WWOOF Italy: Choosing your farm

This is the 3rd installment of a travel blog concerning my travels to Italy. Read this one first and this one second.


After a few weeks, five farmers reached out to me via email. Here were the responses:


Hallo,

I think it will be possible in those days to come here and 
work in my farm. It's not very hard, but it means working in the 
vineyard,  cleaning stone steps, mooving or cutting wood, .....Usually 
you'll take your lunch with me at my house and you'll live in a house 
nearby. Dinner is free, but I'll  furnish you some food. Have you other 
questions to submit me? my english is not very good , but I  hope you 
can understand....ciao, give me news of you.


Hi,

Thank you for contacting us. Our farm is located in the greenest part of Sicily. We have a plantation of oranges, mandarins, olive trees, chestnuts, avocado and vegetable garden. It is good for us to welcome you at the end of March until the middle of April, if it's all right for you.
Have you the WWOOF membership card in order? This is important because it contains the assurance needed to do volunteer work in Italy. Can you send a copy by mail ?

Greeting from Sicily


Hello ! 

that's a good idea ! 

If you want, you are welcome here, preferibly in late march or even april

Are you planning to spend two months in sicily in different places ?
Here, on that period , i think we will mostly prepare the vegetable garden to produce food for summer. and also general maintenance. 

maybe building something also, but if you know a lot about renewable energy, we could also try to build something to produce wind energy  ? There is always a lot of wind over here. 

do you also speak a little bit of italian? It would be interesting for me also to met someone from Texas, as usually united states citizens that travels are mostly coming from other areas. 

Let me know, have a nice day


Hi

Thank to write.
I was in a short holiday and before in a birush and I see just now your mail.If you want to came In mmarch to help us with harvest oranges you will be welcome.End of Feb we will have a german school coming every year for a cooperation project and they will leave on the 3th of March.If you came then will be perfect to send next week oranges together.If your are still interested please send your woof card.Thanks


Ciao and thanks for the interest.

As you probably saw reading my description I am at present in the North of Italy and will not be back to Sicily until the end of March( usually around the 22nd).

There is an italian wwoofer now looking after my farm during the whole winter till I come back.

You are welcome to come and stay to help for at least 2 weeks from around the end of March when I return or earlier, if you like, but then you should contact him ,Walter, and dicuss with him the time and other details, see is mail address above.!

Let me know what you think please.

All the best, a presto


I went through my spreadsheet and matched up the emails with their corresponding farm. I found I could only identify 4 out of 5 because the email doesn’t always specify. Of the four I could identify, none were at the very top of my list. I sent the 5th farmer, the one I couldn’t identify, an email asking to clarify. Here is what conspired:


Thank you for the response!

In a few weeks, I will know my exact dates and have a better idea of when I will visit.

What is your host description on the WWOOF website? I contacted a few hosts to see if which ones could host me, but I can't figure out exactly which one is your farm.


Ciao my farm is called I Giardinazzi and should be one of the first on the Sicily list since I am one of the WWOOF coordinators of the region.

Let me know when you decide.

A presto


Thank you,

I am very happy to hear from you because I am most interested in visiting your farm.

I am flexible on the dates I can visit you and I'd like your advice on the best time to visit so I can start looking at flights.

Please consider these three things:

First, I'd like to visit when you are there.

Second, I would also like to visit when the weather is warmer and has less rain. My research shows that April or May could be good choices.

Lastly, I'd like to visit when I am most useful to you. I am an active 30 year old male and have worked on farms before. I'm comfortable with tools and manual labor. I would love to take on a project with you if you have something in mind. I am also happy to help plant, prune, harvest, or anything that would be useful to you.

With those things in mind, what would be a good time for you? I will be visiting for roughly 10-14 days, depending on my flight schedule.


Ciao,

Considering all your wishes I also think that end of April going on   into May would be a good choice considering that it is one of the most pleasant periods:lots of blooming flowers .

One consideration which you might have noticed reading my description is that I do not take anyone for less than two weeks. If this suits you please let me know.

All the best


Sounds great. 

If I was to arrive by air, which airport would be most convenient to get to your farm? 


The nearest to my place would be Catania airport and from there you can take a bus directly to PIAZZA ARMERINA if you arrive at a reasonable time in any  weekdays.except sunday

A presto


The 5th farm happened to be the #1 farm I wanted to visit. He was very responsive via email. I recommend being very open with your intentions and timelines. Ask questions and share your wants and needs. With his advice, I determined my target dates and airport.

At this point, I was ready to start shopping for airline tickets.