It was early July of 2016 when I first heard the term WWOOF used. I was instantly zoned in. These five letters made up exactly the life change that I knew I needed to make happen. WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, which is an international work exchange network. An individual can become a member on the network by paying a $40 fee for the country that they are intending to volunteer with and this opens up all of the contact information for each farm that is registered within the WWOOF network.
During the summer of 2016, I was living in a studio apartment in Minneapolis, MN, was approximately 1 ½ years post college graduation, and was invested in a career in real estate that I wanted nothing to do with. I had no interest in money, no interest in climbing the corporate ladder, and most certainly no interest in working countless, dreaded hours in order to just pay my bills and student loans. I needed to be invigorated; I needed a bolt of lightning to come strike me right in the face (figuratively, of course).
The Pacific Northwest was calling my name. I could feel the magnetism of its pull, all the way from Minnesota. The very day that I knew what WWOOF was, I knew that was going to be my next step towards living out my intentions and values. Within a few days, I was registered on the site, had broken the news to my parents and my close friends that I intended on moving in the very near future, and was researching organic farms in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.
Education during the work trade was a huge necessity and I also wanted to be surrounded by like-minded, community oriented individuals. An intentional community setting was what I was thriving for. I also was pulled towards being near a body of water or best case, on the ocean. That’s when I stumbled across The Dirt Rich School on Compass Rose Farms.
Compass Rose was the light at the end of the tunnel for me. This farm en(compass)ed everything that I was yearning for. It was a permaculture design school [education, check], it was located in Port Townsend, Washington [Pacific Northwest, check], also located near a large number of ocean bays, sounds, and harbors [body of water, check], and was a community living situation [intentional community, check]. There were no doubts in my mind that this special farm would be my first run, I would manifest it to be a reality.
The Dirt Rich School on Compass Rose Farms was unique in the sense that I needed to send in an application along with three letters of recommendation. I looked upon this process with fondness and found it to be soul-warming to know that this farm intended on inviting quality WWOOFers and students to their table.
I had approximately six months left on my current apartment lease at my time of application which would line up beautifully with the season beginning at the farm around that same time. I hastened to collect three eloquent letters of recommendation (much thanks to the souls that spent time writing them for me) and sent them in along with my application. Not too soon after, I received a response from Kateen at the farm. We set up a time to chat on the phone in October 2016 to see if I’d be a good match for the work and community living. She accepted me in with open arms and I was too ecstatic for words. I had manifested and was making this happen at my dream location!
So, now here I am today, sitting on the patio at the farm surrounded by the dreamy landscape and plethora of buoyant gardens. I’ve been at Compass Rose Farms for almost two months at this point and it has far exceeded my expectations. I wake up every morning surrounded by lush plants and friendly animals, all five of my senses are stimulated to no end on a daily basis, and I’ve cultivated endearing relationships with individuals with different backgrounds from all across the world. My knowledge is growing steadily, daily and my relationship with my body and mind has improved ten-fold. I am learning to love all aspects of this life living business here on planet Earth.