WWOOF for Tumbler Ridge

On March 24th Kristine Tuma left Tumbler Ridge leaving some of the residents with interesting information. Kristine is a ?wwoofer?. She participates in a world wide program called WWOOF which translates to World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Countries like Canada, Australia, New Zeeland, Mexico, Germany, Sweden and other have their own chapter of WWOOF. This organization connects the woofing hosts with individuals, ?wwoofers?, who offer help in exchange for accommodation and food. Although the majority of the helpers are from another country, the program participants can work in their own country as well. Both parties, the wwoofing host and the wwoofer, need to be a member in the WWOOF. The membership is 50 dollars for one year which is also the maximum stay allowed per country. As there are no strict regulations for the host, it could be a new source of help for small-lot gardeners and senior residents even in our community. In Tumbler Ridge with more that 30% senior residents the wwoofing program could be incorporated into the Community Capacity Building Strategy that promotes the development of local resources for healthy living. The life of a woofer is very exciting. Kristin who studied Information Science in Germany heard about wwoof from her friend who worked in the program in Australia. After she worked as an archivist in major German Archives, Kristin decided to sign up for wwoofing in Canada, the land she was most interested in. Between her arrival in September 2008 and now, Kristin worked in Statford and Elora, Ontario; Dauphin, Manitoba and Goodfare and Cold Lake, Alberta. The woofing-hosts range from large farms and ranches to small-lot gardeners and Bed & Breakfast operations. At her age of 25, Kristin collected in the last five months exciting work-experience. From ice-chopping in Manitoba, feeding cows, bison and pigs in Alberta to gardening work and house-sitting in Ontario, the young lady from Central-Europe gained a deep knowledge of the inside of life in a Canadian winter. The stay in Tumbler Ridge, where she worked in her profession as archivist for TRMF (Tumbler Ridge Museums Foundation) was a well appreciated break. From her experience Kristin encouraged her new Tumbler Ridge friends to look into WWOOFING as both partners, the host and the worker, are enriched in many ways. The host provides food and lodging (no salary is paid to the helper) and receives helping hands of a person who brings the culture of a foreign country straight into the home. The wwoofer on the other hand has opportunity to get to know the country literally first hand, travel and gain people-experience that only this life-style can deliver. The most important effect from Kristin?s point of view: ?you get to know yourself – you discover new skills and preferences ? you grow?. Kristine is up to a change already. She decided not to go back into her profession as archivist but do more wwoofing and traveling. She can imagine having a farm herself and for sure she intends to apply her new knowledge at her parents? farm in Eastern Germany. For more information on the program check www.wwoof.ca