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Topic-icon WWOFers, but not strictly organic

  • sandgrubber
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07 Jul 2018 13:12 #540827 by sandgrubber

I'd love to be able to offer room and board in exchange for a few hours work a day. The WWOF movement looks attractive, but, much as I believe in sustainable land use, I think a lot of organic credo is poorly based in science. Eg, I'm comfortable using herbicides to eliminate invasive weeds, and I think some modern, highly targeted insecticides/fungicides are ecologically preferable to some products that get stamped organic.
Question: Is there anything like WWOF that isn't so doctrinaire?

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07 Jul 2018 14:49 #540829 by jeannielea

try v
Volunteers Base or Helpx NZ
I think they cover both organic and non organic and the for has no joining fees. You would need to look at their websites to see if there are reviews for them though and if they are what you want.

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07 Jul 2018 17:37 #540837 by tonybaker

I am a WWOOF host and it does not matter if you are organic or not! It's more about an exchange of ideas so that they can learn and get free board in return. If you run a commercial operation you can't engage wwoofers or "volunteers".


5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, ducks, Kune Kune pigs, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
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11 Jul 2018 12:44 #540916 by spoook

tonybaker wrote: I am a WWOOF host and it does not matter if you are organic or not! It's more about an exchange of ideas so that they can learn and get free board in return. If you run a commercial operation you can't engage wwoofers or "volunteers".


I understand that you can not have travellers if you are making money and using the worker as free labour. IRD want their slice of the pie in that case. If you are teaching/training them I have the feeling that is deemed different.


There are no bad questions only those that are not asked.
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11 Jul 2018 15:11 #540918 by tonybaker

no, teaching/training can still be regarded as work. You will find helpful info on WWW.WWOOF.co.nz . It's probably ok if you are not running a business on your LSB, otherwise it's risky.


5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, ducks, Kune Kune pigs, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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12 Jul 2018 17:01 #540922 by Blueberry

And be very specific in your wording what you expect your wwoof-ers to do, and what you offer in exchange. VERY specific! Cover everything: the type of work, the hours expected, if you expect them to help with household chores on top of that. And write down if you do not want to cater to specific diets (some 'special diets' can be very demanding, be it in additional work or additional expenses), if smokers are ok or not - everything you can think of. We used to host Wwoofers, but not any more, i have friends who still do it, and they make me really glad i'm not putting up with it any longer.


[;)] Blueberry
treading lightly on mother earth
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13 Jul 2018 23:22 #540941 by Stikkibeek

I have a friend who hosts wwoofers. He picks them up from the airport. He cannot stand the french youngsters he's had. They are rude and jabber away rudely in front of him in french and seem intent on sleeping rather than working. One lot raided his spirits supply when he was out buying them food. He dropped them back at the airport the next day and left them to it.


Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
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14 Jul 2018 08:56 #540946 by tonybaker

there are plenty of sad stories about hosting wwoofers, but I must say that in the 20+ years I have been hosting them, the bad ones are few and far between. In fact, my partner came as a wwoofer and I was lucky enough to persuade her to hang around for the last 9 years!!
Hosting really is a big test of your people skills. You have ample opportunity to read previous reviews of potential wwoofers and you can choose accordingly. If you think you are going to get a cheap bricklayer, landscaper, plumber - forget it. What you can get is youthful energy, interesting company and better organisational skills. You have to have your work planned out, with different jobs for wet days, and be prepared to work alongside them.


5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, ducks, Kune Kune pigs, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
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14 Jul 2018 17:39 #540961 by Wren

tonybaker wrote: Hosting really is a big test of your people skills. You have ample opportunity to read previous reviews of potential wwoofers and you can choose accordingly. If you think you are going to get a cheap bricklayer, landscaper, plumber - forget it. What you can get is youthful energy, interesting company and better organisational skills. You have to have your work planned out, with different jobs for wet days, and be prepared to work alongside them.


I completely agree with this, after having a few Help X helpers stay with us over the last couple of years. You have to realise that you can't, for example, ask them to go and weed that garden bed, because they don't necessarily have the knowledge of what is and what isn't a weed. Definitely read previous reviews or have a good conversation with them before agreeing to host them - we've never had anyone that was rude or stole things, but some were still better than others. But either way by working alongside them you get to meet some really interesting people. I think having an open mind is necessary before you start, but then see if you like it or not.

Having said that, we now favour having the space on AirBnB then using that money to pay a professional/established worker that we know to do the jobs, but it just depends what you are after and can definitely be useful (4 young Germans to split and stack our wood for winter - yes please!!)


Muddling our way through 1Ha on the Christchurch Port Hills, with flocks of heritage chickens, Silver Appleyard ducks, Gotland sheep, and Arapawa goats.

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15 Jul 2018 09:10 #540969 by GBpeter

We use Helpx and Workaway and have found them super - happy to work hard and mix in. Unlike the previous poster we find French ones the best :). It probably helps that we can stumble along in French and German. Both sites have a reference system so you can see what previous hosts have reported.

But can teenagers eat - so stock up and start baking!!

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