Thursday, June 19, 2014

WWOOF Canada and Worldwide

Unlike slugs in the garden, my article on slugs has disappeared so I'll have to find and re-post it. Sorry about that.

Today is a very wet one with 40mm of rain expected in the next 12 hours or so and maybe some thunder showers too this afternoon. So what do you do with wwoofers who are wanting to work and learn but can't because of the weather? You give them homework. Now as many of you know, not all work at a farm is outdoors but at this time of year most of it is field work which can be made near impossible by heavy prolonged rain. And I'm not sure I want to be out sloshing over my fields today anyway. It's true that work doesn't stop for the weather but we have to be practical. The animals are fed and bedded down except for a few brave roosters out for a walk and the turkey toms who have only just decided that it's not going to stop raining so they'd be best off indoors. What we've decided to do is clean their cabin, empty the toilet, maybe sort out the tool shed a bit and read up on Humanure. Part of being a wwoofer is learning about life on an organic farm and at our farm it's about composting. Here's the link if you'd like to read all about why composting toilets are so terrific in the Humanure Handbook. We have a basic humanure toilet plus an very fancy Sun Mar model and given the choice I think the bucket method suits me better.

I know I've talked about wwoof before and how great it is to meet young people and have some far help. With Steve gone, Chris working and the kids in school it's always a struggle to get things in the ground and they've been really helpful with planting. This rain is great at least for giving everything a good soak so we won't need to water for the next ten days or so at least. As soon as it stops we have apple trees to plant, berry bushes to go in and an orchard to rescue. We're going to take down the standing deadfall for firewood and get our piles stacked properly for drying. It should be fun and lots of work. 

WWOOF, as an organization and an idea isn't new. Although you may not have heard of them, there have been many schemes over the years to train up new generations of farmers, provide education and help young people find their own path in life. Here's an interesting video about one such scheme in England.

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