Learning A Lot from the Happy Wanderers


| 7/28/2011 8:41:41 AM


Tags: volunteering, gardening, garlic, Cam Mather,

We had our second experience hosting volunteer helpers here at Sunflower Farm last week. And just like our week with Mike and Melissa in early June, it was a pretty awesome experience. HelpX (https://www.helpx.net/index.asp) is similar to the WWOOF program (http://www.wwoof.org/) but you don’t necessarily have to be an organic farm to participate in having people come and work in exchange for room and board.

I am a strong believer in life long learning and this summer I have learned a lot without ever having to leave my house.

Gwen and Dave are a young couple from Syracuse, N.Y. They have both completed degrees in Environmental Biology and are exploring their options for their future paths. I think they already have a pretty good idea, but they enjoy HelpXing as a way to get out and learn from others. I think it’s a brilliant concept and shows incredible maturity on their part.

It turned out that Gwen & Dave spent their first week here in Canada at John & Denice’s U-Pick Blueberry farm. John & Denice are good friends of ours and we’ve blogged about their amazing highbush blueberry farm here . We, of course, are very competitive with John and Denice and when we discovered that they’d taken Gwen and Dave on a wine tour of Prince Edward County during their stay it was pretty clear that John & Denice had ratcheted up the game and we’d have to come up with something pretty amazing to compete. Well, not really, I would never try and compete with that. The best we could offer was daily swims in 5th Depot Lake which was pretty crucial since Gwen & Dave were here during a brutal heat wave.

When we asked John and Denice about Gwen and Dave, they raved about them so our expectations were pretty high and they did not disappoint. It started with the rain we got the morning after they arrived. We’d gone weeks without any rain, so I was pretty happy and impressed that their arrival coincided with the rain.

After performing such a magical feat, they could have spent the rest of the week resting on their laurels but they didn’t. They were up and in the garden by 6:30 a.m. to try and beat the heat. What was so refreshing about Gwen & Dave was how self-directed they were. I could show them the area I wanted weeded and they just went to it. They were meticulous around the plants and aggressive in the middle of the rows. They made great progress and the garden has never looked better. I want to give tours now to show it off!




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