- Artur Domanski/ Matthew Palaczky
Working Weekends on Organic Farms
Would you like to be hosted by people from different parts of the world, enjoy their hospitality and gain the possibility to learn about their life and occupation, whilst at the same time taking part in a global movement for a sustainable community?
On top of all this, there is no money involved – this is all in exchange for your help.
Sounds like a real Utopia.
Fortunately, it exists and is more active than ever before! Have you ever heard about WWOOFing?
WWOOF is an acronym of Working Weekends on Organic Farms. The idea was first developed in England in 1971, when Sue Coppard noticed that there were people like her who loved to participate in organic farming.
The first four WWOOFers spent one weekend on a farm in Sussex. The weekend was a great success, both the farmers and the volunteers liked it and enjoyed themselves. Soon the idea spread across the UK. The basic idea is very simple –organic farmers and smallholders offer accommodation and food to volunteers willing to help them in their daily work. Both the farmers and the volunteers profit from an exchange of experiences and newfound friendships.
Since then, WWOOFing has been actively developing itself and shows no sign of stopping. The organisation is always trying to meet the needs of the volunteers, as well as those of the farmers, resulting in a more fruitful cooperation between the two parties.
WWOOFing is now an international movement, with over 50 groups around the world. The acronym has stayed the same, but the name has changed. It was initially changed to Willing Workers on Organic Farms and later to World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.
“WWOOF is now recognised as having an important contribution to make in the wider organic world as it brings more and more people into direct contact with organic growers both independently and through other organisations who are trying to influence policy and consumer demand. Through its newsletters WWOOF organisations inform their members of organic news, views, jobs and training.
WWOOF is still growing and 'to wwoof' has entered languages in its own right. WWOOFers have given 1000's of hours of help to organic growers and WWOOF hosts have given their time and experience to WWOOFers and opened the door to a way of living that continues to fundamentally change people's lives.
(Description of WWOOF from the official webpage)
I recently looked through a WWOOF catalogue of possible places to visit and jobs to help with, and in 5 minutes I came across these opportunities:
Help on a Husky farm in Finland near Lapland, working with a survival skills specialist.
Become a Nomad in Mongolia, travel on horses and help to produce kumys.
Help the Beduins in the Sahara to grow their organic garden.
Help in a restaurant lodge in Tonga, an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Help with the Cacao seed harvest in Fiji.
So why not have an amazing adventure and support organic farms at the same time?