Fuggo (Fiona) King is a host (Lower Arboll Croft) and Regional Host Contact for north Scotland who travelled all the way to mid-Wales to join us for this year’s Members’ weekend and AGM. We are very grateful that she sent us her impressions.
I was delighted to be able to attend this year’s AGM weekend at Old Chapel Farm in Wales. It is so much more than a formal meeting. While many staff and directors needed to gather for council meetings (which we were invited to observe) and the AGM which all of us attended, much of the discussion was around the fire, over amazing home-grown and -cooked organic meals. I was welcomed with hugs by those I know only via email and phone conversations and I truly wish we could all have stayed longer. The family and resident WWOOFers at Chapel Farm took great care of us and shared the amazing and inspirational work they are doing. The whole weekend was very inclusive, informative and inspiring.
There is a delight in realising that everyone I spoke to was genuinely interested in what I was saying and that I was genuinely interested in them. I have so many new leads to follow, like a detective in a ‘how to have a happy and fulfilled life’ mystery!
Everyone seemed willing to share their interests and passions. Some overheard snippets of conversation told me that people were finding out they had friends in common, shared intersection points in their life histories and possible future links and projects being seeded, fed, watered and nurtured. The open space discussions were well guided and allowed as many as possible to share ideas and solutions for some of the more challenging aspects of WWOOFing and hosting. I came away with an overall feeling that members and staff are engaging in a healthy and open-eyed manner to help WWOOF become a household name and a signpost of good practice in small community growing and farming. As someone who has chosen to live in a remote area, I welcome all these facets of learning and I am looking forward to the next AGM weekend.