My eyes started to form fine slits, inadvertently responding to my internal clock, otherwise referred to as stress enzymes. There was light, it was faint, but the sun was making an appearance through my oak trimmed window panes on the third floor of the antique farm house. I laid there for a moment, taking in my surroundings, for everything was new, this was my first full day on Cassida Family Farm in Belfast, Maine; 2 hours north of Portland and just a few minutes from town, the ocean, and best hiking trails on the Mid-Coast of Maine.
A busy day is upon me: berry picking, racking, cooking, and maintaining the organic gardens to mention a few; five to seven hours a day (morning or evening, or divvied between the two), 5-7 days a week, for however long you choose. There are over hundredths of farms to pick from—wineries, flower gardens, vegetable or fruit gardens, livestock etc.—internationally or within the United States—and it’s as simple as signing up for a membership of a small fee and contacting the farm to your preference.
The day was warm and somewhat musty. It was early August, and fall was just around the cobblestone bend, hang a right, and if you’ve passed the cherry stained fruit stand, you’ve gone too far. Metaphorical butterflies fluttered around my stomach on berry intact vines. WWOOFers generally spend a half a day on the farm, learn about sustainable agriculture, and end their day interacting with others on the farm, enjoying locally home-cooked meals, visiting a festival or fair, sitting around a fire, and enjoying live music. Room and board is provided to each and every WWOOFer.
Many of us are avid organic “life-goers” but do we know why we eat what we do? What processes are involved and where it all comes from? No, I’m not talking about the local co-op down the road. That’s just another step along the “veggies, fruits, beauty products, and animal supplies we purchase on a farm-to-day basis” chain.
Become a WWOOFer and “be part of a worldwide effort to link visitors with organic farmers, promote an educational exchange, and build a global community conscious of ecological farming practices.” As described on https://wwoofusa.org/ visit the site to learn more about it. “WWOOFing is a way to learn practical farming skills, be part of the organic agricultural movement, and experience the heart of American culture.” Learn how to grow vegetables, keep bees, work with animals, build straw bale homes, wine making and much more.
As yourself this, “Do I want to live somewhere breathtaking, for free, learn about everything I stand for, and discover the root of my American culture?” “Do I need inspiration and want to offer up a green thumb to sustainable agriculture?” “Do I have a week or two to spare in this one, effervescently beautiful life I live?” If you answered yes to any of these (which I’m sure you did because you’re reading this article) then I suggest taking a chance on something that could alter the rest of your hipster living, recycled bag carrying, animal worshiping, Mason Jar collecting and coffee addict life. Learn what it means to be “Organic”.