Reclaim the Fields’s WWOLF network (Wwoofing with teeth) offers exclusive free volunteering trips to radical low-impact projects in tune with land rights and food sovereignty. What more could you want?
The birth of WWOLF: a story
Ben said, “Although I’d love to set up a WWOLF volunteering trip here at my fossil fuel-free community, unfortunately I’m swamped right now: I’m so busy, um, skinning a badger”.
It took me a few seconds to recover. “Ben,” I said, “I think that might be the best way I’ve ever been rejected.”
Then two ideas were born: WWOLF, and a new rejection that Ben and I agreed to use for unappealing romantic dates: “I’d love to see you at Pizza Express, but I’m skinning badgers on all of the days you suggested”.
WWOLF is a new small volunteering scheme where mobs of enthusiastic volunteers descend on radical low-impact UK growing projects, working 30 hours a week for food and accommodation. But first, I must clear up an unkind rumour about us: it is not true and has never been true that our slogan is: “You don’t have to like roadkill badger to take part… but it helps.” Nor is it a motto, and no, I do not have it tattooed onto the small of my back.
WWOLF is run by volunteers from Reclaim the Fields, a constellation of young people willing to go back to the land to reclaim food sovereignty, and to create alternatives to capitalism through autonomous, co-operative, collective, needs-oriented practical actions. Let me think: oh yeah, that’s because we’re awesome.
So far, we’re running free trips to Tinkers Bubble, Steward Wood, Landmatters, Chagfood and Cloud Cuckoo Land. They are a mix of fossil fuel-free and permaculture communities, a horse-ploughed CSA farm and a radical festival.
The idea is that volunteers and hosts can network and share skills with like-minded food sovereignty and land rights activists. We also hope to support our volunteers becoming new entrants to low-impact living, and to help hosts manage ambitious radical low-impact projects. We are looking for new hosts. If your project shares our ethos, check out our guidelines to apply as a host.
We were all happy with “wwoofing with teeth” as a name until it was pointed out that we were recklessly wasting an opportunity for a second-rate pun. “(w)woofing with teeth” sounds like a dog with teeth, or a wolf. So, we thought, it could be: “wwolf-ing”. Damn, we thought, with this sparkling wit and glittering intellect, it’s a wonder we don’t get more opportunities to reject surplus dates with badger-related excuses.
All of our radical volunteering trips are free. To sign up as a volunteer or as a host, visit wwolfing.wordpress.com or email wwolf [AT] riseup [DOT] net.
By Sam Sender, 2012