W.W.O.O.F. Week 5

Sunday, 28 June: Colin had to work in the morning, but I kept myself busy while he was away. Once he got back, we headed to Grand Bend for Stegall Festival, a concert featuring local bands in a small bar in Grand Band hosted by the Stegall family, with their three daughters headlining the event. The purpose of the event was to raise money for their recording expenses. There, we met up with our friends, Scott and Kayleigh, and walked down the strip a few times between bands. I was impressed with the talent, especially  that of Three Forks, a local band who I also saw in December, and Cats. After the Stegall sisters played, we went back to the house for an evening of relaxing.

Monday, 29 June: Colin dropped me off at the farm in the morning on his way to work. Pam didn’t return until later in the afternoon, so our work day of washing sprout trays and weeding was short lived. That evening, we had our first campfire. It took a while to start and the mosquitoes were eating us alive, but it was nice to watch once the fire was developed.

Tuesday, 30 June: There was somewhat of an overcast starting early in the day, but that didn’t stop us from weeding, and neither did the rain. On the bright side, the rain wasn’t too heavy and it warded off the mosquitoes. However, even light rain becomes unpleasant to work in after a while. After lunch, we cleaned the house thoroughly for Pam’s friends visiting this weekend. I swept the floors, vacuumed the rugs and cleaned out the pantry. After I cooked that evening, Colin picked me up to spend Canada Day together.

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W.W.O.O.F. Week 4

Monday, 22 June: Colin dropped me off at the farm on Monday afternoon, where our work day was short-lived due to an oncoming storm. The storm made for cozy reading weather and I finished The Stand that afternoon. However, the storm took a turn for the worst that evening, yielding a tornado warning throughout the county. The tornado went just north of us and the warning was demoted to a watch for the remainder of the night.

Tuesday, 23 June: It rained in the early hours of the morning, but the wind helped dry it enough to work in the field. After a long day of weed-pulling, cooking dinner and watering the sprouts, I was exhausted and ready for bed early.

Wednesday, 24 June: Dominique and I had to work my two least favorite plants to weed: the strawberries and the asparagus, where the weeds are too small or too large to use the hoe on and they all have to be picked by hand. Not to mention, the mosquitoes were eating me alive. On the bright side, Colin’s mom gave me some miraculous after-bite cream that works extremely well. After lunch, I helped Pam prepare for the market by making labels, taking out the trash, washing sprouting trays and going over what we need to bring.

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W.W.O.O.F. Week 3

Sunday, 14 June: Once again, it rained all day Sunday, but this time it wasn’t so much of a problem since Colin and I were planning on watching the new season of one of our favorite shows, Orange is the New Black, anyway. Although nearly fourteen hours of the show in one day was a bit much, I loved our lazy day.

Monday, 15 June: Pam and Dominique returned from Stratford in the early afternoon and we did some light weeding until dinner.

Tuesday, 16 June: It was an especially exhausting day of weed-pulling (that is, whatever we could pull that wasn’t flooded), but Pam made an excellent dinner of stir fry.

Wednesday, 17 June: Jason and Dominique left in the morning for an internship workshop in Stratford, so it was just me and Pam for most of the day. The morning was easy; I managed the sprouts and prepared the salad mix for the market. Part of the afternoon was spent, you guessed it, weed-pulling. Now that everything is in the ground, Pam says that the worst is over and most of our work will just be weed-pulling and pest control, but I beg to differ; weed-pulling is exhausting. Anyway, that didn’t last long because I had to help prepare for the market by putting the spices in jars and by making all sorts of labels. Jason and I took on the task of doing the London market by ourselves without Pam, so we spent part of the evening going over what to pack and things to remember.

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W.W.O.O.F. Week 2

Saturday, 6 June: After celebrating Colin’s birthday on Friday night, he dropped me off at the farm and I went back to work. Upon my return, it was just Dominique and I. Pam takes one of us to Stratford every weekend, leaving on Friday night, to help out at the Saturday market. There is also a market on Sunday, but Pam manages that by herself. Pam and her companion return to the farm on Monday afternoon to resume work. Dominique and I ended up having a tiring day of weed-pulling.

Sunday, 7 June: Aside from a few tasks which need to be done every day, like managing the sprouts and watering the greenhouse, I got the day off. I spent most of my day reading; my weapon of choice is The Stand by Stephen King. Later that evening, Colin picked up a pizza on his way home from work and we played card games for the remainder of the evening.

Monday, 8 June: It rained for quite some time and the lightning made it unsafe to work in the field. After cleaning the basement, Colin picked me up on Monday night for an evening in London. We met up with my friend, Clare, and Colin’s roommate, Aziz, for a quick dinner, a movie (Mad Max: Fury Road) and some card games.

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W.W.O.O.F. Week 1

If you know anything about me, you’d know that I’m a planner, and a meticulous one at that. I like to know everything I can, evaluate my options and organize possibilities before committing to anything.  However, with W.W.O.O.F., I was going in blind. I had no idea what kind of work I would be doing, how our days went, who else would be there, how often I would get to see Colin, what my sleeping arrangement would be, or how I would even begin to wrap my mind around not knowing all these things. Ready or not, Colin dropped me off on Tuesday and I began my five-week W.W.O.O.F. adventure.

Before I dive into my week, I will further explain what W.W.O.O.F. is. W.W.O.O.F. stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms. “Organic” meaning non-GMO and no use of pesticide or herbicide. The “willing” part is exactly how it sounds: I’m volunteering for this position (my “payment” is in room and board).

The farm was about fifteen minutes away from Colin’s house and we both got a tour when he dropped me off. The farm is ten acres and consists of about 2,000 pine trees, thousands of birds, a green house, two sizable fields and other smaller planting areas, growing all sorts of vegetables. Soon after I got to the farm, I was put to work.

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