Thursday, 1 October 2009

Wwoof-ing in Canada

Do you know any Wwoofers? Anywhere?

Neither did I until my neighbour, just 4 cottages away from ours decided to become one in April 2009. She is now in Canada and in a month or two will be going on to New Zealand.

Why should a 43 year old midwife decide to up sticks and leave her lovely Flossie doggy with another neighbour for a whole year?

We don't really know of course; her motives could have been many. We think it might be due to stress. Midwifery may well be a rewarding occupation but can, I imagine, also be quite stressful. Maybe she just needed a break; a complete change, doing something new.

And what, I hear you yell, is wwoofing all about? Good question. The simple answer is that it's a voluntary scheme whereby anybody can go and work on organic farms, as an unpaid helper, advisor, worker. All the host farm has to do is supply board and lodgings.

Welcome to the WWOOF program in Canada - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Canada is just one of many countries welcoming wwoofers. In Canada there are some 600 farms that are hosting this scheme.

Would you like to take a year off and start wwoofing? Charlotte did (not her real name) and a girlfriend of hers from Ireland plans to join her in a few weeks from now. I'm sure it will re-charge Charlotte's batteries by the time she returns to her demanding midwifery job in about six months time. We look forward to hearing of her adventures. Her beautiful border collie, Flossie, will also be so happy to see her again.

11 comments:

Land of shimp said...

Philip, I'd never heard of this program. What an excellent thing to do. See the world a bit, and contribute while doing so.

As for why she decided to pack it up for a while, I don't have any real guesses. Perhaps she did it so as to have done something a little bit daring, and fun. Poor Flossie. I hope she gets to see her person again. Still, way to grab life by the horns.

Thanks for introducing me to something I had not heard of before, Philip!

The Bug said...

That's fascinating! It also sounds like WORK to me - I'm always trying to avoid that, as we well know :)

willow said...

Wwoofing is a new term to me. Fascinating program. It does sound like a lot of work, in fact maybe even harder than midwifery!

Argent said...

Oh, there are days, when the ONLY thing I'd like to do is up stakes and go and work on an organic farm for a year! I couldn't though, as my hubs and the cats need me and I'd miss them too much.

DUTA said...

Like the other ladies that commented before me, I've never heard of wwoofing .It sounds interesting and I think it's quite challenging for a 43 old midwife.
She probably has good reasons for embarking on this adventure.

Monkey Man said...

Interesting tidbit. I hope you drop an occasional word on it if you hear something.

Barbara's Spot on the Blog said...

Our family didn't WOOF but we did go to Australia for a year on a Teacher Swap. Dad swapped his job and our home with an Aussie teacher and his family for one year. It was one of the best experiences of my whole life and a great stressfree time.

I hope she finds the complete change a good rest for the soul. Of course being Canadian I know she picked a great country to come too :)

the walking man said...

Certainly is one way to break from the mundane eh? I could spot the whole idea of chucking the fate to the wind. sounds good to me.

Pauline said...

My oldest son went to Spain and worked on a farm as part of the WWOOF program. He learned a great deal, was able to offer a great deal of his own expertise and came home with a renewed respect for true organic farming.

Shadow said...

wow, what a programme. not one i'm quite ready for but who knows what the future brings...

Barry said...

The things I don't know about my own country, astonish me.

Thanks for posting this Philip, suddenly I'm a little prouder of Canada than I was before.