I wrote this post last night while sitting in San Francisco’s largest ”party hostel”, skillfully avoiding drink invitations, eagerly awaiting my first night’s rest in an indoor bed. I’ve spent the better part of November camping on a WWOOF farm 1 hour north of Arcata, California, which was the longest consecutive stay I’ve done in one place. Previously I’ve used this program to find work in Southern California, Canada, Australia and Turkey. The work on this farm consisted of tending organic vegetable and herb gardens, prepping the crops for the winter season and I actually got to do a bit of cooking for the kind hosts and some of the other workers which was a pleasant surprise. The evenings were spent swapping travel tales with the other volunteers, drinking local microbrews and admiring the moon and her twinkling companions. The weather was mostly beautiful, with a bit of rain and snow here and there. I expected it to rain the whole time so I was pleasantly surprised by all the sunshine! The farmers had a very professional approach, and were extremely helpful to the volunteers. They were honest, open and answered any questions we had work related or otherwise. The evening meal was always delicious, made with fresh local ingredients.
As I spend more and more time on organic farms, I’m beginning to grasp an understanding of just how difficult it is to maintain pesticide free approach. The crops are extremely sensitive to everything and your work has to be much more detailed or you’re left with too much rot. We spent a few days volunteering at a neighbour’s farm packaging some of their vegetables, and although they had delicious looking produce, it definitely did not taste the same.
Humboldt, California is an interesting place to volunteer, as there are hundreds of travelers in the area for similar reasons. It was a great stereotypical California experience. I made great friends with the other workers, and managed to see quite a bit of the surrounding areas on different day trips. Halloween was a blast, and we decided to celebrate a very unique Thanksgiving on Novemember 10th which is perfect because I missed Canadian Thanksgiving and I’ll be missing American Thanksgiving.
I finally leave for Central America tomorrow! The flight leaves at 8pm, and I’ll be arriving in Guatemala City at 8am the next day. Now the real journey begins. I should be posting a bit more regularly once I cross the Equator.
Here are some photos from my time on the farm. Unfortunately I left my good camera in San Francisco so I just have a few shots.