(Written on 18 Sep; sorry not posted till now.)
We’ve just had our first wwoofers for the season, three young German guys.
They were good workers, and we got a lot done in two and a half days — but they’ve found some paid work in Victoria and left this morning. We’d be happy to have them back in the future.
We’re definitely getting less enquiries than in past years, and the wwoof website is pretty quiet. Things are obviously tough in Europe, but I’m surprised that hasn’t increased the number of wwoofers in Australia. Instead of being unemployed at home, a year of adventure in Australia could be a plus. Unless the families just can’t afford to send the kids overseas any more.
For the last couple of years, the Australian Government has had a rule than anybody wwoofing for three months could get an extra year on their tourist visa. For us, that meant that suddenly everybody wanted to stay for three months and one day, just in case they wanted to extend their visit. The ideal visit length at Cockatrice Farm seems to be about 2 months, so in the last few weeks the wwoofers started to get bored. So that arrangement wasn’t great for us.
The new rules are that wwoofers can still get extended visas, but they have to work 7 hours a day for 5 days and then have 2 days off, still for 3 months. Which doesn’t suit our farm very well, so we’re not doing that.
It’s not yet the peak wwoofing season, so we may yet get a rush of enquiries. But it would be handy to have some helpers again soon.