Why go Wwoofing? (And What to Look Out For)

IMG_1141[1]Wwoofing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is something I’ve always wanted to do. and I can finally check it off my list! It was, overall, a fantastic experience that I would do again if I ever wanted to travel cheaply and volunteer at the same time. I became a Wwoofer through Wwoof USA but there is also Wwoof International and, for some reason Hawaii is special with their own Wwoof Hawaii. I started Wwoofing in North Carolina unsure of how long I’d tour, whether I’d travel to other states or not. Turned out, I loved North Carolina farms so much that I stayed for the whole two months! Below is a list of reasons why Wwoofing is a great experience, followed by things to expect/be aware of.
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Roots

My favorite part about walking around Blue Heron Farm is the houses. I see the way people have established roots, some of them deeper than others. There is a little twelve by twelve cabin inhabited by a man who spent only $1000 to build it. The house has all the basic needs, shelter, a stove, a toilet, a shower, and a bed. So few check marks on a short list of needs. And a lot of those needs are rough definitions: A toilet, meaning a hole in the ground, a shower, meaning a hose hanging on the back of the house, and a bed, meaning a mattress sitting on a wooden crate.

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The Travel Test

The first weekend Taylor and I traveled alone together was to Montreal for the Osheaga Music Festival last August. Towards the beginning of the drive, I was eating a cookie and using the paper directions on my lap as a plate to catch the crumbs. When I was done, I rolled the window down to let the crumbs out and with no regard to how fast we were going, leaned the papers into the wind. They instantly flew out of my fingers, disappearing behind us.

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House Sitting Times

For the past few weeks, Taylor and I have been living and working on Blue Heron Farm as Wwoofers. For the month of December, we are house sitting for our neighbors, who are away visiting family. Built by an old farmer, the house is cute and cozy, although, quirky and simple, in lack of traditional comforts. Fortunately, Taylor and I are used to living without things like plumbing and heat.IMG_1240

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My New Appreciation for Spinach

Meredith, owner of Granite Springs Farm, took a mesh bag full of spinach out of the washer machine. It’s a common practice among the local farms, to wash vegetables in a bathtub and put them on spin cycle in the washer.

Spinach at Granite Springs grows both outside and in the hoop house. It was the first time I had ever seen spinach before sitting in bags in a grocery store. Growing up, it just appeared in my fridge, and my whole life I never wondered where it came from or what it looked like before that point. Working on a farm, I find myself infantile. My questions of, what’s this? This is broccoli? These are brussel sprouts? THIS is SPINACH?!IMG_1147
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