French couple WWOOFing it up
IT'S a long way from France to the rural lifestyle of the Northern Rivers but that is the adventure French nationals Jonathon Bagreaux and Cecilia Lanvin have taken.
They are WWOOFers, short for 'willing workers on organic farms' and when the Rural Weekly caught up with them, they were in the middle of a three-week stint with Wilson River Pecans at Richmond Hill.
"We work 38-40 hours a week," Mr Bagreaux said.
"We bought the WWOOF book that helped us to find out more about WWOOFing and where to go."
To become a member, according to the official WWOOF website, all you need to do is buy the WWOOF book and you are on your way.
The book contains the names of over 2,300 properties, many of who are certified organic or are using organic principles, that WWOOFers can arrange to stay at.
Members need to then be prepared to work four to six hours a day for their keep.
Benefits of WWOOFing are plenty according to Mr Bag-reaux and Ms Lanvin.
"So far we have worked on a macadamia farm for two weeks, a coffee plantation for three weeks, a banana plantation for three weeks and a permaculture farm for two weeks," Ms Lanvin said.
The pair are part of this worldwide trend where visitors from overseas get to experience the 'real' Australia where they link with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchanges, helping to build a sustainable global community, according to the website.
Anyone interested in taking up WWOOFing can visit their official Australian website on wwoof.com.au
"When we have worked 88 days and been signed off by each farmer, we receive an extension on our visa for one year," Mr Bagreaux said.
And who wouldn't want to spend more time in rural Australia?