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Experienced wwoofer looking for next experience on West coast/Hawaii this fall/winter

Posts: 29
Location: Toronto,ON
forest garden fungi bike
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Hello there!

My name is Claire and I have been wwoofing for the past couple years, with some backpacking in between. I am looking for a permaculture-oriented site (I know it may not be perfectly permaculture!) where I might trade my labor (I work hard and usually enjoy it) for food (home-grown is best but I'm not picky!), accommodation (I will have a tent), and knowledge--this last part is very important to me as I value my work and am becoming more selective in my experiences. I am no longer a clueless wwoofer simply looking to get back in touch with the Earth (though that's always a part of it!), I am seeking the experience necessary to tackle these projects in my future as-yet-undetermined community.

What I'm looking for:
Some specific items with which I'm keen to gain experience:
(*indicates major interest)
*Mushrooms--I recently took a 5-day introductory mycoremediation course and am learning more about cultivation & foraging
*Bees--would love to learn how to keep them (alive & happy)
*Trees--The Food Forest's the Ultimate Goal, right?! Well, I have a lot to learn about trees: pruning, grafting, identification, care...
Ponds--creation & maintenance
Waste--turning it into a precious resource, i.e. humanure, greywater...
I haven't taken a PDC (yet?) but am seeking hands-on experience with permaculture design--that's to say I am always learning more about ecosystems, plants, animals, guilds, soil and all the rest. I understand I'll be hard-pressed to find one site engaging in all of these projects, and anticipate visiting a few different sites over the course of the season.

My experience:
+5 months (full season) on a veggie CSA farm in way upstate (aka Canada) NY. It was a lot of sowing, weeding and harvesting. I am also now fairly confident with chicken slaughter.
Several short stays (1-2 days to a month) helping with various gardens across the country
4 months (winter 2014/15) caretaking at the Solar Living Institute, Hopland CA. Lots of work in the garden, intro's to PV installation, aquaponics & cob/natural building
Interning since March at Fern Hill Nursery & Botanical Sanctuary, Cottage Grove OR. Have learned a great deal about propagation, hard & softwood cuttings, soil fertility & compost, raising ducks & chickens, keeping up with watering, transplanting...basically everything to do with raising happy plants we also grow a lush garden and the start of a food forest to feed ourselves.

I believe that interpersonal connection is equally important as the knowledge and experience I gain in exchange for my work. Here's some extra stuff about me:
I work well by myself but enjoy working with others too. Sometimes I find it hard to multi-task, aka maintaining a conversation while working, but I'm a work in progress too...
I find it necessary to maintain somewhat of a yoga practice (stretching, basically) throughout the work week, so it's a bonus for me if others are into that or an opportunity exists in the local community
I love to cook and consider myself pretty good at it, though since wwoofing I've gotten used to eating others' cooking, which I also enjoy very much
My first jobs throughout middle and high school involved working with kids (babysitting, tutoring, coaching) and though I'm pretty good at that too, I am not looking for more experience in that domain, though if it's the right situation I won't object to occasional childcare
Having been raised in Canada until college I am/was fluent in French and quickly falling out of practice. Les Permies Francophones, existez-vous??

That's all I can think of for now. Please send me a PM if you think I could help you maintain/create/design your permaculture oasis!
Claire Arrowsmith
Posts: 29
Location: Toronto,ON
forest garden fungi bike
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Just to clarify: I will be on Maui around christmastime, anywhere on the West coast up until then. Thanks!
Posts: 10
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Aloha Claire,

I'm not sure if you made it to Hawai'i yet, but if you end up on Moku o Keawe [Big Island], i have a small garden/farm that could host you for a little while. It may be an interesting perspective as I am very active in my community and am in transition from local diet to garden diet and helping my community get there as well. I integrate many Hawaiian cultural aspects into the experience so yiu get a much deeper look into Hawai'i life from a native point of view. If this is something you might find interesting, let me know and we'll see what we can do =D
Mahalo nui,
girl power ... turns out to be about a hundred watts. But they seriously don't like being connected to the grid. Tiny ad:
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