WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
WWOOF is a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable, global community.
As a volunteer (or WWOOFer) you will live alongside your host helping with daily tasks and experiencing life as a farmer. As a host farm you will open your home to receive visitors from your own country or abroad who want to connect with the land and support the organic movement.
How WOOF works
WWOOF Visitors or Woofers or volunteers give hands-on help and have an interest in organic/biological farming and living. Usually, you live with your host and are expected to join in with the day to day activities. In most countries, the programme is based on 4-6 hours hands-on help and learning a day.
Food and accommodation are provided by your host. You may be asked to help with a variety of tasks like sowing seed, making compost, gardening, planting, cutting wood, weeding, harvesting, packing, milking, feeding, fencing, making mud-bricks, wine making, cheese making and bread making and whole lot more. You will learn new skills and experience daily life as a farmer by living and learning together with your Host.
The length of your stay is negotiated directly between you and your host. Most WWOOF visits are between one and two weeks, though some may be as short as two or three days or as long as six months.
How to take part
WWOOF is organised by country, so in order to take part, you need to decide where in the world you want to go. A complete list of all destinations is available here. Sign up as a volunteer on the WWOOF Organisation responsible for the country you want to visit and then you can start contacting the hosts to arrange your visit. If you want to visit more than one country you will need to sign up as a volunteer in each country you plan to visit. Also, you are responsible for obtaining your Visa and paying for your own transportation & personal expenses. You have to make all the arrangements and contact the hosts yourself.
Who can take part
Anyone passionate about healthy food, healthy living and a healthy planet. The is an age limit of 18 years old, as in most countries people below 18 are considered by law to be children. Different rules apply in different countries, some WWOOF groups do take younger people. WWOOF Germany, WWOOF Portugal, WWOOF UK and WWOOF Italy accept younger than 18 but sometimes a letter of consent from your parent or guardian is required.
Costs to go WWOOFING
To go WOOFING you need a subscription fee to WWOOF in the country or countries you are visiting, plus all travel expenses, including, travel to WWOOF country and travel to/from between host farms, accommodation en route, insurance, toiletries/medicines, mobile phone/internet access, day trips/treats. If you don't already have sturdy working boots and a sleeping bag it is also advisable to purchase these.
How to apply
Vacancies are regularly published by each national WWOOF organisation - you can find them on WWOOF International.
Note: Some countries have WWOOF hosts but don't have a national WWOOF group. This is known as WWOOF Independents.