The WWOOF Movement: Information About Volunteering On An Organic Farm

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WWOOF is an international movement that links organic farmers with volunteers. The connection is based on a non-monetary exchange.

A volunteer in the movement typically is called a WWOOFer. A volunteer, or WWOOFer, lives along side a host, helping with the daily tasks associated with an organic farm. A host provides some type of lodging and food.

WWOOF came into being in 1971 in England. WWOOF originally stood for Working Weekends on Organic Farm. When the demand for volunteers increased, and a desire to have them on farms for longer than a weekend, WWOOF came to mean Willing Workers on Organic Farms. Now that WWOOF has become an international movement, WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

How Does a Person Become a Volunteer?

You can become a volunteer, or start WWOOFing, by selecting a country in which you wish to volunteer. There are individual WWOOF organizations in each country in which the movement exists.

Once signed up with a specific country, you can begin the process of contacting host farms and farmers. If you are interested in experiencing organic farming in more than one country, you will need to sign up with each nation’s WWOOF movement before making contact in those countries.

You are responsible for making certain that you obtain a proper Visa. You are responsible for your transportation and personal expenses.

Keep in mind that WWOOF does not place you with a farmer. You are fully responsible for making contact and arrangements.

How Old Do I Have to be to Go WWOOFinig?

In a majority of countries, you will need to be at least 18 years old to go WWOOFing. That is the legal age in many countries.

There are some countries in which a younger person is able to become a WWOOFer. These include:

  • Germany
  • Portugal
  • Ireland
  • United Kingdom
  • Italy

Keep in mind that a letter of consent may be needed from a parent or guardian.

Can Someone be Too Old to be a WWOOFer?

There is no maximum age to be a WWOOFer. Indeed, some host farmers prefer older WWOOFers because of their life experiences.

How Long can I Stay at a Host Farm:

There no set timeframes for staying at a particular farm. That is something negotiated between the host and WWOOFer. Ideally, the host and WWOOFer set a specific timeframe before the WWOOFer arrives at the farm. In many instances, a stay at a particular farm can be extended if a WWOOFer is interested in doing so.

Can Children Go WWOOFing with Parents?

Children can go along with their parents when WWOOFing. The key is identifying farms that allow this arrangement. Identifying farms owned by people with children is always a good idea in this type of situation.

Can Friends Go WWOOFing Together?

Yes, you can go WWOOFing with your friends. Each individual must apply with each country where you intend to WWOOF. Although it may be possible to WWOOF at the same farm, that may not always be possible. With that said, you may be able to find farms in close proximity with one another.

Does Money Ever Exchange Hands?

Money is not to exchange hands between a WWOOFer and a host farmer. In some poorer countries, there may be some special situations in which a WWOOFer may go to the market and purchase food items to contribute to meals. That is something that is considered on a case by case basis. A WWOOFer is never required to take steps like this, however. A different host can be located via WWOOF if this becomes an issue.

What Security Checks are Performed on Hosts?

The nature and extent of security checks on WWOOF hosts depends on the country in which you are going. You are advised to take whatever precautions you would take visiting a person you do not know.

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Featured image: Pexels

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Documents International LLC, a leading apostille service for individuals and businesses.

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