Wwoofing for Beginners

Wwoofing for Beginners

Wwofing for beginners is a topic that people may not know a great deal about, or perhaps may have never have heard of. The wwoofing industry is a relatively new phenonomen and it’s a great way of getting people into the ideas and methods of organic farming and also its a platform of introducing people into how farming and vegetable growing works. It’s a two way street of sorts, in that it introduces and gives people that farming experience in doing some Woman wwofing on a fruit farmwork and chores on their farms, and reciprocates by offering free board and their keep. Wwoofers seldom recieve a paymment in return for this service, except perhaps some some farm veg or produce as a means of thanks for their services. Wwoof by the way stands for …World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

There is an organisation of wwoofing farmers and families throughout the world in most countries and they are listed in the wwoofer websites  in each participating country. Those who are interesting in this type of farm working holiday make their own way, pay for their flights and travel etc, but their accomodation and meals is provided by the host families. Wwoof was founded back in the 1970s approximately and has been expanding, growing and getting more popular on an annual basis. I have seen several documentaries on TV on this topic and today, I want to explain and outline all about this experience, how it works and what are the benefits and advantages of this past-time.

 

How wwoofing started;

 

The exact history is a little clouded at present, but its fair to say that this practice first started taking hold in the UK. A forward thinking woman thought up the idea of introducing urban dwellers to the countryside for weekends in farms mainly and to get them into the ins and outs of how this industry operated, plus it was a way of getting these participants out of the cities and big towns, for a weekend.  Like everything else in life, this innovative idea evolved into a more organised and prepared stay on the farms and bit by bit, the wwoof organisation took hold. It materialised into the organisation that it is today, slowly but surely, but also not without its problems. In some cases, it was seen as a means of having free labour and and was obviously taken advantage of, before the wwoofing organisation intervened and introduced more regulation.

 

 

wwofing working on a farm

 

How wwoofing works;

 

Normally wwoofers would live with their hosts and are expected to join in and cooperate with the day to day farming and growing activities. In almost all of the countries, the system works on a 4-5 hours help per day in return for a full day’s food and accommodation. People may be asked to help with a variety of tasks like sowing plants, cultivating vegetables and helping with the harvest if the timing happened to coincide with their stay. They may be asked to help with milking duties, weeding of vegtable plots, cooking, washing and all those tasks that would normally happen on a small ordinary farm holding. The length of volunteers stay depended on how much time they were willing to offer and if that could be agreed with the wwoofing host family. A normal stay lasts approx one to two weeks, this may also vary here and there, it could only last a week or it could extend to a three or six month period as well.

 

How much does wwoofing cost;

 

For the host families to join the wwoofing community in their own countries, there is just a nominal fee of approx $30 or 25, or equivalent depending on what part of the world we live. Its just a membership fee more than anything else as the wwoof is an ethical and non profit world wide organisation. Wwoofers on the other hand pay something similar to become a member in that particular country, ie, $25 per individual or $35 per couple.

 

Wwoofers milking cows

 

The do’s and dont’s of wwoofing;

 

This is very practical stuff and its also basic health and safety. Do outline to the host family what type of work you would be interested in when on a wwoofing trip, on the application form,ie, would you like to work with animals, work in a garden, would you be prepared to get ready the meals and perhaps do some household chores etc. Do not pretend that we can drive agricultural machinery when, we may not have any experience in that area. If you are not sure what area of the farm that you may be interested in, explain that fact to the families and they willl accomodate you with tasks that will suit and so on.

Don’t expect the ‘Ritz’  or 5 star rooms for accomodation as this is a farming envoirnment and expect to be accomodated in a farming residence or lodgers digs. Be prepared for mucking out and about in a farm situation and bring clothes for these occasions. Do use our time efficiently, if there is a large town or city nearby, that you would like to visit…work up your hours so that you could have some free time at the weekend to go sightseeing etc etc.

 

In conclusion;

 

This experience for the wwoofer is a trip of adventure and its a great way of seeing different countries and to sample their hopspitality and their cultures. It’s also something different to say our normal summer holidays or vacations. We are all used to going to far flung exotic seaside tourist locations for our summer holidays, so this is another great Farm Worker Milking on a Wwoofer farm and exciting alternative to this past-time.

It’s basically an exchange based on trust and it works both ways. It is a farming holiday adventure and its designed to gain an outdoor experience in these envoirnments. The purpose of this review was to educate and inform people who may not have heard of this practice heretofore. I trust that this information will be useful and if you would like to contact us, please do so, via the comments section down under. Alternatively if you would like to contact us directly by email,you can do so here…

support@buildingraisedbeds.com

 

 

8 thoughts on “Wwoofing for Beginners

  1. I had never heard of wwoofing before, and this has been an interesting ready for me! I like the concept completely. I am really interested in this. So, I can pick an area, or country for that matter on a wwoofing site, and get in touch with them via application? In return I can gain a LOT of knowledge about farming, and maybe learn something that I would be able to use back home. So say if I wanted to go to Germany for wwoofing, I would pay the $25 fee, and if I wanted to go to a different country, another $25 right? Or is it $25 per visit? Still, that in nothing in comparison to what you get in return.

    1. Hi there

      Many thanks for dropping by and reading this post, its greatly appreciated. I agree with you completely in that this is a great idea and there are some exciting aspects attached to this concept.

      Its a great way to see other parts of the world and experience different cultures and ways of life. The onus is completely on the travelling wwoofer to pay their own fare and organise their own flights and travel.

      I believe that the fee is per visit, so if you were intending to travel to a couple of host families, then two fees need to be paid.

      Many thanks for stopping by,

      Cheers   Phil Browne

  2. I think wwoofing is a great way to learn everyday growing and farming. It is especially cool because you can choose location, what interest you, and how long you want to do it. It’s a way to learn about organic gardening, perhaps to start a garden, a farm or business of your own, and it is a unique way to travel and experience other cultures. Do you have to sign contracts for liability factors or is as simple as getting a passport and immunizations, and doing one’s own extensive research on the host families.

    1. Hi there Dana,

      Many thanks for dropping by and reading this post, its greatly appreciated. I agree with your assessment of this wwoofing practice in that it offers some great and exciting opportunities for the visitors.

      Its a great way to experience other cultures and its a different take on a working holiday. Its a practice that is well organised and there are so many great opportunities attached to this adventure.

      As far as health and safety is conserned, that responsibility is the onus of the travelling wwoofer. They pay for their own travel and when they get to their host family, they are covered by the host’s insurance. Its imperative that the intended traveller reads all about how this industry works.

      Thanks again for stopping by,

      Cheers  PB

  3. Awesome, I’m super in permaculture and hoping we can pull the trigger on a farm property in the next few years so we can grow our own food and get down business with being self sufficient.

    Super interest in the WWOOFING concept and how it can help in travel, or location transitions

    1. Hi there,

      Many thanks for dropping by and reading this post, its greatly appreciated. I like the fact that you are interested in this type of industry and as you rightly pointed out, it is a great way of offering hospitality and allows visitors from other countries and cultures to experience that of other countries.

      Its a great idea, for sure and now that the organisation is flourishing and thriving, it will only get bigger and better as we go forward.

      Best wishes on your new adventures and hopefully you can seal the deal,

      Cheers and best wishes again

      Thanks         PB

  4. Becoming a WOOFer is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Once you pay the small membership fee, you have access to worldwide organic farming opportunities. I decided to WOOF after graduating from a Master’s program to decompress, and I can tell you that I learned so much on the farm in such a short period of time. WOOFing, from my experience, gave me a different perspective on my life path as well as teaching me a bundle about how to live harmoniously with the land and reduce waste as much as possible. Thank you for sharing your post and I hope this encourages many others to try out WOOFing!

    1. Hi there Ciara,

      Many thanks for stopping by and reading this post on Wwoofing, its greatly appreciated. I can see that you have been down this road and you aare speaking from experience. I am glad that it made a positive impression on you life and that the experience was one of enjoyment and learning.

      It’s a great organisation to be involved with for sure and its a great way to spend two or three weeks in a working type vacation. The fresh air, the healthy lifestyle, the working colleagues that we meet and much much more, where else would one get it.

      I think it should become part of the education curriculum, but maybe that is taking it a step too far at the moment.

      Thanks again for stopping by

      Cheers      PB

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