General Question

bluesandblahs's avatar

Does anyone have any personal experience with WWOOF? How was it?

Asked by bluesandblahs (36 points ) March 6th, 2010

I was thinking about WWOOFing but wanted to know what other peoples experience has been like. Good? Bad? Boring? Did you meet other young people while WWOOFing? What do you wish you knew before you went?

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8 Answers

deni's avatar

2 of my closest friends just spent 3 months traveling around the US using WWOOF. They had an awesome time for the most part but they did have a few farms that were kind of shitty and didn’t treat them all that well as far as food and such went even though they were working all day every day. Though with everything of course there’s always a few bad grapes in the bunch. Overall I’d say it seems like a really neat experience and you should do it.

thriftymaid's avatar

My daughter was actually a WWOOF host after being a “wwoofer” herself. She loved moving around working on farms and meeting people. And, she had some great wwooofers working with her too. My suggestion is to read all of the reviews on a host before you decide to contact them.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

We do something very similar to that but are not official “hosts” or members of the organization. Our entire operation is organic or in the process of conversion. All of our energy inputs are either biodiesel, solar, wind or hydro. We may become WWOOF hosts at some later time. With the economy as bad as it is, I don’t feel right not paying workers. They get all the same benefits as “wwoofers” but are paid as well.

lilikoi's avatar

In the back of my head, I’ve been thinking about WWOOFing too for a long time. I have heard a lot of good and bad things about it. It’s kind of like unpaid internships – some people say it was a priceless experience of a lifetime while others say it is slave labor and should be abolished. I agree with @stranger_in_a_strange_land that some kind of monetary compensation should be provided. There are paid farm opportunities out there (that provide a place to live and food to eat), and I am leaning towards those. I just feel like if a person is not paying for your time, they may not value your contributions and that they may have more of an incentive to really teach you well if it is costing them money.

Evan's avatar

My brother used WWOOF to travel around Nova Scotia for a summer, and he loved it. He met a lot of other young people his age, and had a great time experiencing somewhere that relatively remote, without feeling like a tourist. I think the whole idea is not that it’s meant to replace traditional farm workers in any way, but rather it just offers people a different model. WWOOFers are getting compensated, is the thing, just with room and board, as opposed to cash. For some people, that’s what they’d prefer. If you’d rather go somewhere to work on a farm for money, you could do that also. It’s just up to you.

zina's avatar

I did it and loved it. At the time room and board was enough for me – no pay, but no expenses either. I got to live in a new place (new country!), with a great family, learn gardening skills, hang out in the sun and have lots of time to do the other things I had to do (write papers), and not spend any money.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I also want to point out that we carry workers compensation insurance for all of our workers. It’s very easy to get injured doing farm work. I don’t know if WWOOF hosts are required to do this, since they are not “employers”.

nomtastic's avatar

i did it in spain a number of years ago, and here’s what i think:

1. join wwoof (or wwoof for that country)—the organization depends on your membership dues to keep working. no poaching other people’s lists.
2. contact the farm well in advance, and make sure the terms are really clear.
3. bring clothes you don’t mind getting wrecked.

in general, an awesome experience.

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