A WWOOF Experience
In the Fall one of our members, Pat Beckman, participated in a WWOOFING experience in
Denmark. The program was founded in 1971 in England to encourage urban dwellers with
access to the countryside while supporting the organic movements. WWOOF originally stood for
Willing Workers On Organic Farms. By 2000 the program had been so successful that the
acronym was changed to Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Volunteers must first
choose what country they would like to visit and volunteer in. They sign up for their desired
country on the WWOOF website. After signing up volunteers have access to a list of farms
located in their country of choice. From this point it is up to the volunteer to review the farm
profiles to determine the best match and contact their desired farms and arrange the dates and
duration of their stay. The duration of a volunteer's stay can range from days to months, but is
typically at least one to two weeks. Volunteers can expect to work for 4-6 hours a day for a full
day's food and accommodation. A volunteer could be asked to help with a variety of tasks,
including: sowing seed, making compost, gardening, planting, cutting wood, weeding,
harvesting, packing, milking, feeding, fencing, making mud-bricks, wine making, cheese making
and bread baking. WWOOF promotes participation as a way to experience firsthand a local
culture, customs, and nature through farming.
Pat selected Denmark because her grandfather was Danish and she had been to school there.
To appreciate how the WWOOF program worked, Pat volunteered at WWOOF farm in
Frenchtown, N.J. before going to Denmark where she was for two months. In Denmark there
were three to four workers on the 80 acres farm where she volunteered. They fed the livestock,
planted and harvested vegetables and even prepared food for tourists to the farm. Pat found the
WWOOF program a fascinating and rewarding experience.
|Farm and out buildings