Working on a Farm Helps You Save the Earth and See the World
Have you considered taking a vacation that contributes to the health of our planet? Here is how working on a farm can give you the best of both worlds.
Let's face it, life is short.
We're only given so much time, and it is up to us to do what we see fit with it.
We often vacillate between multiple desires. For example, we might want to please ourselves, travel, and see the world. But we might also feel the need to put our heads down, work, and give back to the world around us.
If you're open to adventure, there might just be a way that you can do both at once.
Lots of farms around the world participate in WWOOFing, a practice in which volunteers work in exchange for food and housing. If you're willing to put in a little effort, working on a farm can be a great way to see the world.
Read on, and we'll walk you through everything you need to know.
What Is WWOOFing?
There are many people of all ages that want to travel the world but don't have the finances to make this dream a reality. WWOOF, which stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, allows an opportunity for these people to travel while paying off their stay with rewarding work.
Eco-friendly farms around the globe accept volunteers into their midst in exchange for meals and accommodations. This system provides a win-win for all involved. Travelers can stay in scenic, far-away locations for nearly no money and only need to work a few hours a day.
The farms, on the other hand, get fairly cheap labor from around the globe. And we all benefit from the work of contributing to and enjoying Earth's natural resources. Working in the fields can be a true humanitarian role.
On average, a WWOOFing volunteer will stay on a farm for a minimum of two weeks to work. Stays vary in length depending on both the host and the volunteer, with some visits lasting up to seven or eight months. These different time periods obviously offer very different kinds of experiences for those looking to volunteer.
Working as a Volunteer
The kind of work a volunteer might do also will vary greatly depending on the farm host. Plenty of farms will have volunteers doing expected tasks like milking a cow or plowing a field. But depending where one stays, there could be so many other interesting and exciting opportunities to learn and experience.
If you stay at a winery, you could learn to pick grapes and make wine. You could learn how to build an irrigation system or how to operate a smokehouse. The work you do will depend completely on the type of work your selected host farm stays busy in.
The amount of time a volunteer is expected to work will also vary by host preference. Some hosts expect volunteers to put in a full day's work every day of their stay. But there are others that only expect a few hours of work from their volunteers on a weekly basis.
How Does One Get Started?
If that kind of system sounds awesome for you, you might want to start getting your WWOOF application process started. There are a few steps you'll need to work through.
First and foremost, you'll need to visit the official WWOOF website and register yourself. WWOOFing isn't just a trendy fad, it's an actual organization that has different national chapters around the globe.
There's no international membership, which means you'll need to register in each country that you might consider staying in. These registrations are usually cheap and easy, with annual dues totaling a measly thirty dollars or so.
After you're registered, you can browse potential hosts on the website and pick out one that feels like the right fit for you.
Picking the Right Host
There so many different hosts a WWOOFer can stay at, it can feel overwhelming to pick out the right spot to commit to. When picking out a host, remember to ensure that you and your host's expectations are aligned.
If you're hoping to spend much of your time exploring the town and life around the farm, ensure that you don't stay with a host that will expect you in the fields most hours of the day. The same is true in reverse too: if you're taking on a farm position to learn and expand your horizons, make sure to pick a host that seems happy and eager to educate you.
It's also worth considering geography and transportation when picking out the right host. In most situations, volunteers will need to pay for the transportation themselves. That means you'll need to select a location that's easy and affordable to get on your own budget.
That might limit a few of your more ideal spots. But in the long run, you'll be happier saving the money and committing to somewhere more easily accessible.
Rules and Restrictions
There are also a few regulations and restrictions when it comes to WWOOFing that you should be aware of. One must be 18 years of age or older in order to partake in most countries. There are a few countries that are either a bit stricter or a bit laxer, but eighteen years of age is still the standard in most places you might think of going.
Working on a Farm in Exchange for Housing
One of the most amazing ways to see the world is via WWOOfing. Working on a farm can be challenging and rewarding, and it can provide you the opportunity to see locations you might never have dreamed of visiting.
Want more inspiring ideas for how to live your life? Check out our blogfor more.