WWOOF Review

Today is something a little different but still travel related I promise! I thought instead of reviewing the usual planes, accommodations etc. I’d go for an experience. WWOOF stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It’s an organisation divided into two parts – hosts and volunteers. They have a network all over the world of hosts that own or run farms, woodlands, allotments etc. that are organically run. Then there are volunteers (or WWOOFers) like you and me who offer our time and services to help them out with planting, farm work, market selling, misc. different trades etc. (wow there are a lot of etc’s happening in this paragraph). In return for our time the host supplies free board, often food and of course farming knowledge. It turns out to be a great way to boost your skill set and also travel around for next to nothing.

How does it work? There are several WWOOF sites by region/country and you simply pick the one you’re interested in and sign up (just give it a Google). I think they all have a member fee to cover the upkeep but it’s minimal. Then you can start searching for farms/opportunities and shoot them messages. You have to think about what experience you’re after – animals, maybe goats specifically, cooking, gathering produce for markets, cider etc. The work varies depending on where you apply and you can negotiate time commitments and length of stay. You never formally sign a contract so if somewhere makes you uncomfortable leave, it’s all informal word contracts and based on trust/rapport. The whole process is very communicative so make sure to sell yourself as there will be plenty others fighting for the spot (cue the Rocky music). The saying ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ very much applies here.

These photos are of my friend’s farm and the typical ‘WWOOFer’ day there. You can see the fields and crops that need picking, type of meals made with the organic crops you pick, lodging in cute caravans and other conditions. Like I said every scenario will be unique but you can usually get a vibe from your email communications and also the reviews. You have to treat the initial contact similar to online dating and really go with your gut. If someone is being unresponsive or aloof maybe don’t push it and find somewhere else. From my own experiences they’ve always been positive and really rewarding. Yes there have been times the tasks have been either tedious or disgusting but I pushed through it. You have to be willing to get your hands dirty and sometimes take a back seat or bite your tongue. It’s just like any other job situation except you live there as well, so just take some extra precautions and you’ll get on fine. You have to remember that the hosts are risking it as well. You might procrastinate, get hurt, moan or bring a damper to the atmosphere. It’s a push-pull relationship and I think that’s what makes it so unique and interesting.

The pros definitely outweigh the ‘cons’. One of my friend’s Rachel, who I went round British Columbia with, WWOOFed her way up the west coast of America stopping at three different farms for a week each. She learned about different crops at each place, thus improving her knowledge, and also got to explore different cities and areas for free. You might end up making friends for life and have some amazing stories to take home. You won’t be working all the time and therefore can explore on days off or your host might even take you on day trips and show you their take on the area. A real insider’s look always beats the travel guide.

If you want to find out more about WWOOF here’s the website and of course if you have questions shoot me a comment or email and I’ll help out if I can!

Discussion

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Day Out - Cinque Terre

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Day Out - Leaning Tower of Pisa

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Taipei - Jiufen and Yehliu GeoPark

Taipei - 101

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Shanghai - Bund and Temples

Xi'an - Terracotta Army

Day Out - Great Wall of China

Beijing - Temple of Heaven

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Day Out - Lantern Festival London

Vatican City - Peter and the Pope

Day Out - Pompeii

Rome 2 - Colosseum and Forum

Rome - Food, Trevi and Pantheon

Madrid - Bear and Tree

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Oslo - Vikings and Ships

Oslo - Vigeland and Ski Jump

Stockholm - Abba & Meatballs

Copenhagen - Land

Copenhagen - Water

Day Out - Frederiksborg Castle

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Jerusalem - Museums and Markets

Day Out - Makhtesh Ramon

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Tel Aviv - In the city

Day Out - Caesarea

Haifa - Places to eat and drink!

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Haifa - Bahai Gardens

Day in the Life - Tel Aviv

Day Out - Horashim Forest

#13 - Israel

Barcelona #2 - Montjuic & Barri Gotic

Barcelona #1 - Gaudi

Bristol - Things to eat and drink!

Bristol - Things to do and see!

Day Out - Sherwood Forest

#12 - Xmas

Day Out - Winterville London

Zurich - Outside the city

Zurich - In the city

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Tokyo 2

Nara & Hiroshima

Osaka

Koyasan

Kyoto 2

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Tokyo & DisneySea

Tokyo

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Boston - What to eat and drink!

Boston - What to see and do!

Seattle - What to see and do!

Adventure - British Columbia 2015

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British Columbia 2 - Vancouver

British Columbia 1 - Whistler

Adventure - Alaska 2015

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Juneau - In the city

Whittier - Glaciers, Bears & Whales

Anchorage - Outside the city

Anchorage - In the city

Denali - ATVs, Huskies and a Moose

Louisville - What to see and do!

Little Rock - What to see and do!

Oklahoma City - What to see and do!

Kansas City - What to see and do!

St. Louis - What to see and do!

Memphis - What to see and do!

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Montreal - Food Walking Tour

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