This Thing Called WWOOF

Helping out in the gardens, our recent lovely WWOOF visitor...Zoe!

Helping out in the gardens, our recent lovely WWOOF visitor…Zoe!

We have spoken of the WWOOF program many times before. In the organization’s own words; “It is an exchange. In return for volunteer help, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles“. As many may know, we have been a WWOOF host for about 5 years.The visitors who have come to help and be a part of the daily activity here at Fernwood have been a true delight. Of course, the extra set of hands to help with our busy lifestyle….tending gardens and animals, running the nursery, maintaining this choice of sustainability, is a great help to us. Even if a visitor comes to volunteer without any experience in farming or rural living, their enthusiasm and eagerness to help and to gain skills adds to the energy around the farm. Each WWOOFer that comes almost always leaves as a dear friend. We miss them when they leave. For us, the WWOOF exchange is not about ‘free help on the farm’ but becomes a wonderful opportunity to share experiences. We can teach folks about plants and how to raise sheep or about making cheese, and in return we get to learn more about how people choose to live in other parts of the world. Last year we had an incredible WWOOFer from Italy ( Cristina, hi!), a retired attorney from New York (Hi Kim), the nicest, most enthusiastic guy from Columbia ( would love to hear from you, Jaime!), a returning WWOOFer and UNH student (Hannah!! See you in July!), and right now…..Zoe, who we’d like to keep around for the rest of the summer but who will be off to experience another farm and WWOOF opportunity soon. At the end of a long day of weeding or moving sheep fence, there’s nothing better than sitting around the dinner table sharing stories and engaging in lively conversation. We have very much enjoyed being a WWOOf host and look forward to all the new volunteers that find their way to Fernwood! This thing called WWOOF…awesome!

11 comments on “This Thing Called WWOOF

  1. Hi Denise! I’ve been enjoying all your posts! Guess what – I’ve been working part time at an annual flower farm here in RI run by a 90yr young woman and I’ve never been so happy at a job!!! Looking forward to seeing you with Bonnie when I visit this summer.
    Paula

    • Hi Paula,
      Great! So happy to hear that you found such wonderful work…hands in the dirt! Can’t be better. Looking forward to seeing you when you come this way…always a pleasure! Howdy to Bonnie if when you speak with her! Denise

  2. I wish that WWOOF existed when I was young. What a great experience. Lovely photo of Zoe and I love the dog enjoying the grass in the background. Nice to get some rain today. I’m sure your plants are enjoying it.

  3. Hi, it was really nice to read how much you enjoy hosting wwoofers. I’m starting my first wwoof experience as a volunteer in about a month. I’m starting in Wales but would like to get all around the UK.

    • Hi Tom!
      Our experiences with hosting WWOOF volunteers has been a great delight. We just returned from a weekend camping/backwoods hiking trip with our current WWOOF volunteers, we had a wonderful time and loved stepping away from our chores and farm tasks to get in a little ‘R&R’. We feel that the word exchange is key in this arrangement…it is such a great opportunity to share and learn from one another. WWOOF could very well be the exact thing our country ( countries) need to embrace others into our homes and our lives. Hope you adventure volunteering is just as rewarding, I am very impressed with your courage to step out of the box and search for what is important to your happiness and well being…BRAVO!! If you are in Maine, consider a wwoof stop here at Fernwood. Take care and embrace and enjoy,
      denise

      • Hello Denise. It sounds like your really into the ethos of wwoofing. If kids in schools had to do a six month placement on a farm or in a nursery I’m sure things will be different. If I ever make it to the states I’ll give you a shout. Tom

        • Safe travels, Tom. And for certain, if you are on this side of the pond, consider a visit to Fernwood…Maine is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S.
          best, denise
          .

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