Where would we be without WWOOFers? - February 26, 2008

We have been hosting wwoofers for about ten years and have enjoyed  all that the wwoofers have done for us both in terms of work and added richness to our lives.  I would say 99 per cent of our wwoofers have been top quality workers and persons of excellent character.  So few wwoofers have been unsatisfactory that the numbers would be almost neglible.

Our current wwoofer is from Switzerland and has been that type of wwoofer who not only does what she is asked but goes that extra mile. This is because she has a genuine interest in our farm and organics. She has also taught us about fitness which she studied at school and we have enoyed doing excercises with her and learning new moves.  She has brought in creative and practical ideas about making chicken tractors and worm farms. Chicken tractors are temporary pens for chickens to use while digging up your garden beds.  She has helped us improve our computer skills.  Young people are so far ahead of us in this area! She has shared with us her life in Switzerland and some interesting things about the educations system there. It is far more arduous than our school system here.. The children there are at school from seven in the morning until five in the evening.  The high school students have homework which takes them until midnight each night. The primary students also have heavy homework assignments.  There is little time for family life. She feels her system needs to be changed because the children do not have enough time to play and be kids.  I would agree her.

One area we have struggled with is sharing our computer time and phone line with wwoofers.  Finally we decided that as we use the computer mostly in the evening that wwoofers could use it in the morning before they start work.  We have never had a problem with them running up our phone bill as they all seem to use  phone cards which they buy as a prepay.  However they engage the line and make communications hard for us. We are still working on solutions to this problem.  However this is minor and all in all I am grateful for this wwoof system and the people that keep it ticking away for us. That’s Andrew and Jane Strange of course.  I was just thinking today as I walked up the farm, “Where would we be without wwoofers and what would this farm look like if we had never had them?”  I hate to think.

Pam Adam, Wainuiomata