WWOOF organisations connect people who want to live and learn on organic farms and small-holdings with people who want to share their knowledge and way of life.
WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic and self-sufficient lifestyles. Visitors or WWOOFers as they kindly known, give a helping hand with the daily activities on the land and in the family home.
Volunteering Guidelines – Your Rights and Responsibilities
We know that by volunteering you are generously donating your time, skills and efforts. But a volunteer environment is still a workplace, and as such, you have certain responsibilities that must be upheld. And of course, you have rights as well!
On the top of that, you must understand the specific characteristics of the place where you are volunteering, and respect its dynamics. This document will help you understand where you stand and what to expect. We would expect you to read it and tell us if there is anything you do not understand.
About Peneda ecofarm
Peneda ecofarm is firstly dedicated to organic farming, integrating permaculture and regenerative agriculture concepts. More than producing organic food reducing damage to the environment, we are into reversing damage by adopting regenerative practices.
As a complement Peneda ecofarm offers B&B accommodation, with the option of meals at the farm, and also organizes Culture & Nature activities with local partners. Peneda ecofarm follows UNWTO guidelines for sustainable tourism (ST) and we are Organic Farming and Biosphere Sustainable Tourism certified.
This means volunteers are integrating an organized working environment with rules. To understand these rules is of primary importance for the volunteers to find their place and have a positive and fulfilling experience.
So, before you start, you should check that the purpose of Peneda ecofarm matches your own values and beliefs and that your role is clear and specific.
AS A VOLUNTEER YOU HAVE THE RIGHT:
To work in a healthy and safe environment;
To be integrated in accordance with equal opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation;
To benefit from firsthand experience of organic or other ecologically-sound growing methods and sustainable living practices, as well as opportunities for education in these fields of expertise;
To be adequately covered by insurance – as a WWOOF volunteer you are expected to have your insurance up to date through your relationship with WWOOF organization – this can be the Personal Accident Insurance included in the fee of your membership as a volunteer or the Liability and disablement insurance that you can purchase on top of your membership.
To be given a copy of Peneda ecofarm volunteer policy and any other policy that affects your work;
Not to fill a position previously held by a paid worker;
To have a job description and agreed working hours;
To be provided with orientation;
To be provided with decent clean accommodation, and with healthy meals and an integrated family experience.
AS A VOLUNTEER YOU ARE EXPECTED TO:
Respect confidentiality and privacy
Have a valid insurance;
Be punctual and reliable
Carry out the duties listed in your volunteer position description
Give notice if your availability changes or you are leaving Peneda ecofarm
Adhere to Peneda ecofarm policies and procedures
Deal with complaints in a professional, constructive way (such as we will too)
Ask for support when needed
Take due care with personal safety and physical and mental health. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to find health care solutions and keep to lawful practices
Take the advice of Peneda ecofarm staff, and not engage in potentially dangerous activities which could be injurious to your health or welfare.
Act always in a professional manner and be flexible and adaptable. We expect the volunteer not to turn up late, leave early, or behave in an inappropriate manner.
Assist the family with other small tasks, when asked to, in order to ensure there is adequate time to work together for the purpose of the education in the areas outlined above
Peneda ecofarm upholds a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and weapons. The possession and/or use of drugs or weapons is strictly prohibited. Consuming alcohol such as beer or wine is only allowed in the frame of a moderate and responsible consumption
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor and outdoor areas of Peneda Ecofarm, with the exception of designated areas. It is absolutely forbidden to smoke inside the caravan.
It is not allowed to walk around the farm naked.
Peneda ecofarm runs a B&B and accommodates guests. Volunteers are expected to behave themselves in an appropriate and discrete manner as guests often come to Peneda ecofarm in search of peace and quiet.
PENEDA ECOFARM ACCOMMODATION RULES
Accommodation is in a caravan. It does not have a bathroom. The bathroom is located outside, 50 meters distance, next to the pool. The bathroom is comfortable, spacious and offers a hot shower at any time. Bed linen and towels are provided once a week. Volunteer clothes washing is offered at need. Free wi-fi.
Cooking is not allowed inside or outside the caravan, with any kind of stove, nor light fires. An electric kettle is provided. For snacks, it is allowed to keep a plastic box with a lid (provided) where all the food must remain sealed.
The caravan must be kept clean, being this the volunteers’ responsibility (vacuum cleaner, broom and eco cleaning products are provided). Volunteers are expected to do a general clean up once a week, when clean bed linen is provided, in their free time. At the end of their time at Peneda ecofarm, before leaving, volunteers must clean the caravan and leave it as they found it, ready for the next guests.
Peneda ecofarm embraces a zero waste policy, which means that we reduce by buying in bulk whenever possible, not buying single-use plastic (disposables), recycling and composting. Please deposit your waste at Recycle House at the entrance of the farm, taking care to deposit all waste properly separated in recycling containers and, in the case of packaging, properly rinsed with water whenever justified – we like clean garbage. For non-recyclable waste, please use the common waste container, always keeping the lid tightly closed.
Bicycles are available to volunteers in order to provide alternative modes of transportation, reduce volunteers’ dependence on cars, and encourage volunteers to explore the surrounding area in an environmentally-friendly way. Volunteers are responsible for using bicycles in a responsible way, for keeping them in good condition and not abandon them without supervision while outside the farm. If bikes are stolen or damaged due to lack of supervision or care there is 200 euros fee to be paid to Peneda ecofarm.
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor and outdoor areas of Peneda Ecofarm, with the exception of the following outdoor areas where there are clay pots with sand and ashtrays: patio of the farm, sun lounge on the green roof. Volunteers may smoke outside the caravan next to the clay pot. We ask smokers to stay by the pots/ashtrays while smoking, instead of walking around with a lit cigarette, as a matter of courtesy to those who do not smoke and feel uncomfortable with smoke.
It is absolutely forbidden to throw cigarette butts on the floor, since the cigarette butt has about 4,000 toxic compounds, including heavy metals and micro particles, they are not biodegradable and their decomposition has no time limit, and these toxics are released into the air, soil and water. Additionally, animals can ingest them causing serious health problems or death. Leave them on the clay pot and periodically dispose them on the common waste container, at the Recycle House.
Access to the swimming pool is free for all volunteers. The pool is 1.5 m deep in its deepest area, accessible by a stainless steel ladder. Access to the water is via a 3-step ladder in the lowest area of the pool. There are shower facilities next to the pool. There is a lifebuoy next to the pool – its use is prohibited unless there are people in the water at risk of drowning. The pool is not supervised, so each volunteer is responsible for their own safety. Jumping into the pool and running around the pool is prohibited for safety reasons. The pool is delimited to the south by some poles and a rope that signals a wall over 2 m high. Please be careful.
Peneda ecofarm is located in a typical area of Alto Minho, characterized by steep slopes and narrow terraces. The farm has several areas with high unprotected walls. We ask our volunteers to use defined paths for safe circulation. The harvesting and ingestion of plants from the farm must also be prevented, as some may be toxic, as well as we expect our volunteers to act with common sense near the animals of the farm, avoiding screams and threatening gestures, so animals and people are safe. The farm has chickens, a cat and a dog, Castro Laboreiro breed, which roams freely with the exception of the delimited areas around the accommodation, swimming pool and zone 1 (vegetable gardens, orchard).
When arriving or leaving the farm, it is the volunteers responsibility to keep the main gate closed and always call Levi, the dog, inside, by calling is name and waiting for him to get in.
When circulating on foot on the farm, always leave all gates closed, and do not let Levi, the dog, enter the areas of zone 1, where the lower social areas and vegetable gardens are.
Access to the Farm’s stone house, Peneda ecofarm headquarters, is prohibited. You can only access when invited. This is because this house comprehends the office and the kitchen which are regulated working spaces. Access to the Kitchen is only allowed during meal service hours. This is because this is a health and food security certified kitchen that serves meals to B&B guests and runs gastronomy experiences for tourists. Access to other spaces in the main house, to the laundry room, as well as access to all storage and technical areas, as well as to B&B guest rooms is prohibited.
WHAT WILL BE PENEDA ECOFARM VOLUNTEERS DOING AND LEARNING
Ways to increase soil fertility and ecosystem resilience: no dig, chop & drop, feed soil microorganisms with preparations, apply pest prevention sprays, how to boost plant immunity, make compost piles, natural fertilizers, build irrigation systems, how to do plant propagation, install live hedges, working for maintenance of health and fertility in the orchard, maintenance of a family vegetable garden with minimal soil mobilization. The WWOOFers will contribute to general maintenance works in the orchards and vegetable garden, which includes cleaning the areas around the trees from weeds, preparing and applying compost and chippings, activating the soil’s microbiology with natural preparations, installing or checking the proper functioning of gravity drip irrigation systems, creating shelters for animals, domestic and wild, maintaining fences and animal shelters; they will participate in plant propagation works; they will apply by brush or by spraying compounds that benefit the health of the trees; they will help to plant more trees; they will help with general cleaning of storage areas. Depending on how much time you spend on the farm you will do some or all of these jobs.
PENEDA ECOFARM VOLUNTEERS SCHEDUAL
Breakfast at 8:30 am. Work with direct supervision from 9:00 am – 10:30 am. Snack in the field or kitchen at 10:30 am. Work (without supervision) from 10:45 am to 13:00 pm. Shower 13:00 (whenever is necessary). Lunch 13:15 – 14:15. Free time. Dinner: 20:00-21:30. The working schedule is from Wednesday to Monday, with Tuesday free. It can be adjusted as a result of weather conditions or specific needs of the Farm (organized in advance).
Elisabete’s phone number: 00351 93 944 66 01. Any doubt, always call or ask directly.
Please know that as a host we will do everything in our power to welcome you and share our knowledge on regenerative agriculture and organic farming. We will prepare wonderful healthy meals and integrate you in life at the farm. We will help you to discover the region and have a nice time.
Looking forward to having you here! Find us in here.