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Willing Workers on Organic Farms

Imagine helping fellow travellers, while they help you with their hands.

 A fantastic world-wide scheme known as 'Willing Workers on Organic Farms' or WWOOF,

puts willing workers (mostly travellers) on organic farms where they work for room and meals.

 

article from wwoof.com.au

Working in exchange for food and accommodation is the basis of all WWOOFing. Time spent working varies according to the degree of self-sufficiency expected, how busy the host is at the time of your visit and other factors - but it should average out at about a half day's work for a full day's keep. We suggest that 4 to 6 hours a day is fair exchange for a days full board and accommodation.


Benefits
WWOOFing gives you:
first hand experience of organic growing methods by helping your hosts
a chance to meet, talk, learn and exchange views with others in the organic movement
an opportunity to learn about life in the host country by living, and working, as family.

Your Hosts
Within Australia, as in many parts of the world, our hosts are mainly pursuing a simple, sustainable, lifestyle. Many are Permaculture enthusiasts, and about 20% use Bio-dynamic growing methods.

About a quarter of the farms in the WWOOF Book are commercial producers, whether full or part time. Some of our hosts are alternative, co-operative communities, and a few are communal living groups (the list of alternative communities includes entries which are not WWOOF hosts).


Length of Stay
The minimum stay on a WWOOF farm is two nights, the maximum stay is by mutual agreement between you and your host. Most stays are for a few days only, but there are a number of hosts who encourage longer term stays up to as long as six months, usually after a trial period of four or five days.


The Work
The work you will do for these hosts is likely to be wide and variable - it could be anything the host needs done which you are capable of!

Since you work as family there are no set hours, but an average of four to six hours daily would be a fair exchange.

This list gives you an indication of some of the more common tasks:

 


 
Work on Farms Work on Non-Farms
Sowing Compost making Gardening
Planting Wood cutting Child-minding
Weeding Mud-brick making Office work
Harvesting Fencing Typing
Milking Feeding Computer work
Building Packing  

 


How to Book with a Host
Once you've found a suitable host in one of our lists, bookings can be made by phone, mail or email, to the farm you choose.

From within Australia, phone bookings are common, but people overseas who make bookings - or Australians intending to visit a host outside Australia - can book their first host by phone, mail or email, enclosing an International Reply Coupon to ensure an airmail reply, with a follow-up phone call when you arrive in the country to confirm your booking.


Some Hints on WWOOFing
Try to phone your prospective hosts between noon and 2pm, or between 6pm and 8pm for the best chance of catching them. It often helps if you sound enthusiastic and promote your skills. Have someone call for you if your English is limited, but be aware hosts may wish to speak with you personally.

Bring photographs, video, brochures and other mementos from your home area to show your hosts.

Be prepared to get out and meet local people - and to spend a bit of money locally as well.

Get the most from your visits. Stay a few weeks at one place, then try a different style of host to broaden your experience.

If you or your partner are in need of medical or psychiatric treatment, help or therapy, PLEASE do not use WWOOF. Our Hosts are busy people, not trained therapists.

What to take with you
Sleeping Bags. Mostly accommodation is in a spare room within the family home - but see the host's entry for variations. Usually bedding would be supplied, but this is not certain. Check when booking, but it would make sense to have a sleeping bag with you for emergency use. If travelling for long periods, please wash and air your sleeping bag now and again!

Boots and Gloves. While work can be anywhere in a house, garden or farm situation, always anticipate the worst weather and carry (and wear) boots to protect your feet and ankles from injury, bites and stings; also gloves for hands.

Goodwill... and respect for the privacy of your host.

Common Sense... and a willingness to ask questions about places, people and processes. Sunglasses and shady hat to protect yourself from sunburn and ultraviolet rays.

 

Important links
WWOOF Australia

The International WWOOF Association


 

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