PLEASE NOTE THAT OUR WOOFer PROGRAM IS CURRENTLY SCALED-DOWN. We are working with our veteran WOOFers who return annually. We are taking this down-time to invest in building more comfortable WOOFer accommodations and structured “learn-by-doing” opportunities. If you are interested in a more formal and group-learning dynamic, please email us regarding our internship immersion programs.
WWOOFers are revolutionary-minded individuals who are driven to do their part within the worldwide organic, eco-friendly farming movement. During their WWOOFing journey, they take part in exciting educational organic farming activities and experience the joy of travelling to new places, where they meet a vibrant collection of people from all over the globe.
WOOFing at Waihuena Farm
As a participant in the Waihuena Farm WOOFer program, you will directly serve a farm and community centered around growing our local food movement on the North Shore and consciously creating space for health and wellbeing. We do this through our weekly CSA, youth and community education tours and events, monthly potlucks, and weekly garden volunteer days. We also collaborate with other farms and environmental organizations in our community through the Hawaii Farmerʻs Union, working closely with our ag extension agents, attending annual events such as the North Shore Community Land Trust Food Summit, and farmers markets. We maintain a relationship with community businesses, CSA and co-op members who offer health and wellness services, such as: Celestial Natural Foods, Beet Box, Auntyʻs Lil Green Hut, and a number of raw food/juice catering services, yoga teachers, and holistic healers. We also sporadically host wellness retreats and events. We aspire to offer more experiential learning experiences through more formal permaculture and organic farming classes and field trips to other farms in our community.
We are interested in hard working, self-motivated, flexible individuals with a passion for serving the land, the community and themselves. We ask that interns arrive ready and willing to participate in all aspects of the farm and community life. While there is no guarantee what you will take away from this experience, we recognize that those most actively engaged in participation and that maintain a positive ʻcan-doʻmentality receive the greatest return.
We have many families that apply to WOOF. Unfortunately our farm is not an ideal setup for young children at this time.
WORK TRADE COMMITMENT: We prefer a one week trial after which you will be either able to stay for an additional week to make convenient moving-on travel arrangements, or asked to make a 3 month commitment.
Weekly WOOFER Schedule (hours vary with changing needs of the farm and farm team leaders)
- 4-6pm orientation & property tour
- 9am -2pm help with CSA, team lunch, clean up lunch (please plan your flights so that you are ready to start work Monday morning).
- 5:30 pm optional yoga class weather permitting (offered seasonally- donations to instructor)
Tuesday – Friday
- Roughly 3 hour workdays are scheduled Tuesday to Friday, with various members of our farm team. Work day tasks include: hand weeding, mulching, spreading compost and bed prep in the existing CSA garden as well as working to create and expand our orchard/permaculture zones.
Overview of WOOFer Task
- Gardening: There’s going to be a lot of managing compost and mulch piles, sifting dirt to prepare and mix soil, making soil amendments (e.g. bakashi and compost teas), prepping beds and maintaining soil fertility in growing areas, weeding garden beds and orchard zones, maintaining buffer areas, moving earth, digging, shoveling, working with the broad fork and pitch fork, lifting, etc… general farm stuff that’s needed every day. You will often be working alongside our core farm team who have been involved with the farm since its inception. In addition to daily garden workdays, you can also work with our farm team to research transplanting, germination, pruning, and designing our growing systems on the farm (including expanding our food forest/permaculture zones, creating clear inputs for animal and food waste etc.).
- Harvesting and Processing: We harvest every Monday to prep for our CSA/Farmstand. We also harvest mid-week on an as-needed basis based on our garden productivity and community accounts. We work hard to grow our crops. Please ask for guidance/best practices from our farm crew (Eliza/Caleb -for crops in the main garden arena or Menko/India for perennial crops outside the garden arena, including the herb garden). Guidance should include best practices for harvesting to maintain the productivity of the plant and to properly clean the root, greens or other produce properly for packaging and how long the task should take.
- Animal Care: Help feed the chickens every morning and early evening. Our goat family needs to be fed daily. We also have a bull (Junior Boy), pet pig (Wilbur), and a visiting horse.
- Creating/Expanding our Food Forest/Permaculture Zones (pending until we have a core farm lead)
- Maintenance of community space: You will help to keep the communal areas and your unit clean and free of weeds, and generally make sure it all looks pretty for student and community tour groups.
- Find it and Fix It: WOOers are encouraged to find things that need to be done such as weeding projects, areas that need mulch, fixing community bikes, structures, compost toilets, etc. (But please propose and get pre-approval for projects at the Monday team meeting and request any tools and materials needed to successfully complete the project.)
- Cooking: *Communal dinners are currently on HOLD until we more fully develop our WOOFer program. You will be helping to prep and cook communal dinners (usually vegetarian) and/or lunch for CSA Mondays.
- Cleaning: WOOFer terms are for three months, so when you depart, sheets have to be washed and your unit cleaned in preparation for the next WOOFers. After meals, you will also be in charge of cleaning the dishes and making sure that the communal areas are always kept tidy and clean. Picking up buckets, pots and tools anytime you see anything out of place. Adding new borders and mulching to landscape areas. We also have compost toilets that will need to be kept cleaned and tidy.
- Cooking/Food research: You have an opportunity to experiment with preparing nutritional meals and value-added products through our Monday CSA, “First Monday of the Month” Potlucks and Volunteer Wednesdays using ʻsecondsʻ from our weekly harvest, ʻsurplus itemsʻ (e.g. sweet potato greens, chaya leaf – ask a farm crew lead about additional surplus items) and produce from the community garden. You can then add the recipes to our online Waihuena Farm nutrition/cookbook. Create something great, take photos, and publish it on our site and social media, as other WOOFers have done before you.
- Internet Research: We need your help here to make sure our crops are thriving. Some of our crops experience pest, pathogens, and other stressors. We need help researching ways to help keep our crops healthy and at maximum productivity. We also need research online and from other local growers and nurseries on tips for cost-effectively propagating suitable crops.
- Article Writing: A big part of our community outreach and education is writing about what we’re doing, especially detailed articles, with photos, describing exactly how people can repeat our successes so they don’t have to repeat all our mistakes. Such articles will be improved over time as our knowledge grows. If you like writing and research, this would be a great task for you.
- Internet Promotion: We need help promoting Waihuena Farm, such as searching for websites where you can write about us, get links for us, add our profile to lists of volunteer projects, organic farms, etc..
- Green Building (pending until we have a core farm lead): Building Infrastructure for our growing systems (both for our CSA Garden and WOOFer/Community Garden), and building and/or improving sustainable structures and facilities (including: garden tables; water catchment and conveyance systems; facilities to receive and process compost, mulch and soil; compost toilets; living and other communal structures etc.
- Hours of work: Youʻll work with our farm crew as a team during scheduled work days, which are typically 3-4 hour shifts during the week with side projects available for additional interest outside of these hours and rainy-day make-up hours available on the weekends.
- Tools: You will be provided with the tools you need to work, although some volunteers may prefer to purchase their own personal tools such machetes, gloves, etc. You are expected to care for, clean, and properly store all tools so that they’ll be available for the next person.
- Laundry: You are responsible for keeping the laundry area clean and for planning your laundry days when line-drying is best (which is most days with the tradewinds and sun we enjoy on the North Shore).
- Meals: Our CSA program is currently scaled-down. We will not be offering food or meals as part of the WOOFer work exchange. “Seconds-grade” organic produce is available after our CSA and mid-week harvest in addition to organic bulk grains (organic rice, pasta or quinoa), legumes (lentils, blackbeans etc), oils, spices and teas which we offer at cost from UNFI (this service is offered since the local grocery store is expensive and offers limited local items). Our garden is growing and in the past has included an abundance of fresh garden vegetables and locally grown starch crops including taro (kalo), breadfruit (ulu), cassava (on hold), and plantains. Varying by season we celebrate fresh local fruits such as banana, papaya, avocado, lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, mango, starfruit, jack fruit, guava, passion fruit, and many other exotic tropical fruits co-oped from our CSA members, such as lychee. We also have roots including radish, beets and carrots (depending on season) and greens (kale, chard, various braisen greens, sweet potato greens, chaya leaf and we encourage the use of our root greens- such as beet, carrot and radish greens. Our community kitchen includes a solar-powered community fridge, cold-water sink, propane stove and grill. During special events (e.g. Farm-to-Table) or tours, we also have various chefs onsite to help prepare meals.
- Camping Accommodations: WOOFer accommodations vary and are based on various agreements based on your arrival date, skillset and length of stay. All units have access , with access to a brand new community kitchen and study hall. Composting toilets and hot showers are located nearby. Washing machine and wireless internet are available on a limited use schedule.
- Phone: There is a landline available at the yellow house for emergencies. Cell services is limited on the farm. Internet-based phone aps, such as FaceBook Messenger and Skype are options near internet hotsites on our farm.
- Internet: WiFi is available at the Yellow House and you will need to bring your own device to access it.
- Music and Noise: You will find that with the open living arrangements, it’s very easy to rise with the sun and retire shortly after dinner. Quiet time is between the hours of 9pm and 6am, but please always be respectful of those around you and do not blast music or speak so loudly that it is disturbing others.
- Tobacco: Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the property.
- Alcohol: Moderate and responsible alcohol consumption is allowed, however for safety reasons, alcohol use is restricted to after working hours and outside our CSA kitchen area. Please properly dispose of your containers in our recycling bins.
- Drug use: Waihuena Farm is a drug-free environment. Do not bring or use illegal drugs on ranch property. Dismissal will be instant.
- Personal storage: There is limited storage space in the WOOFer units. We also have a rustic storage area for your garden workgear (e.g. hats, gloves, boots etc.). Please bring only what you need.
- The Lodge, Yurt and other Retreat/Short-term Rentals: The beautiful home and pool next door belong to ranch owners Geoff and Yasmin. Please respect this as their private living space and do not enter unless invited. The same goes for Joseph’s amazing treehouse.
- Transportation: You are responsible for transportation to and from the farm (see the WOOFer section of our website for more info about arranging transportation from the airport upon arrival. Our bus system runs every half hour from the farm to Haleiwa town. Our 7 mile bikepath runs in front of the farm and ends at the local grocery store and food trucks at Sharks Cove. The bike path also provides access to some amazing surfbreaks such as Pipeline, Sunset Beach, and Waimea Bay.
- Nearby Outdoor & Wellness Activities: Our North Shore community host many outdoor activities and wellness classes. In addition to surf and snorkeling beaches, hiking trails are available (the closest being the PillBox hike at Sunset Beach Elementary School and unmarked trails from the Pupukea Pamaulu Conservation area abutting the mauka part of the farm). Yoga and other wellness classes are offered at the Sunset Beach Rec Center (located off the bike path) and include classes from our core farm crew, Eliza. The Rec Center also host a “Feel Good First Friday”.Tahitian hula, yoga and farmers markets are also offered at Waimea Valley. Inquire with one of the farm crew on additional health and wellness classes in the area.
- Visitors: The safety and security of the volunteers and staff is of utmost importance. For that reason, ranch accommodations and facilities are restricted to registered volunteers and authorized personnel only. Please do not bring guests onto ranch property without prior approval. If desired, tours can be arranged for visiting family or friends.
NEARBY ACTIVITIES: swimming, snorkeling, surfing, bikepath, hiking, community recreational center with misc classes, daily yoga at multiple venus (paumalu yoga, jasmine yoga, north shore yoga co-op, etc), basketball & tennis courts, soccer field at neighboring park.