On 22 March we officially became hosts for WWOOFers - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (see http://www.wwoof.fr/) and since then have had 16 requests to come and help/stay with us. What a staggering response!
I am excited and nervous in equal amounts. Excited because it will be great to share time, knowledge and experiences with other folk but nervous in case we don't live up to their expectations.
Lots of them want to come to improve their French and I'm not so sure that LPM is the very best place for that in that we don't speak French within our family, only to teach odd words to the children. I'm not the best person to teach the children, or anyone else, more than this as my school French is very rusty, plus I'm not a native speaker and they would be better to learn from a native. Having said that, quite a few of the folk who are volunteering are actually from within France and are French speaking, wanting to improve their English, so maybe this is a good mix for other folk who want to come to improve their French. Plus we obviously have to live our lives outside of LPM on a day-to-day basis in French so there are opportunities, and neighbours sometimes call in. I'm just honest in my replies to enquiries and folk can make their own decisions based on that.
Equally, we are not far into our journey of making LPM the sustainable place we'd like it to be. So many things still need to be done, and yet more need further research. We are learning here through trial and error and those WWOOFers who only come for a short duration may only get to see the errors! Whilst I have years of experience of running an organic garden in Scotland, the plot including the house footprint only extended to 0.5 of an acre - here we have 17. Plus the climate is different, the sourcing of materials is different, working a field is different to working a garden - in fact, at times, it seems as though *everything* is different! And those differences need to be learned and worked in.
Ben says that I'm worrying too much about it. I guess that folk will just have to take us as they find us. Those that love it will maybe honour us by coming back, and those that don't won't.
I'd best get out planting or the WWOOFers will wonder what we do with our time!