Posts Tagged ‘organic’

STUFF: WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms

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If you are someone looking for a real agricultural adventure away from the “main land” WWOOFing maybe just your thing! WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a volunteer organization that connects individuals with organic farmers from around the world! You can choose your location (as long as they have a spot open in the time frame you are available) and spend anywhere from a few weeks to several months helping an organic farm take on their daily tasks.


“WWOOF is a world wide network of organizations – We link volunteers with organic farmers, and help people share more sustainable ways of living.” – WWOOF Website

“WWOOF is an exchange - In return for volunteer help, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles.” – WWOOF Website

“WWOOF organizations -  link people who want to volunteer on organic farms or smallholdings with people who are looking for volunteer help.” - WWOOF Website

Our friend Chelsea spent a summer on an organic farm in Hawaii and shared some of her adventures in our series; Hawaiian Farm Girl. She learned all kinds of things but mainly enjoyed the hands on experience and falling in love with the land.

If you are interested in participating in WWOOFing please know it’s definitely not for the faint at heart! You have to be willing to do chores of all shapes and sizes including cleaning the chicken coop! Not everything is as flashy and pretty as planting seeds but it’s definitely a great experience to learn what it truly takes to run and organize a working farm.

Somethings to consider (from Chelsea’s experience):

CASH ON HAND: As a WWOOFer you are strictly a volunteer so your time is in trade for free lodging and food (whatever the farm grows). You’ll need to make sure you have saved up money to purchase your plane ticket to and from your location as well as any extra spending cash you might want to travel around the area you are saying in.

TRANSPORTATION: If you are wanting to do a lot of site seeing around the area of your farm location you’ll need to consider transportation. Chelsea had access to a car but it was shared among the other WWOOFer’s and it was only available certain days a week.

FRIENDS: Most WWOOFing farms are typically located outside of town and away from other people. You may want to talk a friend into sharing the experience with you so that you don’t get to lonely. Obviously there are other WWOOFers around but you don’t always know their personality types, if they will even speak the same language as you, and how long they plan on staying. You may like the idea of being secluded but others may want to bring a friend! :)

FREE TIME: The farm Chelsea stayed at required each WWOOFer to work 5 hours a day. This may sound like a lot but chores where done quickly leaving a lot of free time to roam the land. Make sure you bring books to read or other things to help you occupy your time. Depending on if you have access to a car or not you maybe confined to the farm grounds a lot more than you would like. Also, don’t forget to ask about internet access, etc. Depending on the farm location access maybe sketchy and hard to keep in touch with family and friends (if you care to do that!).

EQUIPMENT: Find out what type of cooking equipment is available for the WWOOFers. Chelsea was able to take a isobutane/propane stove that was extremely lightweight and compact. It allowed her to fit a single pot, pan, or teakettle at a time to cook a number of things. Since you are typically confined to eating what the farm grows you may want more options when it comes to preparing the same foods over and over again.

With summer quickly approaching WWOOFing is a great hands on agriculture adventure! Not only does it teach you life skills but you’ll gain a better appreciation for the land and what it takes to grow your own food.

Visit WWOOFing today and find out how you can volunteer at an organic farm near you or across the globe!

From the Farm

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This vs. That: Baby Food

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Feeding our children sure made me take a second look at labels and what I was putting into their mouths as well as our own. How about you? This month I’m listing some differences between buying your own fresh food to make/create baby food at home vs. purchasing the packaged food you find at the stores. One principal to remember when eating any food is the order of nutritional value: Fresh food has the highest nutrient content, frozen is next best, and canned/jarred food has the lowest value of nutrients. Yours and your children’s health will reflect the choices you make in the nutrient content of the food you eat/prepare.

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This vs. That: Eggs

TvT Eggs

We are what we eat…and so are chickens

Eggs, which ones to buy? There are myriads of choices: farm fresh all natural, brown, cage-free, cage-free organic, etc. What about your local farmer? That’s what we are going to look at briefly…

Some definitions for this comparison: Cage-free: chickens are not confined to a small cage, but instead allowed to walk around and forage for their food. Most ideal is in grassy pasture full of different plants and bugs for food. Sometimes this simply means they are grain-fed in a pen outside of a “hen house;” Organic: meaning the chickens laying the eggs are fed on grass that has not been grown with the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers and/or fed some supplemental grain grown in the same fashion;

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This vs. That: Diapers

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Disposable vs. Cloth

This: Disposables
  • Convenient!
  • Easy to fit many babies
  • Not green—most do not biodegrade, are full of chemicals as they are petroleum based
  • Nursery and day-care friendly
  • Poo disasters!…you know what I’m talking about, up the back, into the car seat, out the side of their pants etc. Ick!
  • Common side effects include diaper rash
  • COST–$2500 from newborn to potty-trained, check out this link
That: Cloth
  • Inconvenient? Matter of opinion and lifestyle I think.
  • SO many choices, now just find the right diaper for the right fit on your baby (See the links below).
  • “Green” as they are reusable.
  • Most nursery and day-cares are not-so friendly…but I would love to be proven wrong here.
  • Poo disasters no more! With a good cover (which most are) this is not a problem. They hold the poo in on the back and the legs. BUT what about cleaning the poo off the diapers? — enter modern technology! The toilet spray tool or biodegradable liners that make flushing the icky stuff…very simple.
  • Not near the problem with diaper rash, especially with natural fiber diapers and covers
  • COST WAY LESS! See for yourself.

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This Vs. That: Milk

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Meet Mackenzie,
Since we are not parents yet we thought we’d bring in the “expert” mom to teach us a little bit more about raising a healthy family. From cloth diapers to making her own baby food Mackenzie has the 411 when it comes to organic decisions.  A good friend and one of the most down to earth people you will ever meet, she’ll be showing up from time to time to help us sort through all this “healthy” mumbo jumbo and get to the facts.

Milk—Who’s Your Source?

Ok, so its seems the question at the store is more “Which brand do I buy?” then “Which version?”  Whole, 2%, 1%, skim? The truth is that all of the above are just different watered down versions of the same stuff, packaged with various labels on it, most of the time. I beg to say that the question should be “Where did this milk come from?” i.e.: source and “What type of milk is this?” yes, there is more than cow’s milk out there!

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Fresh and Local: Kansas Farmers’ Market

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A few weeks ago we we’re able to checkout a Kansas Farmers Market while visiting my family. I was overwhelmed by their great selection of produce, homemade bread, jams, plants, and selection of art. This was one market that truly has all things local.


Canning with Grandma: Dill Pickles

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Cale loves Kosher Dill pickles. Unlike the the sweet Bread-and-Butter Pickles he likes the old school sour ones and eats them like french fries. As a fun surprise and a way to save the mound of cucumbers growing on my kitchen counter I decided to grab Grandma’s expertise and try my hand at pickling!


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