People- and Planet-Friendly www.planetfriendly.net
Home | Calendar | GoodWork | Post an Event/Job | Links | Forum | Search | About | Contact | Donate
 
All About Wwoofing
Introduction | Links & Organizations | Stories & Articles | Organic Links & Resources | Internships & Jobs | Living

(1) Intro to Wwoofing

What: volunteering/learning/working stays on organic gardens & farms
Why:
fun, learning, experience, community, travel, healthy living
Who:
all ages and levels of experience
Where: 70 countries –over 600 locations in Canada alone
When: spring, summer or fall (some hosts also welcome Wwoofers in winter)
Duration: negotiable – go for a few days, weeks or a season
Cost: varies by country (Canada is $40 to $50 per person for a one year membership)

The variety is endless: from prairies, to mountains, to the ocean shore ...from hobby gardens to full-time farms ...from solar-powered homes to ecovillages ...from herbs, to orchards, to livestock ...from swimming holes to gourmet, natural foods cooking.

WWOOF is an international network of organic farms, gardens and businesses where you can visit and receive food, accommodation and training in return for your help and participation. No experience is required, although any skills you have can be put to good use. There are over 600 locations in Canada alone, plus hundreds more in 70 countries around the world.

Wwoofing is not only for people who want to garden or farm. There are also opportunities for handy persons, cooks, teachers, green builders, child carers – and just about anyone else.

Wwoofing is what you make it. For some people, it's a way to learn about organic gardening, perhaps to start a garden, a farm or business of their own. For others, it's a way to live healthily and sustainably for a few days, weeks or a season – eating well, breathing fresh air, and enjoying good company. For yet others, it's an experiment with non-urban living, a foray into a new lifestyle. And, for those bitten by the travel bug, it's a unique way to travel the world and experience other cultures.

How does it work? When you join Wwoof Canada, for example, you pay a membership fee ($40) and receive your membership number, plus a booklet containing descriptions of all the hosts in Canada. You agree not to share the Wwoof book with non-members – it's only through memberships that the Wwoof networks are able to exist.

After that, there's no middle man: you read the book, select one or more hosts that interest you, and contact them directly. It's up to you to communicate with the host to give them a good idea of your interests, limitations, time-frame, etc. Every host is different – it's important to ask questions about what kind of work is involved, accommodations, meals, preferred length of visit, and anything else that's on your mind.

"WWOOF" originally stood for Working Weekends On Organic Farms. These days some call it Willing Workers On Organic Farms or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

Myself, I discovered Wwoofing several years ago – I spent my vacation with three different hosts, one week at each. I decided to stay in my own province – there was as much variety as going to another country. The following year, I returned to one of the hosts for the entire summer. It was a solar-powered home and CSA gardens... an unbelievably beautiful place, with great people who were both living the good life and reaching out to community and the world. This experience helped me get out of a rut and start a whole new life path. I've also wwoofed in several other provinces, but not yet internationally. All my experiences have been good – thanks to, I believe, honest and clear communications with my hosts.

If you love this planet and have a positive, can-do spirit, wwoofing is for you. It can be a magical, inspiring way to connect to our planet in the most fundamental way – by living off the land and helping grow the food we eat every day. It's a great way to learn, work, build community, and grow.

– Peter Blanchard
www.GoodWorkCanada.ca

 
.
 
(2) WWOOF Links & Organizations

For more information, to view the listings, or to join...

Wwoofing in Canada
(1) WWOOF Canada www.wwoof.ca | Wwoof Hosts in Canada
(2) For longer-term organic visits/apprenticeships/internships in
Canada and the USA, see also
GoodWorkCanada.ca and
www.planetfriendly.net/organic.html#joblistings (scroll down to
"(16) Job, Apprenticeship & Volunteer Listings")

Wwoofing in the United States
There are several wwoof-related websites/organizations in the USA:
(1) WWOOF USA
www.wwoofusa.org
(2) Organic Volunteers (eWwoof)
www.organicvolunteers.org
(3) New England Woof
www.smallfarm.org/newoof/
(note: New England Woof focuses on apprenticeships, not short-term wwoofing;
for other apprenticeship listings see also
their links and the Organic Opportunity page)
(4) Southeast Willing Workers on Organic Farms homepage.mac.com/smkolins/sewwoof/
(5) Wwoof Hawaii www.wwoofhawaii.org

Wwoofing in 70 Countries around the World
International Wwoof Association www.wwoofinternational.org (see also www.wwoof.org )

How to Get There?
Don't have a car? Many hosts are willing to pick you up at the nearest train or bus station. Some drive to the nearest city regularly for the farmers market or other reasons. Others are accessible by foot, bike or public transit. When speaking to a prospective host, ask about the options. See also these links for affordable and environmentally friendly transportation options and green travel.

 
.
 
(3) Wwoof Stories & Articles
– a selection of stories by Wwoofers or about Wwoofing

Come Wwoof With Me, by Jeff Johnson
Happily Sweating in the Sunshine with Like-Minded People, by Rebecca Morey
Want to Travel the Earth? by Ruby Isaacs
Earth-Friendly Aggies Dot the Global Landscape, by Eric David Larson
What did you do last summer? by Mark Robinson
A Summer in Scotland, by Ruth Dalton
Willing Workers on Organic Farms, author unknown, Outpost Magazine
No Need to Act Like a Dog, TNT Magazine
A Day of Wwoofing, by Orion Wilson

Note: Many of the above stories focus on the travel aspects of Wwoofing. But there iis no need
to leave your own country – you can find quite a whole new world in your own province or region.

Wwoof Photos
Photos of Wwoofing on organic gardens and farms worldwide.

Wwoof & Organic Photos | More | More

 
.
 

(4) Organic Gardening & Farming
– links, resources, organizations

What on Earth is Organic?
Why Organic?
What's Wrong with Pesticides?
Why Buy Local? (more | more)
The Eco-Foods Guide (and top-ten grocery store checklist) (book)

About Organic Gardening | links & organizations
About Sustainable Agriculture | links & organizations
About Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) | links and organizations

Canadian Organic Growers | Food & Organic Organizations
Organic Links, Resources, Opportunities

How to Restore, Steward and Conserve the Land
Protect the Land, Don't Pave It!
EcoProperty Canada – organic and ecological land, projects and proposals

 
.
 
(5) Organic Internships & Jobs
...want to start your own organic garden, farm or organic food business?

While Wwoofing is often fairly short term – a few days to a few weeks – an internship tends to be longer, anywhere from a month to a year or more. In addition to room and board, an internship can offer in-depth instruction and the experience of an entire growing season. Some internships also offer a small stipend; very few offer a full salary. Also called apprenticeship, it amounts to the same thing – hands-on learning, experience and mentorship in return for your energy and enthusiasm. There are several websites that list organic internships in Canada:

GoodWork Canada – GoodWorkCanada.ca – jobs and internships. Search the listings for food, organic, community supported agriculture, etc.
PlanetVolunteer Canada – PlanetVolunteer.net – search the listings for food.
SOIL Apprenticeships (Canada) – SoilApprenticeships.org
CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training, Ontario, Canada) – CraftOntario.ca
ACORN (Atlantic Canada) – AcornOrganic.org/training.html
Manitoba Farm Mentorships OrganicFoodCouncil.org/farm_mentorship_program.php

WWOOF (Worldwide) – Wwoof Canada has the largest listings of organic hosts across Canada. Many of them may be open to longer term stays or internships. Browse the listings and call up hosts that interest you – ask them whether they offer internships, now and in the past. See Wwoof Canada and Wwoof International and the other Wwoof links and organizations listed above.

Eco-Centres & Places across North America www.planetfriendly.net/learn.html (many offer courses, workshops, internships, apprenticeships, wwoofing, workbees, volunteering, activities, etc., related to organics as well as other ecological or sustainable living topics)

Internship & Wwoofing Tips – find a host, mentor, internship or job that is a good match for you
Tips for organic interns, apprentices, job seekers, wwoofers and volunteers
Job Search Tips & Resources | The 'Hidden' Job Market | Wanted: Positive Person | Create Your Own Green Job / Organic Business

(see also the Everything Organic page, section 16, Job & Apprenticeship Listings)

 
.
 
(6) Sustainable Living Resources

Sustainable Living Links (urban or rural) – Wikipedia | People & Planet | Google Directory
Rural Living and Homesteading –
Wikipedia | Google Directory
Green Building –
Links, Jobs, Resources | Strawbale | more
Renewable Energy –
Home-made Power | Power that Doesn't Destroy
Ecoportal Canada – gateway to "everything eco" in Canada and beyond

"Conventional farming produces high yields, but there are also enormous costs – pollution of groundwater, rivers, lakes and coastal areas, and reduced soil productivity through nutrient leaching. The use of pesticides and herbicides also kills beneficial non-target species and poses a health risk to farm workers and potentially to consumers. None of these 'external' costs are factored in to the price of conventionally grown crops." – David Suzuki

"The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes 'sight seeing'." – Daniel J. Boorstin

 
.
  Subscribe to the People & Planet E-Newsletter  
   
  ( homepage | subscribe questions | powered by )  
  Subscribe to GoodWork! Jobs, Internships & Volunteering  
   
  ( homepage | subscribe questions | problems | powered by )  
.

People & Planet | GoodWork Canada
bringing people together over ideas that matter

All About Wwoofing: www.planetfriendly.net/wwoof.htmla People & Planet Gateway & Guide
Misspellings: Woof, Woofing, Wwwoof, Wooff, Wwooof, Wuf, Wuff