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Friday, March 22, 2013

Our Farm's First WWOOFers

As a couple of young farmers, we get a lot done during the day. This year we have been so blessed that we are staying really busy and we've almost reached the point where we couldn't continue to move forward with our business because we were spending nearly all of our 7 day work weeks on farm management and sales. In November, we visited a farm in Santa Barbara owned by a couple friends of ours, Kevin and Lauren Hanson, who are trying to revive an old avocado orchard. They had a group young, spunky, and passionate people out there working happily to help them reach their goals - WWOOFers. I had heard of the program, and loved the idea, but never imagined we had the capacity to open up our farm for work-stays. Kevin gave us the rundown and it sounded too good to be true. We dragged our feet of course, not sure how to provide them with a place to stay, and then got a call from a couple of women who wanted to come work. We threw together an old motorhome with cute thrift store finds, and voila! Jeremy picked them up from another farm in Carmel Valley. The were soon after joined by their friend.

We have had such an amazing experience with them! Since they are our first WWOOFers, we are delighted to share it with you. For those of you who are not familiar with WWOOF - it stands for WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It is a work-stay program designed to connect people with host farms in a mutually beneficial working relationship where knowledge and skills are shared. The program has a chapter in almost any country you can think of, including WWOOF-USA. This is where we get to thank the WWOOF Organization as a whole and WWOOF-USA specifically for creating an environment rich in knowledge and growth that grooms our future generations of farmers, or even just our future generations of responsible citizens!!

Our first WWOOFers came to California from Georgia. Their names are Katie, Brooke, and Chaz - and they have been so helpful! Katie is excellent at gardening, Brooke has a great eye for photography, and Chaz has learned he has a knack for construction. They've all learned to drive manual transmission, how to care for chickens, build coops, and so much more.

We've also had a great time with them: homemade pasta nights, a seven mile hike with the puppies, corned beef and cabbage for St. Patty's Day, getting baby pigs, sightseeing trips to Los Angeles, and game nights. And tomorrow morning we will be milking goats in Santa Barbara with one of our favorite people, Emma Fowler with the Isla Vista Food Co-op, and catching a Jalama Burger on the way home to catch our first hatch of Lavender Orpingtons and Olive Eggers for the year. Life is good. The girls will be with us until March 28th, and Chaz will be here until April 10th. Then we will be looking for our next set of WWOOFers... any volunteers?

For fun, here is a peek at one of the pictures Brooke took with our Canon 50D.


And, as I promised! The winner for the Free T-Shirt from our last blog is Tammy! Please email me with your address and preferred size, and it will ship to you on April 10th. If you didn't win, you have until the end of the month to Pre-Order your Dare 2 Dream Farm T-Shirts! 

Thanks for your support everyone!


3 comments:

  1. I am so excited the girls found you at Dare 2 Dream Farms! It sounds like such a wonderful learning experience for them. As a mom, I was very nervous about Brooke leaving, but knowing she is with such caring and supportive hosts I am so happy for her. I love the pictures Brooke has taken, I agree with you I think she has a great eye!! I hope as the girls move on to their next farm they find more wonderful hosts like yourselves. Best of luck to you and your adorable chickens.
    P.S. Fluff is on the way!!!

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  2. What a great program! I have been following Brooke on her adventure through Face Book and it makes me wish I were young again because I would be there next to her for this wonderful experience. Your farm looks wonderful!

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  3. Hi There! Are you still looking for farm volunteers? Our family is from Goleta and are looking for experience. We love nature and small livestock, have three young homeschooled children, and own a design agency. We have a trailer and could provide our own housing :)

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