We headed out of Washington on Monday to a new wwoof placement which we were feeling pretty confident about. Despite having only contacted Nathaniel and Cory the previous week we had managed to secure a place on their beautiful farm in south west Virginia for the next few weeks and were feeling confident on our drive down that we would like it. A couple, a similar age to us and with two children, Orla and Patrick’s ages. They are building their own straw bale house and have a small farm with a milking cow, chickens and some goats. No mention of any extreme religious views on their profile… we were sure we would get along fine.
So my lack of posting since is simply because we are having so much fun! Yesterday the weather was so glorious it was like the height of summer in England. We milked the cow called meadow, played in the garden, planted some apple trees, had a campfire, drank their incredible homemade cider and just hung out.
Today the temperature has dropped and the kids and I went to the local library with Cory and her two kids, Leroy and Ember, for story time while rob worked with Nathaniel. The characterful lady leading the session had such a strong accent the boys couldn’t really understand the stories but they joined in with the dances and Orla ran wild and rolled around with a couple of small boys who have a further 11 brothers at home.
We are staying in a funky old Airstream trailer which is right up our street and the wildlife here is phenomenal. There are bald eagles nearby which we are watching out for and there are turtles in the river and the stunning red Northern Cardinals and Bluebirds flitting across the roads. I haven’t had a chance to get my camera out yet so these are all from my phone but it’s such a photogenic place I’m looking forward to getting my camera out soon. It’ snowing now… crazy to have such a change from one day to the next!
I’m so happy to be reading about your positive (and interesting) family Wwoofing experiences. We would love to be able to do this a bit when we travel, so that we have the opportunity to connect with locals and hopefully do something useful, but I wasn’t sure whether we’d have much success with Children. Thanks for sharing your experiences 🙂
We are having a great time wwoofing with the kids and it’s definitely achievable. It is quite different to wwoofing without kids though and we had a lot “to offer” as we have been wwoof hosts on our own farm and have plenty of livestock experience and general farm skills (tractor use, fencing and so on). It is quite a juggle as our kids are so young and there are safety issues to consider on farms, which our kids are quite used to but others would be less so. Accommodation is often pretty basic and you need to factor that in. Both places have had “dangers” which I know other parents would freak out about… you need to be pretty relaxed I guess and sensible to risk assessing.
I must admit that we had never accepted a family while we were hosts although I would in the future if I thought they would be suitable. You have to be prepared for hard work on farms and be flexible to the hosts needs. We really loved being hosts but we also had some bad experiences with rude and lazy wwoofers but that’s given us insight into the needs of the hosts and making sure we are “good” wwoofers.
I would recommend both places we’ve stayed so far without hesitation but we would have applied for far more if we didn’t have kids with us… very few are suitable for us. Luckily we got placements at all the ones we applied for so far. In the UK they fill up much faster. If you want any more information/tips/advice please don’t hesitate to email and I’ll tell you more about our experiences. It’s a great way of travelling and getting the most out of the country/area etc. 🙂
Thanks Caitlin, you’ve definitely given me food for thought, it’s something we will consider. I guess the key is matching up your skills set with the needs of the farm, and of course being prepared to be useful and actually work! 🙂