Friday, July 31, 2009

Our Woofer, the mouser.

'Woofing' is a term used often in these parts and refers to an organization of labourers working on organic farms in exchange for room and board. I think the actual term WOOF is an acronym for 'Workers on Organic Farms'.

We have known several people to enlist a 'woofer' or two during peak gardening season here in the Kootenays, and the farm here is no exception. This summer, the resident woofer is a lovely girl from Quebec named Ani.

Brenda and Gail are terrific people to work for it seems and they have people clamouring to 'woof', several of them that come back again and again, many of which become like family. We met Ani on the day we arrived, and I am sure she had no idea what she was in for - living amongst a gaggle of children, all under the age of 5. She came out from Quebec, having finished her first year of college and in search of a summer experience different from out east, and I have no doubt she got it!

She's been a huge help in the garden, having had no previous experience, she's come a long way she ensists. Her english is really exceptional, and she works hard to correct herself when she slips, as that was part of her reasoning for coming west, to learn to speak better English. We do our best to make sure the children don't drive her too crazy, perhaps making up somehow by providing yummy meals. She really knows how to flatter me, by always raving about what is being served up, whether it's cabbage rolls or fresh baked bread.

One of the best parts about eating from the garden is coming up with exciting meals with as fresh as it gets ingredients. Right now it's all about the broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage heads- larger than my own.

Ani has many talents herself, she is a wonderful musician, loves to sketch and her latest skill that we discovered was her ability to catch mice, with her bare hands! I am totally not kidding, she came to me this afternoon, looking quite thrilled with herself and exclaimed that she had caught a baby mouse that had run across her path into her bedroom. I was curious how the heck she had actually caught the little rodent, but more disturbed that it was a baby - which means there are likely more somewheres in the house. We realized we had a difference in opinion when she insisted on letting it go free a good distance from the house, while I on the other hand would have let Lizzie the cat have a nice treat for supper.

1 comment:

ladyofclay said...

Hi There,
I am a potter and "the farmers wife" in Saskatchewan. We had a fellow from Quebec here last fall helping us with harvest and I asked him what a Woofer was and he couldn't help me out... now, after reading your blog, I know !
We are presently looking (desperately) for harvest help. If you can get the word around out there I would really appreciate it. If you would be willing to do this please e-mail me and I could give you more info.