I've just signed up for my first go at wwoofing and thought I'd introduce myself.
For the past 7 years I've been squirrelling away funds for a quinta of my own but always had the nagging doubt in my mind about whether I could manage with the limited experience in farming that I have. A friend told me about wwoofing over a beer one night and I saw the opportunity to learn by doing whilst also getting used to the laws, customs, language and culture of another country. So here I am!
I'll be 33 later this month and have spent most of my life fighting the daily grind in England's second city. The best memories I have are spending summer holidays at my Uncles farm in Wales, and it is these days of clean living that I hope to recapture as I escape the rat race.
I plan to spend all of next year travelling the country, seeing first hand which parts I like the most. Hopefully learning an awful lot about running an organic farm and various organic building methods as well. I figured if I started in the Algarve in January and worked my way up as the year progressed I could a good feel for the country and the various regions.
As this is all new to me obviously I have a few questions and would also appreciate any advice that seasoned wwoofers could offer.
What would you say the optimal length of stay at one place is? This isn't a working holiday for me more of a year for learning so I want to get to know the area, the people and life on that particular farm as well as I can. I was thinking 2 months would be ok but do hosts offer this length of stay or is it more 2-4 weeks?
Are their hosts available in January? And what kind of weather would I expect to find in January in the Algarve?
How far in advance should I look to contact hosts? Is e-mail the best form of initial contact or would you advise phoning?
Thanks for you time in reading this and I hope to see you on my travels next year.