Farming group offers free housing, board for volunteer work
Question: My 18-yearold son is interested in joining a group called WWOOF-USA, which promises to let people live on a farm rent-free in exchange for unpaid work. Is this a legitimate organization, or is it some type of scam? Answer: The Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms in the United States — commonly called WWOOF-USA — is a legitimate nonprofit that links people up with more than 2,100 earth-friendly farms and even urban gardens across the nation, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
So-called WWOOFers typically spend about half a day doing unpaid chores, which can range from planting or harvesting crops to keeping bees or even building small homes made of organically grown bales of hay. In exchange, the property owner agrees to provide free room and board.
As a bonus, WWOOFers learn practical, eco- friendly farming skills.
For about $40 a year, folks can search www. wwoofusa.org for farmers, ranchers or other property owners who are looking for help. The free housing offered can range from a spare bedroom to (believe it or not) a tepee.
Though I think that WWOOF provides a great service, it’s important to note that the group doesn’t fully screen either its WWOOFers or the folks who will provide the housing. So, it’s important to talk with a prospective host before agreeing to work and live on the property.
It also would be wise to research the host by using popular websites like Google and Pipl. com. Checking the federal government’s National Sex Offender website (www. nsopw.gov) could be helpful, too. GETTING THE BEST DEALS
Question: We are remodeling our living room, and would like to buy a new TV as part of the process. There are some great deals now, but could we save even more if we wait until next month’s Black Friday?
Answer: It depends on the type and size of the television that you want to purchase.
If you want a TV with a standard screen size of 55 inches, you probably should make the purchase now, reports shopping expert Benjamin Glaser, of
bargain-hunting website DealNews.com. “That’s because this category size has hit a price plateau, meaning retailers have discounted them as much as they’re willing to,” Glaser notes.
Should you want a bigger set, you’ll likely save money if you wait until Black Friday. That’s the day after Thanksgiving, when retailers typically slash prices to jump-start their holiday-shopping season.
October also is a great month to buy end-ofsummer stuff, including patio furniture and barbecue sets. This also is a good time to buy a tent or other summer camping gear if you — like me — prefer to “house” yourself under a moonlit autumn sky rather than a bedroom that’s covered by a cottage-cheese ceiling.
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