Has anyone done WWOOF with young children? - Mothering Forums
Talk Amongst Ourselves > Has anyone done WWOOF with young children?
lolar2's Avatar lolar2 04:30 PM 03-18-2011

I have a 4 yo ds and we're hoping to start traveling more now that he's older. Any experiences, stories, etc.?

rhianna813's Avatar rhianna813 04:52 PM 03-18-2011

What's WWOOF?

lolar2's Avatar lolar2 06:18 PM 03-18-2011
rightkindofme's Avatar rightkindofme 09:39 PM 03-18-2011

I haven't done it yet myself but friends tell me that you totally can do it with young children if you are willing to put some effort into finding amenable host families.  Many love having kids around. :)  I will follow you in a few years.  Right now my youngest is only 6 months so I've got a while to wait. 


meemee's Avatar meemee 09:38 AM 03-19-2011

i have quite a few friends who have done wwoof (they are organic farmers) and they have met traveling families all over the world. So it can be done.


is it the farming aspect that interests you also or just the travelling aspect. 


however a word of caution. i would go check out/work at a local farm before you take your 4 year old to see if he is ready for the experience. 


depending on where you are (if you are in weather conducive area) you should be able to find farms within maybe an hour away that will be willing to house you and feed you in exchange for work you would do at harvesting time. some will even pay you a little bit. BUT you have to sign up for the harvesting period - or a significant part of it, not just a weekend. 


you can even find these farms looking for help on craigslist. 


there are many others you can do too - (i am looking at this internationally) earthwatch (environmental), house building (i know friends who have done this and are doing it, but i dont know what they are called). its something i want to do too with dd once i can come up with the money for plane tickets. i am in school so a few months in summer will be great. 

lolar2's Avatar lolar2 03:36 PM 03-19-2011

Thank you so much. There is a WWOOF place, I saw, just under an hour away from us, so we'll try that first. I think it will be at least a year before traveling anyway, for money reasons. I also saw that different places have different time commitments required.


ETA: I am interested in both the farming and the travel aspects. I admit I'm a little worried that I might be an incompetent farmhand.

meemee's Avatar meemee 03:51 PM 03-19-2011

Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post

ETA: I am interested in both the farming and the travel aspects. I admit I'm a little worried that I might be an incompetent farmhand.

the only reason you might be incompetent is if you refuse to do the job. harvesting, planting, watering - you dont need a lot of knowledge to be effective, but boy oh boy you have no idea how much you will learn. 


i work with a couple of urban farms and some local gardens growing food. am in teh process of doing that in my own backyard. you'd be surprised how much i have learnt from the people around me. and how much, how much respect i have for farmers. they are like teachers and childcare workers - rather even worse off at the way they are treated and how much money they make. 


princesstutu's Avatar princesstutu 04:08 PM 03-21-2011

Good luck!  I was going to start WWOOFing next month with my 13 month old, but I've decided to wait a bit longer.  I purposely only contacted the farms that said they were kid-friendly.  A couple got back to me.  It's a busy time of year. 


I think I'm going to just volunteer for a few weeks this summer in my state instead of WWOOFing it across the country (the original plan). 


Good luck to you!

goldingoddess's Avatar goldingoddess 09:06 PM 03-21-2011

I WWOOFed with a dog...not quite the same, but similar in that it really severely limited the places that would take me.  That however ended up not being a problem because I loved the first place I went to so much that I ended up staying for 4 months and then going back twice more.  I would tell you where I WWOOFed, but unfortunately she sold her farm in Oregon and moved to the Midwest.  


As for being an inexperienced farm hand, I wouldn't worry about it at all.  I knew nearly nothing, but learned how to build a chain link fence, set post holes, milk a goat, care for llamas, cook for large groups, the list goes on and on....of course I did also spend A LOT of time picking weeds which takes near no skill at all.  Best of luck!

maplesugar's Avatar maplesugar 10:27 AM 03-22-2011

We would like to open our farm to wwoofing soon, and would actually prefer people with children. It would be such a great learning experience for kids, and we have kids ourselves, so obviously there is an advantage. Good luck with this great program! We would love to encourage all the young future farmers in this age when the average famer is over sixty yeard old.

princesstutu's Avatar princesstutu 11:29 AM 03-22-2011

The average farmer is over 60 years old?  Wow.  I had no idea it was that bad.


I love the concept of WWOOF.  I definitely plan on being involved. 

nathansmum's Avatar nathansmum 01:43 AM 03-23-2011

I would love to do this - part of me would love it as a family thing, but equally, in my dream world I'd take a year out and travel on my own that would be pretty cool too. Internationally would be just awesome! Was just googling and found an article on the top 10 WWOOFing spots lol.