Spanish girl talks about her experience as a wwoofer
Rut Martí is a primary school music teacher who, having worked for a year in her own country, found herself in the same situation as many other young people in Spain: she became unemployed. However Rut didn’t give up and began to search for other options to keep active. “I heard about WWOOFing from my sister’s friend who had been a wwoofer before. She recommended I give it a try”, explains Rut. “You just go to the website, select the country you want to go to and create an account” – as she did in the Irish section. Then, “you can see all the farms available in the country you chose and you just have to email them” and “wait for a positive answer”.
So once Rut got a ‘yes’, the dates were agreed and she bought the flight tickets. “This is the only thing you have to pay for”, she explains, “everything else is covered by the farm: food, accommodation in the family’s home or a separate one... So you can say, you work for free but you always get something for it”.
Rut was in Ireland for two months – from mid-October 2013 to mid-December 2013. She spent eight weeks on four different farms in the south of the island. “Many people ask me why I chose Ireland; it was for two reasons: I wanted to learn about living in the countryside and I also wanted to improve my English”, says Rut.
She experienced a myriad farm jobs. “The first farm I went to was an organic eggs farm. The family had 900 hens and I had to feed and clean them, collect the eggs twice a day, select them by size and put them in egg boxes ready for sale”. The second farm was a sheep and cattle farm. In this case “the work was more relaxed because I only had to feed the animals and to mark the sheep by gender. – I did this by looking under their tails to ascertain their sex. At the beginning it wasn’t easy but after checking ten sheep I got the trick!” says Rut laughing.
The third farm was owned by a family who grew vegetables. “They had many kinds: tomatoes, leeks, kale, etc. I learned to weed, to plant, to sow, to water the plants and to harvest them”, remembers Rut.
Rut’s last farm kept horses. “There I cleaned thirty stables everyday and fed the horses twice a day”. She also adds that “it was a hard job but very nice because I love horses, so when I finished my work I could ride them. It was great fun!”
Finally, this young woman from Catalonia wants to encourage you to become a wwoofer like her. “Even if you don’t like the countryside, I recommend everyone to try this experience because you can learn many things and you also discover that living on a farm is not exactly what you expected. It’s a hard job but it’s really nice to be in contact with nature”. In addition, you meet people from all around the world because “normally there is more than one wwoofer and I met lovely and interesting people from France, Austria, Japan, America and, of course, Ireland!”
Produced by Silvia Corral