In November 2012, just over a year after we had moved home, we hosted our first WWOOFers. the Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) program is an Australian creation (although it has spread far and wide now) where travellers can visit with hosts in their home, and in return for some work they receive accommodation and meals. In country areas work carried out often allows the traveller to count the days towards their Second Working Holiday Visa which requires 88 days work in a rural area. For us (and many hosts) it provides invaluable help.
My husband runs an IT business which finances our lives so he is working on that a lot of the time and with a young son, I find that to be productive on the gardens and general renovations can be quite difficult. This means that WWOOFers are especially appreciated! Our first couple were fantastic! They stayed for 9 weeks and even house-sitting for three of those weeks while we travelled to Brisbane for a family Festive Season which makes a big difference in the height of summer – without someone around to look after the plants and animals we would not be able to travel much at all in the hot weather.
While these first WWOOFers were here we did a lot of work with Slate – finishing the shade house floor, the woodheap floor and getting about a third of the entertaining area done. We also worked a bit on some stone masonry for the outdoor kitchen and they made our first cobblestone path… inspiring many more paths to come.
We said goodbye to those first travelling friends in January 2013 but we’ve stayed in contact with them and hopefully they will both be back to visit sometime in the future!