In my earlier post I have mentioned, I have never worked in a farm before, so I decided to give it a try when I was touring North America.
I’m glad I made a decision to try WWOOFing. I had a wonderful 3 weeks stay at the Weller’s Farm, Stanstead, learning how to cook new dishes, as well as, feeding the cows, making wood into lumber, making apple cider and many more, and of course foster new friendship with the Farm Owners.
During my stay in the farm, the farm owners had provided me with amazing food and a cozy bed in return for my work at the farm.
Back then, I had intended to travel, see a little of the country side and yet do not want to hurt my wallet, so WWOOFing was perfect for me.
Tempted to go WWOOFing?
Here’s the Dos and Don’ts to give you a heads-up.
- DO Establish what you want to gain from the experience
There are various types of farms. Some farms might be rearing livestocks, while some might be more on agriculture. What would you like to do? Would you like to learn to milk the cow? Or would you like to learn how to grow the vegetables? Streamline on what experience you would want to gain from WWOOFing and then find that farm that could provide you this experience.
- DO Plan Early
It’s always good to plan early. In summer time, some farms might require more manpower, whereas during winter, less farm require assistance. Many students do consider WWOOFing during there Gap year. So plan early and get in touch with farm owners to ensure your space.
- DO Set Your Timeframe
How long do you want to be working in the farm and traveling around? How long do you want to spend working on a farm versus traveling by foot? As a WWOOFer, you might have afternoons, evenings and weekends free, but you will have to be ready to work in the farm again by morning. Do check out what is around the farm, plan well and do inform the farm about your plan.
- DO Exercise Caution and Diligence
WWOOFing with the farm that you are going is kinda of like speed dating. As you choose the farm and the farm choose you, you will be staying there for quite a period of time. Exercise caution and diligence. Have enough correspondence with the Farm Owners to assure your own safety. Make sure you have check out their website, what they do, and also check their credentials alongside with reference from other past WWOOFers.
- DO Be Prepared
Bring along things that you think you will need to use in farm. Like old clothing etc. WWWOOFing is all about staying in a farm. It means you have to work, get down to the field. Harvest those fruits, vegetables or help clean up some places. Be prepared to get down and get dirty. Be prepared to take orders from Farm Owner. Be prepared and go with the heart that you are there to learn what you can and give what you can.
- DO Be interested & Proactive
In a farm, that could be many things for WWOOFers to do, like pull the weed. Help to carry cut wood. Be interested and participate. It helps to make your WWOOFing experience much nicer. If the farm have not tell you what to do, ask. Everyone loves a proactive person and it will make your stay much more rewarding too. Good idea to let the farm know what you are good in or what you will like to learn. It is much easier for them to plan and a much enjoyable time for you too.
- DO Be Willing
You might be a city child. Give yourself a change to try something new. Yes, you might be uncomfortable, but be willing to learn. The willingness to do things is what bring greatness in life.
- DON’T Expect 5 Star Accommodation
This is a farm. This is where the farmers stay. You might be given a cozy bed or you might have to pitch your own tent and most likely you will be sharing a bathroom with many others. It’s all part of the adventure.
- DON’T Expect Routine Work
You could be helping to harvest the cranberries today and help with wood chopping day after. Works to be done in the farm depends largely on the season. Take heart, work and help as much as you can.
- DON’T Think You Are A Cheap Labour
You are not a cheap labour. You are volunteering in exchange for food and accommodation. What ever that is provided to you is hard work of the farm family. We need to give respect to that. You will learn that when you WWOOF.
- DON’T be a Tourist or Loner
Have fun! Join in the chat with the family. It’s all in the experience! Other than learning about Farm, you can learn alot more things about philosophy, art, culture and many more. Get to know your new family better. It feel so much better to be working with family than stranger.
- DON’T Take Chances
If you are not comfortable with operating, example, a tractor, tell the farm so. Do not risk your life. If you think it’s dangerous, don’t do it. Make sure you have your own medical insurance prior going to a farm. And also ensure safety first. You came in one piece, so leave in one piece too.More details about WWOOFing, click here.
Have you tried WWOOFing? Are there any other DOs and DON’Ts? Let me know.