This year, we started the WWOOF Canada Ambassador Program, to help make the WWOOF Canada community safer and more welcoming. One of our All-Star Ambassadors so far has been Marta Ryborz. Marta grew up in Poland, and has since lived in West Africa, Germany, and now Canada. Before setting off on her WWOOFing adventure, she worked in tech as a Project Manager and in digital marketing in Toronto and Vancouver.
Marta took a bit of time from her day on the farm to tell us about her experience while WWOOFing:
My WWOOFing journey started in August 2022 with the idea of spending one month at a different farm for a consecutive 12 months. Somehow, I thought that a full year would give me a good overview of different regions, farm types and sustainable/organic practices used here in Canada. I’m almost halfway through, and I am really glad that I’ve been following my initial plan! So far I have WWOOFed in British Columbia (Bowen Island, Salt Spring Island, Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii) and in Alberta (Millarville)- and I have already seen quite a variety of farm businesses ranging from super-small family farms to 200+ hectare ranches.
Each farm has its own story, of course. And I find those stories most fascinating! WWOOF Canada gave me the opportunity to enter somebody’s life, sit at their kitchen table and listen and learn… And I can assure you that if you train your ear well, you’ll be blessed with the most amazing life stories that have the potential to re-shape and change YOUR life story as well! In the end, this is why I chose to WWOOF, to transition into the next chapter of my life and learn from the experience of my hosts. And if you add to it the organic way of living and growing your food, working outside in nature and feeding animals like bison and alpacas (my personal experience so far 😉 WWOOFING becomes this amazing vehicle that shows you a way more natural and grounded way of living.
Of course, let’s not forget that farm work is REAL work, and you have to be ready to use your muscles on a daily basis; that’s just part of the package: the hosts are inviting you because they need help and you are often required to act like a skilled personal assistant who knows how to figure things out. So not only do you have to use your muscles, but you also have to think things through and apply common sense too! But there’s nothing like the satisfaction after completing a job you thought you were not capable of doing, and that’s a big part of WWOOFING too. So, if you want to challenge yourself and reach the next level, do it with WWOOF, make new friends and change your life.
As to my next chapter, the post-wwoofing one, it is yet to be defined, but the ideas are piling up ;)”