweet house, great people, and a boy…to transplant myself to West Virginia and hula hoop barefoot in the grass on a Tuesday afternoon.

Why, you ask?  Well, the hula hooping was not the main objective, although a nice perk.  Nor was the prospect of settling down in good ol’ West Virginia.  However, the mission to spend my Tuesdays barefoot in the grass has a lot to do with why I am here.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am into food.  Not like a foodie into food. But like a farmer into food.  I want to learn how to grow it more efficiently and more harmoniously with our Earth.  I want to make sure its healthy for my body and my planet. I want to learn how to make sure it gets to those in need of it; those that are getting short changed somewhere along the food distribution line.  I want to empower people to grow their own food and fight for fresh food; people living in projects, ghettos, rural hellholes and kids stuck in the school food freak show called the cafeteria.

My interest and work in the environmental and activist movements (and lots and lots of reading) has led me to this point.  I’ve spent the past year and a half reading, volunteering and learning as much as possible about agriculture and the slow food movement.  Now it’s time to dive fully into this path that is calling to me. And if you know me at all, you know I get inspired, I get motivated and then I go for it.  So here I go.

I packed up all my shit once again and set off on the first step of this food journey — learn how to grow it.

What does this have to do with West Virginia?  Well there happens to be a lovely community of people out here that grow food sustainably and organically on a beautiful 350 acre piece of  property.  I found out about them (the Claymont Community) through this fantastic organization, WWOOF, that has been around for 40 years and provides a way for people to work on organic farms all over the world in exchange for knowledge, food and housing.

So I plan to hop around by WWOOFing, volunteering and apprenticing on rural and urban organic farms throughout the States and South America.  All the specific locations are to be determined, and the amount of time I will be farm-hopping is up in the air. But one thing is certain: I’ll be spending my days barefoot in the grass, with my hands in the soil, soaking in every single experience on this journey — even the hula hooping.

Read Full Post »