30/09/2013 WWOOFing in a Community
Some time ago I had the great experience of being a WWOOF (www.wwoof.com.au) host for a number of years. So I was really looking forward to the opportunity of doing the reverse and being a WWOOFer. If you don’t know what a WWOOFer is, please go to their website and you can read all about it. I am also very interested in alternative communities, and there being a number around Nambour it was an ideal opportunity to visit and experience life as a WWOOFer. I had a good look in the WWOOF book, picked out Crystal Waters because it sounded pretty, and chose a host that was a woman who was very involved in permaculture and woman’s issues – this looked like the one for me. Luckily she was happy to have me on short notice, so up to Maleny I drove and out to Crystal Waters. (crystalwaters.org.au) There is a lot of information about Crystal Waters on their website, so I am not going to repeat it all.
Robin Clayfield (www.dynamicgroups.com.au) made me very welcome in her lovely home. As part of her business ventures she gives guided tours of the whole community – Crystal Waters Tours with Robin Clayfield. Short Village tours, whole Eco-Village tours with either a general, Permaculture garden, or building design focus, sustainability and Permaculture education tours, school and group tours. All tours are suited to your needs, interests and timeframe. I was really lucky because Robin had a tour organized during the time I was with her, so I was able to go with her and have a good look around the community.
After the buildings, we had a look at a five acre block that has been used to farm bamboo. It certainly grows well in this area, as do the kangaroos, they were everywhere and not afraid of people, a pretty sight, but they probably cause problems for gardeners.
All members of the community buy an acre of land which is theirs to do with as they wish. I slept in a delightful cabin, nestled among bamboo planted on Robin’s acre, the whole front of the cabin was glass looking out onto rainforest, early morning brought all the calls of various birds and even for me it was impossible to stay in bed with such a dawn chorus.
All too soon Saturday arrived, the day I am leaving. It is also the first Saturday of the month, so it is Community Market day. I have had a great time here, would have liked to stay longer but it just didn’t suit at the moment.
All in all a great first experience at WWOOFing and it will certainly not be the last.