WWOOF Portugal

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What do you think about Wwoof Portugal?

Forums: 

rodrigo

Coordinator

We are beginning so your feedback is very important!

Here is your opportunity to tell something about us! Post here what come inside your mind (please no insults :D). Some nice words will be welcome too.

Don't be shy! Post your idea! Lets fill this empty Forum :)

abelhas

Host

i think it's great! very easy to use website and nice to have all the portugal hosts in one place.

my only worry is that wwoofers have to pay membership to more than one "organisation" now, and so it's maybe not affordable to visit more than one country.

ju

WWOOFer

Nice website.... I hope to find a host soon...

Would it be possible to add a "favourites" or "bookmark" function for hosts? Then it would be much easier to find again a certain host at a later visit to the website...

Oli

WWOOFer

Hey,
I like the web-site a lot, I am already in contact with some farms through this site.
I only have one little problem, even though it is not your fault.
About every second farm didn´t reply on my messages to them, not even after 3 weeks which is a little bit sad. Maybe the hosts could inform on this site here, how often they are able to check their emails, so everyone would know if and when he or her will receive an answer.
Best wishey, Oli

Zanni

WWOOFer

A very helpful site indeed. Especially since I´m a wwoofing rookie, and I daresay I would have been completely at a loss without a good working messaging system :-D
( Though I couldn´t as of yet find - or gather the courage to create -
a good thread to simply state the following;
I´m currently traveling here and there around portugal with two friends, tell me if you need someone or somethree to help. (At least I´ll be staying until June... maybe longer, maybe forever.) )

Expired user

I have spent a lot of time on WWOOF websites, and spent last Fall WWOOFing in Japan. I think the WWOOF Portugal site is good; it is very clean and well organized.
I like that I am able to organize host profiles by region, this helps me reduce my search area quickly. I also appreciate this forum, where ideas can be discussed. However, there are a couple steps that I would like to suggest, that would help the process of connecting with an appropriate host easier.

For me there are a few key pieces of information that I need before I will consider a host, and these should be included in the "host information" on the right hand side of the host profile.
-Most important for me is [u]diet[/u]: is the host a vegan, vegetarian or omnivore. Do they cook meals, or am I expected to cook.
-next most important is [u]minimum/maximum stay[/u]. There is no point in me reading a host profile and getting all excited only to find out that they only accept people willing to stay for 2 months.
-Another important piece of info is their (the hosts) [u]season:[/u] Are they a year round operation or do they only operate from April until October? When are they most busy?

One aspect of the WWOOF Japan website that I really appreciated was a link to a list of "Hosts needing help now" which was updated on a monthly basis and was basically a list of hosts, and the tasks they required help with. This was fun way to monitor what was being harvested and when.

I'm just starting my search for an ideal host. I've got it down to a short list of 12 with a couple "stars" that I'm really putting energy into. Ideally I would only email one host at a time, but if you don't hear back from a host after a week, its hard to keep waiting.

Thanks for everything you put into this site. I'm really looking forward to another Fall of excellent WWOOF experiences!

rodrigo

Coordinator

Thanks for your suggestions.

I will point it down and we will implement it on the next big update.

The only suggestion that don't apply to Portugal is the season work. The Portuguese winter is not so strong as in Canada or other high latitude countries, so work is necessary all year around.

Hope to see you WWOOFing around!

jessekaedra

WWOOFer

i have been involved in wwoof portugal for over a year now and have enjoyed the website. i think that there are a few key things that could help wwoofers and hosts all have better matches with each other.

one would be what the hosts GOALS are for themselves. do they aim to be living in a more organic or sustainable way or do they want help to avoid employing people? some wwoofers are not so caring about learning or participating in organic or sustainable lifestyles/farms, and if the hosts had a few specific questions to answer then wwoofers could gain an idea before even going if it would be a good fit. i thought that what another person said regarding diets is a helpful indicator as well.

something like answering "do you use biologic detergents?: always, sometimes, never, would like to but cannot afford" would answer a lot about the sort of place one is going to.

also what exactly is the "ecological" percent supposed to be for? if ones garden is 100% ecological, but no one is eating more than a couple tomatoes from the garden, is it accurate to say 100% ecologic?

so maybe if people could send a list of helpful prompts that hosts could use this could be implemented and then there could be more emphasis on better matches rather than complaints, which must be a bummer to hear!

Expired user

Thank you for your thoughts Jesse! We are doing the update now (it'll take a couple of more weeks until finished) and everything that is said here will be carefully considered for the update.

We have a loooong list "to-do" but please don't hesitate to give us more ideas!

Best wishes,
Jandi

[quote="jessekaedra"]
i have been involved in wwoof portugal for over a year now and have enjoyed the website. i think that there are a few key things that could help wwoofers and hosts all have better matches with each other.

one would be what the hosts GOALS are for themselves. do they aim to be living in a more organic or sustainable way or do they want help to avoid employing people? some wwoofers are not so caring about learning or participating in organic or sustainable lifestyles/farms, and if the hosts had a few specific questions to answer then wwoofers could gain an idea before even going if it would be a good fit. i thought that what another person said regarding diets is a helpful indicator as well.

something like answering "do you use biologic detergents?: always, sometimes, never, would like to but cannot afford" would answer a lot about the sort of place one is going to.

also what exactly is the "ecological" percent supposed to be for? if ones garden is 100% ecological, but no one is eating more than a couple tomatoes from the garden, is it accurate to say 100% ecologic?

so maybe if people could send a list of helpful prompts that hosts could use this could be implemented and then there could be more emphasis on better matches rather than complaints, which must be a bummer to hear!

[/quote]

valoubs

WWOOFer

Hola,
After 4 month wwoofing through Portugal, I join entirely the points evoked by jmckerricher and jessekaedra.
I met some wonderful place, others much less ...
quinta ecologica con aerosols to kill flies and mosquitoes, or fooding wwofer only with tins, building with cement, a modern house with 2ºC in the bedroom, a fire place in a very small kitchen to share with 5 bigs dogs 2 host and their children, so quiet those same ecologic people using an electric dryer to dry apples in january !!!!???? etc...

For me the essential point is missing in wwoof.pt, is a section for each host “write reviews” where the wwoofer can write about their stay, good and no good experiences.
As there’s no verification de parte de wwoof-portugal about the description that the host make, it will be the best way to avoid the lies or clever concealment of some host. I think it would be an appropriate balance to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Thanks to work to make it better!!!

jessekaedra

WWOOFer

i think that the verification aspect is a great way of putting it -- because how people view themselves is how they write their profiles, and this is very subjective. certainly reviews and more objective quesitons will help this.
its exciting to me to see some new things taking place that seem like they will get at serious issues!

jessekaedra

WWOOFer

i was just checking back on this forum to see if anything new had been added. some other thoughts i have about the wwoof.pt site - i think that most wwoofers who have an experience where the wwoof host is using the wwoofer mainly for cheap labor on other projects are most likely to sit around an complain internally, never say anything so as to not make problems, not report it because of a lack of confidence in what other wwoof farms are like, and then, make the best of it as they are still likely in a beautiful place in portugal, possibly with nice people, and are not spending much money. i certainly have witnessed this several times! thus, no communication takes place regarding the wwoof host.

i [i]still[/i] think that having some objective questions for the wwoof host to answer on their site/profile would be very, very good. perhaps as survey could be sent to wwoofers asking for their input on information that would be up front useful. after being at 10 farms, it has most certainly been the case that 2 of the hosts who were most appropriately using wwoofers, who were doing wonderful things, also had very poor profile that we re not very attractive. on the other hand, one of the hosts we were at who was using wwoofers to run their business had one of the most elaborate, attractive, inaccurate, and deceptive websites.

at the very least, a helpful thing that all wwoof hosts could answer would be if they run a business (that is in any way at all outside of selling agriculture products) and if so, if they expect wwoofers to be involved with it at any time. this is a really good tip, (and quite frankly, if there is a business one might be able to assume from this that making money trumps taking care of a garden...)

because wwoofing is such a relational concept, i think that people are often afraid to say anything negative about their hosts use of wwoof. i think that maybe one way of getting a response is to directly invite it rather than waiting for a wwoofers initiation. perhaps an automatic email that is sent asking for their reviews and comments about farms they have been on. this could be sent to all wwoofers possibly when their membership expires? or to all wwoofers every several months? i just have found that of the majority of wwoofers i have spoken with, most are not spending their time reading the forums because most are not too concerned with the concept of wwoofing or its integrity.

an objective question that could be asked to all wwoofers - perhaps included as an objective question for references also - could be to list the projects that you were involved with while you were at that host's, and list for each of those the estimated percent of time you spent on each of those projects while you were with that host.

this could really help make things transparent and not make wwoofers feel like they were "telling on" their host, who they might also have had a nice time with. in the responses it was seen that, say, the wwoofer spent most of the time doing dishes, decorating, cleaning bathrooms, and only 5% of the time working doing something agricultural.... it would become pretty clear. also, if hosts knew that at the end of every ___ months, wwoofers were going to get an email asking to list the farm they had been on, what they worked on their, and in what estimated percent -- perhaps this would help hosts keep hosts in check who are having wwoofers spend the bulk of their time doing things totally unrelated to wwoofing.

i hope that some of these things can be implemented!

rodrigo

Coordinator

Hi Jesse,

Thanks again for your usefull coments.

We are growing a lot! and this week we pass the mark of one thousand active volunteers! It is natural that you have more bad weeds on a big garden (unless you use chemicals :D ). We are aware of this problem and I begin to work on it some months ago. Two important new features was setup:

- The Reference system. The host can invite the WWOOFers to be a reference. All the new WWOOFers can see this references and send Private Messages to this reference WWOOFers.

- The Complaint Procedure. Each time I receive a complaint (that unfortunatelly is not so often), I apply our complaint procedure.

WWOOF Portugal is ready to act in a democratic way through the Complaint Procedure.
In my opinion what is missing is that the WWOOFers stops just complaining to each other (or to the hosts) and take a simple action that can really change something. Send an email to us! A message to the Hosts ... in case a WWOOFer is Complainig about other Host, please tell him/her to send an email to us!

I will try to promote this kind of emails putting an information that all WWOOFers can read when they login on the system.

Let me know your opinion,

Best wishes,

Rodrigo

caegire

WWOOFer

Hello,

As a brand new wwoofer to the site, one thing I've noticed which would be really handy, as someone has already mentioned, would be a 'favourites' or 'bookmark' option, so that as you browse hosts, you could bookmark the ones you were considering, so you'd create your own list for easy access when you log back in to go straight to the ones you wished to consider further or contact.

Just an idea, but also, as a brand new user to the site, I am enjoying looking around and getting familiar with it. It's easy to use and navigate around, and I'm really looking forward to getting fully involved in wwoofing in Portugal!! :)

Obrigada, C.

rodrigo

Coordinator

Hi Carlene,

Thanks for your positive post and for your suggestion.

I have pointed down your bookmark suggestion for our next major upgrade.

Wish you a nice WWOOFing,

Rodrigo

tara1977

WWOOFer

Hi i am a member of WWOOF France, Spain and England also helpx. This website is by far the best and the easiest to navigate. I really like the forum section, this makes WWOOF Portugal feel like a community and the warmest of the sites i am a member of. I am pleased to be aboard. Commence journey. :D

rodrigo

Coordinator

Hi,

Thanks very much for your feedback.

We are trying harder to provide a good service for WWOOFers and Hosts inside this magical WWOOF ideal.

Wish you a nice WWOOFing,

Rodrigo

screeldh

WWOOFer

Hello, one thing I noticed on another wwoofing site (think it might have been Germany or France) is that you search through saying what type of farm you are interested in, rather than its name. For example you could select the type of work you would be interested in doing, whether the farm accepts children, whether its vegetarian ect... and this would perhaps make it easier to find the correct host. Also perhaps if farms could say how many people usually stay/work on their farm, as the community aspect and the prospect of meeting other like minds was quite important for me on deciding where I wanted to go. But the site is also great as it is right now :D