WWOOF, World Travel, and Organic Farming

Organic farming – it’s a beautiful thing!

Ever since I started eating more healthy, I wanted to connect more with my food, understand where it comes from, how it’s grown, and the farmers involved. I learned from a friend that there is a program, available all around the world, where people can volunteer on a farm in exchange for food and shelter, and learn about farming, growing food, and more. This program is called WWOOF – World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Read the rest of this entry


Hiking in the North Cascades, Washington

Into the North Cascades

Since July, I’ve been planning a trip with a friend in Washington to hike the North Cascades – which is supposed to be amazingly beautiful.  I’ve been communicating with this friend, Matt, and we planned on leaving Seattle early Friday morning, and be back on Monday afternoon.  We discussed a few different trips – Mt. Logan, Mt. Goode, Mt. Shuksan, Ragged Ridge, then we decided on Primus Peak. Read the rest of this entry

Decatur Island, Washington

Ride into the sunset

Early last week, Chris (the guy whose house I’m staying in), says his friend on a nearby island is going crab fishing on Sunday morning, and asks me if I want to go and help.  Seeing as I’ve never been crab fishing, and am up for an adventure, I happily accept.  Pete (the other WWOOFer) declines as he wants some time to himself.  Saturday afternoon, Chris and I talk about the island while looking at the satellite view of Google Maps, and he starts talking about “There is my beach house, there is my sailboat, my dinghy, and truck, my friend’s house… ” Then I say, “Wait a minute, why don’t we just take your speedboat out today instead of tomorrow morning, and stay the night on the island?  He says, “Oh, okay, let’s do that”. Read the rest of this entry

WWOOFing on a Pumpkin Patch in Washington

Fresh organic vegetables

After cutting my trip short on the last farm, I was ready to move to the next farm. I contacted a farm that was fairly close by and was invited to come by. Their profile on the WWOOF website said they have a large farm with many varieties of organic vegetables, fruit trees, and pumpkins, comfortable accommodations, they will teach about farming, and it had positive reviews. Sounds good to me. I checked the rideshare section on Craigslist, and found someone who would give me a ride 30 miles north to Longview. The girl giving me a ride was also giving a ride to another ridesharer, who was an activist in the tree farming and paper industry, which sounded interesting because it’s hard not to notice all the tree farming and lumber mills in Washington. Read the rest of this entry

Astoria, Oregon

At the Goonies house

This weekend I worked at two farmer’s markets – Saturday in Longview, Washington, and Sunday in Astoria, Oregon, which was especially exciting! I had been wanting to go to Astoria, and this was a great opportunity. I was there as a vendor with the farm I was at, which is always a bonus. The Astoria market is a big market – many arts & crafts vendors along with a few farm stands; though I believe we were the only organic farm stand.  There was a live band, a food court, and three blocks of miscellaneous vendors. Read the rest of this entry

WWOOFing on a permaculture farm in Washington

Grass-fed cows on a permaculture farm

After traveling 1,200 miles from California, I made it to my destination in Battle Ground, Washington. I had made arrangements with a permaculture farm to stay for a few weeks, and move to the next farm. This permaculture farm had goats, cows, turkeys, chickens, comfortable accommodations, goat cheese making, fermenting, beekeeping, and an appealing profile. I was very much looking forward to spending time there and learning, but was a bit disappointed by my experience there. Read the rest of this entry

Setting off on my journey around the world

Off I go, backpacking around the world!

Planning this journey for the better part of 6 months, I purchased most everything I would need, and sold, donated, and threw away everything else I owned.  I watched many videos on the internet, read many blogs, went camping, hiking, mountain climbing, and many other things to prepare for this journey.  Finally ready to go, I said goodbye to my friends, was officially homeless, and with no possessions except the items on my back, I set off to backpack around the world.  I started in Orange County, California, went south 100 miles to San Diego to say goodbye to another friend, then headed north to my first destination 1,200 miles away in Washington state. Read the rest of this entry

WWOOFing in Santa Barbara, California

Juiciest, sweetest, heirloom watermelon – ever!

After lots of thought, research, and preparation in setting off on backpacking around the world, I found a farm to visit in the beautiful town of Santa Barbara.  This will be my first stop on my journey and my first WWOOFing experience.

This farm is a completely organic commercial farm of 40 acres that sells at local farmers markets and CSAs.  I would be staying in the living quarters of their warehouse, which has a private section for WWOOFers, complete with refrigerator, stove, beds, and a bathroom with shower.  I would help myself to food from the farm – all I can eat (music to my ears). Read the rest of this entry

Hiking Mt. Baldy, California

At the summit – 10,064ft

I got a short notice call from a friend saying he’s going to be hiking Mt. Baldy with a group of people that is training to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro for a fundraiser (Challenged Athletes Foundation). Seeing as how we just got back from Utah a few days before, and feeling great after lots of hiking there, I decided to join them. Why not, right?

We carpooled over to Baldy and met up with the group. I must say, they were an amazing bunch! The group organizers (Paul and Denise) completed the Seven Summits finishing with Mt. Everest two years ago, Denise also did an Ironman last year, lots of world travelers, and a lively, positive, inspired group. Definitely my kind of people! Read the rest of this entry

Arches National Park, Utah

Climbing the arches

Always on a journey to travel and explore, I joined my hiking/camping friends (and others from a Meetup.com group) in a trip to Arches National Park in Utah. This trip would consist of 5 days and 4 nights of camping (May 3-7, 2012).

Seven of us met up at the local Park & Ride, and started off on the 12-hour trip, with few stops. Interestingly enough, we stopped at a random gas station, and met some people who were in town from New York to support their daughter in the Ironman race occuring that weekend. I later found out we had stopped in St. George, which is supposed to be a great qualifier for the Ironman championship in Kona, HI. Read the rest of this entry