Lesley Gorski, long-standing and inspiring WWOOFer, writes: I say ‘up to now’ as I am ‘only’ in my early 70s and hope to WWOOF until I am 80!
I have been a member since the organisation was called Working Weekends on Organic Farms, quite a long time ago, and there have been so many changes in so many ways plus there’s an appreciation nowadays of ‘things organic’ which embraces a significant return to the basics; by which I mean the earth beneath our feet.
I remember learning about the nitrogen cycle in a biology lesson and I was hooked.
But I was a lucky girl; my ancestors were smallholders and my Grandad imparted his knowledge willingly to an inquisitive youngster. Care of his soil was crucial, composting was an art and companion planting was the norm.
Even before the phrase had been coined for the organic movement and the general populous, I was digging bean trenches, turning compost, caring for poultry and other animals whilst growing and learning to respect the circle of life, the seasons and mostly the environment in which we all live.
I still feel privileged to be invited into hosts’ homes and lives after all these years and perhaps over a hundred placements. But, hey, who’s counting?
I have learned so many different skills; practical and culinary, practised languages and passed on my knowledge, if appropriate, as I interacted and aged over the past years.
I am told, often now, that I am a reliable and responsible house, barn, child and animal sitter ‘extraordinaire’. What more could a WWOOFer want at my time of life?
I have WWOOFed in many countries, namely France, Italy, Germany, India, Japan and New Zealand. When I return from a placement I start planning the next!
I am, at this time, organising a few weeks with hosts in the Shetland Islands.
I hope this missive encourages the reader to keep on WWOOFing, at any age, or to try if you have never thought of doing such a thing.
I’ve enjoyed my mini trip down memory lane. Happy WWOOFing!
Lesley is one our very few remaining book members. With the advent of our new website and due to the increasing costs of printing and postage, we decided to stop book memberships from the beginning of 2019.
Everyone who is a current book member can still go WWOOFing but we won’t be renewing or providing new book membership from now on. All of our current book members’ details’ are on the new website and we’ve been in direct touch with them all to explain the new situation. If you’ve got any questions about this please get in touch.