Want To WWOOF? Seven Things You Need To Know

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want to wwoof

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?

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About Author

Steve

With a background as a journalist and a chef, Steve loves to travel and find the story at the source of our food. Whether it’s wine, honey, beef, vegetables or fruit, Steve wants to show that volunteer travelling can provide a master class in all things sustainable and delicious.

6 Comments

  1. Hi Steve, nice text but just one thing. WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. They have change it as ‘ willing workers’ had a negative touch in terms of free labor and some country’s government did not like this.

    • Steve

      Hi Yana

      Thanks for commenting and I’ve updated the text to clarify matters. After talking with some WWOOF groups, it seems that all groups use the trademark ‘WWOOF’, but across the globe there are many groups using ‘World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms’ for the reasons you mentioned above while some groups still use ‘Willing Workers’, such as Australia. In Austria they even use ‘We’re Welcome On Organic Farms’, which is a lovely way to put it. I like that one the best.

      Cheers
      Steve

      • Now that you are a fully fledged weeedr there is full accommodation, meals and gardening experience any time in McLellan street. My potatoes and garlic are coming along well. We just had some rain.Good luck with your travels.Love Mum

    • Mags and Stu,thanks for this insight into Green Fire Farm.more power to you as you move torwad organic farming!I envy your long sleeves as you work in summer harvest it’s a bit warmer and muggier in Maryland.What is the growing season in that part of California ??

  2. Thanks Cathy! I really like woiofwng, too, and I can only agree with you when you say it’s very educational, inspiring and definitely a great way to tune into what’s happening locally, with the added bonus that many farms are in particularly beautiful spots. I’ll be writing more about woiofwng in the near future, hope you’ll enjoy them

  3. J. D. Cronin / Why have I not heard of this before? This sodnus like the ideal vacation: getting to know a new country first hand, and learning some awesome life skills along the way. I bet being on an organic diet for a week or so would really make a difference in health, and would probably lead to a lifestyle change of sorts who knows? Great article!

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