Gateway into a different world

Jun 20, 2023

Lottie Rowlatt had never WWOOFed before, neither had her two children….

I heard about WWOOF a good number of years ago via word of mouth. I wasn’t in the right position at the time, due to family circumstances, but this has now changed. My passion to be close and living with nature guided me to WWOOF. I had ‘numbed’ this in the past as I wasn’t sure how I could live this way. You can go camping and be in nature, but I wanted to learn more, to understand how to be more sustainable.  It has been a massive urge for a really long time.   

Joining WWOOF has been a gateway into a different world.

It has been really cool to get this experience as we live in a small flat with no outdoor space. I am not in a position to own land but I really wanted to learn about sustainability, especially growing food, as I want to move towards being self-sufficient. WWOOFing is a good way to learn lots of new skills that I know I will use in the future. It is also enjoyable, brings me into the moment and meeting interesting, like minded people. I wanted to learn from those already doing it.

I found a host where I could take my 2 children, aged 9 & 6. A beautiful old farmhouse with 35 acres of land with a number of different projects on the go. There were various tasks that we could get involved in, which was nice.  I learnt some new skills, including growing vegetables and so did the children. The hosts also had children. It was a way that I could connect with my children away from the everyday commitments of life, it was like an adventure.  We want to do it again soon. 

It is really important to get children out into nature, connecting with the planet, seeing how food is grown. It is important to teach the next generation. Taking the children did have its challenges as I had never travelled alone. I needed to split my time with being productive and the child care aspect (e.g. kids getting bored or needing food!) I respected that the hosts were willing to open out the opportunity to volunteer with children as it is so important for the next generation to learn these skills.

We had a video call with the host family before we went, this was really reassuring and I knew I wanted to spend time with them. We got to talk about stuff beforehand, the benefits far outweighed any doubts. The thought of not being able to go held more fear for me. Taking a leap of faith worked out really well!

I am already talking to another host as we plan to do it again over the Summer, we are really looking forward to it!

Many thanks to WWOOFer Lottie Rowlatt for sending us the voice recording from which we transcribed this article.

Photos: Big thanks to Lottie Rowlatt

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