WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms for many WWOOF organisations. Some groups use Willing Workers on Organic Farms and some like to say it means We’re Welcome On Organic Farms ūüôā

WWOOF is about Living and Learning on Organic Farms. Our vision is to bring people to a more sustainable way of life. By taking part in the day-to-day activities on an organic/bio farm, you will learn how to grow food , take care of live stock, live in a community or experience venture in self-sufficiency. There is a variety of properties available to stay on in which organic growing plays a part . There will be opportunities to learn new skills while at the same time getting to know new people and perhaps experience a new culture. For many people this means discovering a new and alternative way of life.

WWOOF organizations connect people who want to learn about organic growing, farming and sustainable lifestyles with people who have a homestead or farm and want to share their lifestyle. It is a non monetary,  educational and cultural exchange.  A host farm offers a volunteer (WWOOFer) food and accommodation and the WWOOFer  helps out for 4-6 hours per day.

WWOOF began in the early 1970’s when Sure Coppard, a secretary from London, wanted to reconnect with the land. She organized a Working Weekend on an Organic Farm with some friends, the acronym stayed (WWOOF) and the idea spread to New then Australia and Canada to now over 50 national organisations worldwide.

WWOOF supports “Think global, act local!” ¬†There are many independent national WWOOF organizations around the world, managed by local groups and then there are the hosts in countries without a national¬†WWOOF organisation yet, they are looked after by WWOOF Independents.

Make a difference! Get involved! Join WWOOF!

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  • To enable people to learn first hand organic growing techniques.
  • To enable town-dwellers to experience living and working on a farm.
  • To show alternative ways of life.
  • To improve communication within the organic movement.
  • To help develop confidence in becoming self-sufficient.
  • To meet interesting people and make useful contacts.
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    Hosts who

    • Offer experience in organic growing or production techniques
    • Can offer healthy meals
    • Have clean and dry lodging for volunteers to stay in
    • Are willing to share their knowledge and spend time with the volunteers
    • Have a safe and friendly living environment
    • Honor bookings made with volunteers

    WWOOFers who

    • Are interested to learn about organic and sustainable living techniques
    • Are willing to join in and participate in the daily activities and tasks
    • Are flexible and can adapt to new ways of living and working
    • Can commit to arranged stays with hosts
    • Will notify hosts if events happen that prevent them from arriving

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    WWOOF does not have too many hard and fast rules but there are some important things to be aware of.

    WWOOF is a non-monetary exchange.

    In return for 4-6 hours of a WWOOFers help on the organic property each day, hosts provide 3 adequate meals a day and clean, dry accommodation.

    Outside of this we leave it up to WWOOFers and hosts to negotiate.

    The main aim of WWOOF is to get people working together and learning from one another, to encourage organic and sustainable farming and living practices as well as cultural exchange.

    The details of a WWOOF exchange, such as hours worked, days off, length of stay etc need to be discussed when the WWOOFer initially contacts the host.

    Each party needs to make their expectations clear and agree on the terms of stay before the WWOOFer arrives on the property. This avoids disappointment, embarrassment and uncomfortable situations arising.

    It is also important for hosts and WWOOFers to email or chat on the phone about the type of environment they live in and jobs to be done etc in order to determine the members suitability to each situation

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    Each country has different visa requirements, so you need to check with the relevant WWOOF organisation. It is up to the volunteer to research and arrange any visas required for their WWOOFing stay. WWOOF organisations do not normally arrange placements on the farms Рvolunteers do this directly with the hosts. WWOOF staff or WWOOF hosts can not help you with getting visas.

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    Complete an Online Application Form on this website. To do this go to “Join” on the menu.

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    WWOOF Membership is annual . When you first join membership lasts for 14 months. This is to allow time to organize you trip before you start your WWOOF adventure.  You can renew your membership at any time.

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    Many countries have their own national organisations, full details here WWOOF International

    If you want to WWOOF in any of these countries you first contact and subscribe to the local WWOOF organisation in that country. When you join one of these countries you will receive the full list of hosts in that country.

    It is possible to stay with WWOOF hosts in countries that do not, as yet, have their own national WWOOF organisation, see WWOOF in Other Countries

    WWOOF supports “think Global, act Local” and is structured on a national level. There are many local WWOOF organisations around the world, there is no global¬†list or organisation. You support the local organization and join WWOOF in the countries you intend to visit. There is no international WWOOF membership. We are a network of WWOOF nations!

     

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    WWOOF supports “think Global, act Local” and is structured on a national level. While there are many local WWOOF organisations around the world there is no global¬†list or organisation. You support the local organization and join WWOOF in the countries you intend to visit. There is no international WWOOF membership. We are a network of WWOOF nations!

    Many countries have their own national organisations, full details here www.wwoofinternational.org

    If you want to WWOOF in any of these countries you first contact and subscribe to the WWOOF organisation in that country. When you join one of these countries you will receive the list of hosts in that country.

    It is possible to stay with WWOOF hosts in countries that do not, as yet, have their own national WWOOF organisation, see WWOOF in Other Countries

     

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    WWOOF provides the opportunity for you to live and experience life on organic properties. You learn organic farming methods by helping on the farm and having ‘hands-on’ experience. Usually you live in with the family and are expected to join in and cooperate with the day to day activities and chores. There are many different properties listed and you could be helping to plant vegetables, bottle excess fruit, milk a goat, build a fence or round up cattle. Check the hosts profile and ask questions if it is not clear.

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    To arrange your stay email or phone the host you wish to visit. It is important to make arrangements in advance, don’t just turn up at the door. During the initial phone call or e-mail it is important to discuss details of the stay such duration and what chores there are. If you set a date to visit a host and then find you cannot make it, please phone the host to let them know. If you fail to turn up, there will be concerns for your welfare!

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    This varies from farm to farm but is usually between 5 days and a few weeks . Many hosts have a trial period of 2-3 nights and then longer if things go well. Most hosts do not allow stays of only 1 or 2 nights as it takes time to get to know the farm routines etc.

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    Usually 1-2 weeks. However over the busy summer period hosts can sometimes be booked up 1-2 months in advance so WWOOFers do need to be more organized over this time. If you make a booking far in advance and also for bookings made closer to the time¬†PLEASE LET YOUR HOST KNOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you¬†find that you can’t make it.

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    WWOOF volunteers do not need to be experienced but being open minded and willing to learn and lend a helping hand is important. If you do have skills and experience to share this is very much appreciated.

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    We recommend all hosts should have insurance. It is a good idea to take out public liability insurance as well.

    WWOOFers¬†‚Äď you are responsible for your own safety. It is really important to check you have insurance that covers medical care including transportation home, accidents, dental and loss of property. You should also be covered against you injuring other people or losing or breaking other peoples‚Äô property. Make sure your insurer knows that you will be a volunteer on a farm.

    Some insurance companies such as WORLD NOMANDS provides insurance specifically for volunteers including WWOOFers.

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    It is best if problems can be resolved by open communication between the host and WWOOFer. However if this is not possible, further action might have to be taken. Both hosting and WWOOFing is a voluntary activity based on trust. If the arrangement is not working for whatever reason, either side has the option to end the exchange. This means a host has the right to ask a volunteer to leave their property (it is their home, after all) and a volunteer is free to leave the host early. However, if you feel the office needs to know what has happened and follow up, we have a complaints procedure in place. You can email us and be sure that we will talk to you about your concerns in confidence.

    Zero Tolerance Policy

    If we receive a complaint that involves verbal or physical abuse, assault, sexual harassment or any threat to health and safety, we reserve the right to suspend membership immediately pending review. If the complaint is upheld we reserve the right to cancel membership.

     

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    WWOOF is voluntary, Hosts do not charge the WWOOFer for their stay and WWOOFers do not get paid for their work.

    WWOOF is about educational and cultural exchange. WWOOFers help hosts on their property for 4-6 hours each day. WWOOFers should be given 3 meals a day and be provided with reasonable accommodation and learning experiences. The idea is that WWOOFers help hosts get the jobs done on their property while given the opportunity to learn about organics and engage with the locals.

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    Login to your WWOOF profile. Search for the profile of the WWOOF member you wish to give feedback. Scroll to the bottom of their profile and click on “Write Feedback”. Read through the Code of Conduct. Write your feedback and click ‘save’.

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    WWOOF reserves the right to edit feedback in situations where comments are defamatory, offensive or contain language of an inappropriate nature. Feedback also needs to be relevant and truthful. However, in the interests of providing impartiality to both hosts and WWOOFers, unless feedback is determined to fall into the category described above, then we will not intervene in this process. WWOOF  reserves the sole right to determine what is considered offensive, defamatory or inappropriate language. A request for feedback to be modified or withdrawn must come via email, and from the email address the member uses for WWOOF membership.

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    If you come across feedback that is personally attacking or offensive, please email the WWOOF office directly.

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    The minimum age to go WWOOFing is 18 yrs. There is no maximum age limit. The important criteria are that you are willing and able to lend a helping hand to your host.

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    Yes you can. However there are fewer hosts who can accept children as there may be safety issues on the farm, lack of accommodation etc. You can do a search which will give you an idea of how many hosts are able to accommodate families. For more information please also check out The Green Compass article.

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    WWOOF continues through the winter with jobs such as building raised beds, spreading the compost, tree planting, maintenance, building and other odd jobs. On wet days there may be inside help you can do.

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    WWOOF relies on the feedback from its members. Any suggestions for improving the scheme or broadening its appeal would be appreciated. If you have any further inquiries or any problems then please don’t hesitate to contact us here at the office.

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