A host from Somerset shares the story of how she became a WWOOF host
It was very amazing! My husband had just died and I was wondering how I was going to cope with our smallholding. I was still grieving but was persuaded it would do me good to attend a family wedding. Once there I got talking to a distant relative (and long time WWOOFer) who looked me in the eye and said ‘you need to join WWOOF’. The family joke now is that I replied ‘I don’t do dogs!’ Of course he went on to explain what WWOOF was all about and I went home and signed up immediately.
Well – it changed my life! I wish I’d known about it years ago.
I have just had so much help. It is as simple as that really; lots of willing, wonderful, knowledgeable people. Of course there is the occasional tricky character, but I’ve learnt to speak up early on if I don’t think things are going to work out and simply offer to give the person a lift to the nearest train/bus station but they are few and far between.
The whole experience has been truly wonderful and WWOOFing weekends to help with the apple harvest are a regular feature of my yearly calendar. We were a very international crowd and typically deliver over four tonnes of cider apples to be made into cider.
Another host based in Gloucestershire recently emailed a thank you and some photos to all his WWOOFers and copied it to us
Many of you were involved in the massive daffodil planting task and I promised to send a photo or two of the result. I think everyone will agree it was well worth while. The daffodils are now growing over a bank 250m long and look absolutely stunning when people drive past.
Thank you for all your efforts, all those who helped plant the five 25kg sacks over several months. We still have apple juice left (we made 6,600 bottles in the end). The new workshop, the floor, is now finished and is being used. Lots of weeding has got done, hay, sheep, logs. Another big job was planting a hedge. Our small farm is very much your small farm too, and we are so grateful for your hard work, your good humour, conversation, willingness and sense of fun. We have learnt so much from all of you and are still using some of the catchphrases! We feel we have friends all over the world now and we hope you will always remember with affection your time with us here. All of you are welcome should you find yourselves in this part of the world again.
One of our hosts in the North East has a tradition of running WWOOFing Community Camps in June, July, August and September
Camps offer WWOOFers a chance to be a part of a lively temporary community with other WWOOFers from around the globe. Everyone who has been on the camps has enjoyed them very much and the end of camp has always been a sad occasion! WWOOFers on camp, cook, eat and work together. Often there is shared socialising too around a fire, bbqs, exploring the area and skill exchanges.
Yet another host in the Scottish Borders recently told us
We’ve had a fantastic summer up here in the wild and wonderful North, and to a large extent this was due to you! Oh you – WWOOFers and volunteers of all ages – you came from Australia, India, the US, the UK, from France, Germany, China and Spain, and you weeded and chopped and cleaned and cooked and baked chocolate cup cakes and wandered the woods, and you shared your stories and you brightened up each day with your enthusiasm, your energy your smiles and your play.
We hope you learned something new about the world and yourself, and we hope you enjoyed being here as much as we enjoyed having you. There is much, much more to discover, so we hope you come back next year.