Last Updated on 21st December 2016 by Sophie Nadeau
Working on an organic farm, meeting people from all over the world. These are just some of the reasons I chose to go wwoofing. If you find yourself looking at far off destinations but can’t afford accommodation there, then WWOOFing provides an alternative way to see the world. So why should you go wwoofing, anyway?
At 19, I took a year out of university. I ended up spending a large portion of that time traveling around Canada and getting to know my Dad’s home country. Although I spent the first month or two meeting relatives and staying with them, I ended up staying significantly longer.
How did I do this? Well, when my family visits were done, I knew I wanted to stay on. The main problem? My previous occupation read: ‘student’, and so my savings were pretty minimal! I knew I had to find an option ASAP. When I read about wwoofing, I knew it was the right way to go.
I ended up staying on a farm in Drummondville, Quebec for a few days. When I arrived, I was pretty scared! I was off to stay on a farm an hour from the nearest train station with people I had never met before. However, during my time there, I learned a lot about organic farming and why it’s so important that we change the way we view food as a society.
What is wwoof?
First things first: what is wwoofing? Well, wwoofing is a worldwide collective of farmers and producers who have been operating globally for over 45 years. The term stands for ‘World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms‘. When the organization began, ‘WWOOF’ stood for ‘Working Weekends on Organic Farms‘. The charity now operates in over 100 countries around the World; meaning you’ll easily find somewhere that you fancy going.
People who take part in the program are known as ‘wwoofers’ and come from all walks of life. The aim of the program is to teach people how organic farming works in exchange for free accommodation and food. It’s a perfect option for the budget traveler who wants to do something interesting with their time away.
You learn about organic farming.
As a pretty staunch vegetarian of 9 years+ (6 years at the time), I had always been interested in how my food is produced. Organic farming, or at the very least, sustainable farming, is something everyone should be interested in. In the past 50 years, use of pesticides has increased tenfold. The result? Pesticides can
In the past 50 years, use of pesticides has increased tenfold. The result? Pesticides can kill local populations of wildlife and plants. They’re also pretty bad for our health! Learning about a problem is the first step in resolving it. Looking into all of the chemicals that goes into our food production has me thinking more and more about setting up a farm in a remote part of Alaska and never coming back!
You get food + accommodation for free!
As someone who had little in the way of travel funds, it was the perfect way to see the world on a budget. I mean, it’s not completely free as you have to work a few hours a day in return but it’s definitely worth the time investment. You get to meet (and live with) new people from all walks of life- pretty cool!
There is a huge range of places to choose from.
WWOOF operates around the World: in 105 countries to be precise. There are now an estimated 15,000 hosts and so you’re likely to find a farm you like the look of very easily!
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