WWOOF-ing it in Hawai'i
Welcome a new blogger to EcoDaddyo - SaraJ. I met Sara through our shared passion for skiing. Of course, snow skiing is a seasonal pursuit which led Sara to travel for the summer. I'll let her tell you what she's up to.
So I decided to try my luck in Hawaii. It seemed like a cool place I'd never been; and with my love of travel, adventures, gardening, and limited finances it's only natural to WWOOF it.
For those of you that haven't heard of it WWOOF is World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, (formerly Willing Workers On Organic Farms). Basically they connect people who have the farms with people who want to volunteer their work on them and learn about a sustainable way of life. Usually the host provides room and board. This program has members all over the world, with almost every country having their own chapter. Hawaii, where I am, is unique in that they have their own chapter separate from the rest of the US; It's $20 a year to join as a worker, $30 for couples and $25 one time fee for the hosts. Great program with lots of diversity so you can really tailor your experience to what you want to get out of it.
I arrived on Oahu last week and played tourist for a couple of days in Honolulu. I stayed with a friend from my AmeriCorps NCCC days who is currently stationed here with the Navy (By the way NCCC is another great volunteer organization check it out, some of the best two years of my life!).
Currently I am on the north shore of Oahu, living in my tent, at a place called Positive Energetics Foundation: they provide alternative healthcare free of charge to the community; and part of that is having an organic garden that anyone can get great veggies and herbs from, also free of charge. Part of the mission of the foundation is to promote sustainability for the community and Positive Power was created to help provide affordable wind power not only to Hawaii, but to any community (they ship anywhere in the world). They really try to set the example here and all of our water is from rain catchment and the grid power is supplemented by a windmill onsite.
This week we've been dodging the daily rain showers installing planting boxes along the hillside to prevent erosion; also to control and maintain soil quality. Alongside the resident life size gorilla Hansen (courtesy of the zoo) and the already plentiful basil, cilantro, mint, taro, sweet potatoes and radishes; we planted tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, onions, peas, pole beans and marigolds. No freezing temps means anything goes, and it goes all year. There has been a lot of weeding and catch up on work in the gardens that was been put on hold while the soil rested and re-stabilized, everything is on a hill sloping towards the ocean; and also with the arrival of two babies in the family. Don't get the impression we're all work and no play; there is plenty of time to go to the beaches, swim, surf and just cruise. Convenient buses and a bike path means no car required. I've only been in a car twice and spent less than a hundred dollars in the 10 days I've been in Hawaii. I've been having a great time, meeting great people, enjoying local foods and have really felt the Aloha spirit Hawaii is world famous for.
That's all for now. I will be here for about another week and a half then I head to the Big Island for a month.