The following article was sent to us by Asiyla Radwan who along with her father (Lutfi) and their family are currently Britain’s only organic halal farm:
“We’ve been having WWOOFers on Willowbrook almost since the farm first started eleven years ago. Over the years we’ve accepted volunteers from almost every continent. One of the great aspects of the WWOOF scheme is the diversity of the volunteers it attracts. Just like there’s no such thing as a typical organic farm, there’s no typical WWOOFer either. It’s always fun to find out what kind of experiences WWOOFers have had in other farms, and to wonder what tales of ours they will take with them! As Muslim Organic farmers http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-26020090 we already occupy a tiny niche in the Halal and the Organic market, so it’s great to be able to open our doors to people of various faiths and beliefs and share some of what we’re doing.
Our farm wouldn’t be where it is now without the dedicated help of our WWOOFers. They’ve helped in our (failed) attempt at commercially growing vegetables; with our (successful) chickens and lambs; our open days and camp-site and in building our unique cob house. We’ve been able to draw on the experience of some veteran WWOOFers, and hopefully added to the experience of the newbies!
Willowbrook was set up primarily because of my parent’s ideals. They wanted to be able to grow their own food and farm their own animals, to really know the chain of production and take responsibility for what they eat from field to table. And since we’ve been here, that’s morphed into having our own green energy, building our own eco-house and not just farming, but also living as ethically and sustainably as we can. One of the great things we’ve found as part of WWOOF (both as volunteers and hosts), is that no matter how different or diverse our backgrounds, there’s always a meeting of minds when you get to why we do what we do. That’s why we love having WWOOFers on the farm. Some of us may be travelling around, some of us may be farming in one place, but we all care about the world we’re in and want to make a positive contribution.” Asiyla Radwan, April 2014
Many thanks to Asiyla for this wonderful article which surely encapsulates the very essence of WWOOFing itself.