Seeing the world and learning first hand about organic farming is possible through WWOOFing — World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.
The organization works as a dating site — putting volunteers in touch with organic farmers all over the world.
It started in the U.K. about 30 years ago, but now there are more than 6,000 hosts in 97 countries. And interest has grown considerably in the past three or four years.
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“Interest is really picking up as sustainable living seems to be getting more and more relevant,” says says Katherine Hallewell at WWOOFing UK.
There are now so many willing WWOOFers that they are running out of hosts.
If you are looking for an organic working farm stay this summer, you had better start searching for your match in the country you are interested in right now.
“It pays to be prepared” warned Hallewell.
Start the search at wwoofinternational.org and find your way to the country you are interested in. To see the contact details of hosts you need to become a member of that country’s WWOOFing organization -- in the U.K., for example, it costs $20 to be a volunteer and $30 for a farm to be listed. The countries that don’t have a national organization are covered by WWOOF independents.
The farms commit to being organic or using ecologically sound methods, providing their visiting WWOOFers experience of organic growing as well as a place to stay, and meals. The accommodation can vary from tents to a perfect guest room. As a volunteer, you will help with pre-agreed work — usually six hours a day, five days a week.
“You are staying there as a guest and should bring boots, working clothes and a good sense of humour,” says Hallewell.