I'm fairly new to these forums but am loving this community already. I posted once about pursuing a career in permaculture while also having to pay off student loan debt and got a lot of really great feedback. Stemming from that conversation I was curious how many people have taken WWOOF opportunities and also gotten a part time job simultaneously? I really really want to be able to travel and WWOOF or similar experiences so am wondering about the feasibility of also getting a part time job while WWOOFing so that I'll be able to take care of my student loan payments as well. Anyone have experience with this? Or also interested in this kind of arrangement? Any tips or stories would be helpful. Thanks!
I don't know much about a wwoofing income, but you could file for unemployment in some cases and differ your loan payment for a period of time while you gained experience. I have only ever known monetarily privileged people to wwoof , so I assumed you do not make much if anything, you would have to follow up on weather tax papers would be issued.
If I decide to offer a WWOOF type arrangement, I will probably look for someone like you. I would factor in the room and board value then either do a stipend or hourly pay for any work over. It might be the more drudgery stuff on the farm instead of the more exciting WWOOF learning stuff, but then I pay a lot better than most part time jobs do.
I'm not expecting to get a WWOOF job that pays, although something like you mentioned would be an amazing opportunity. Where is your farm located? I was more thinking along the lines of working on a WWOOF farm in the mornings and then finding a part time job to do in the evenings/weekends.
I wwoofed for about 2 years. The farm I stayed at the longest gave wwoofers commission for working markets and festivals. It was inconsistent but still nice, and I did get occasional paid gigs from neighbors and my farm mentors (i didn't have a car). The farm work and cooking etc took up a lot of time however so I wouldn't have wanted to work more than 10-15 hours a week on top of that, because wwoofing can have a lot of perks in the off time. It is also great to sort of forget about money while wwoofing if you have the luxury.
Its hard to WWOOFF at my house for i am 20 miles to town. A half hours ride. But i have had people do it and loved the area with all the recreational outdoor things to do. Also the seclusion is like recharges the soul. Earthships rule!
Make sure you have a very clear understanding going into whatever wwoof/farm internship you are considering. I personally always had the farm internship be my full time job - sometimes to the tune of 55 or 60 hours a week but there where often folks who would do a split between farm work and 'real' work. Most often this was one half of a couple. It was pretty common for these people to burn out totally - that kind of schedule can be very very draining. I think it has to do with the direct light exposure tricking the brain - especially in conjunction with more typically behind the counter sort of work. Not to discourage you at all, just be very clear with the people you're entering into contract (often loose verbal contract) with and make sure you have some contingency plans. Like, if you are reliant on the wwoff site to provide your lodgings, but are reliant on your 'real' job to pay debt obligations it would suck to have to choose between the two!
It can be done, but beware the burnout! If you don't have a partner holding down the wwoof lodging end of things and you realize you just cant hack both you don't want to find yourself in a position of having to sleep in your car for weeks while you double your 'real' job hours just to save up enough for a down payment. I've seen that happen!