What is WWOOFing?
WWOOFing stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms and was set up in England during the 1970s for city folk interested in the ‘good life’. This simple concept soon spread across the world and became a great way for travellers to live with the locals and learn about organics and sustainability.
Edit – You may come across both ‘Willing Workers on Organic Farms’ and ‘Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms’. Both use the trademark ‘WWOOF’, but in different countries ‘World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms’ is favoured more than ‘Willing Workers’ and vice versa. In Austria they even use ‘We’re Welcome On Organic Farms’.
Where can you do it?
That’s entirely up to you. With over 100 countries with WWOOF organisations, you can pretty much choose any country you want. It’s as simple as googling ‘WWOOF + country of your choice’.
How do I pick a host?
That’s simple. Find an area you want to visit and then look for hosts that offer something you’re interested or curious about (honey, permaculture, alpacas etc…). Next, check out their profile to see if it matches your needs. A good way to know what to expect is to see what comments other WWOOFers have left about their experience.
How do I contact them?
You can find hosts contact details through your chosen country’s WWOOF website. But remember, hosts like original emails that haven’t been copied and pasted and sent to hundreds of people. They prefer an email with genuine reasons why you would like stay and learn with them. This approach will increase your chances of being taken on.
How far ahead should I plan?
It does pay to be prepared when travelling, but with WWOOFing it can be best to take your time. For example, you may find somewhere you like along your adventure and decide to stay. This may leave your host short-handed.
Arranging a month ahead should be fine.
What happens if my plans change?
If you’ve arranged to stay with someone and need to cancel, then let the host know asap. This is not just out of respect for your hosts, but it also allows any other interested WWOOFers the chance to take your place.
What should I bring?
This simple list is a good place to start.
Did we miss anything, let us know in the comments below?