Visitors, or ‘WWOOFers’, spend about half a day on a host farm, learn about the organic movement and sustainable agriculture, and receive room and board - with no money exchanged between hosts and WWOOFers. WWOOF is an educational and cultural exchange program. WWOOFing is a way to learn practical farming skills, be part of the organic agriculture movement, and experience the heart of American agrarian culture.
The WWOOF-USA® Host Farm Directory lists more than 1600 organic farms (not necessarily USDA certified organic) and gardens across the country. Any farm, community or garden project using organic methods that would like to participate in a cultural and educational exchange may join the program. The program is open to anyone 18 years of age or older, regardless of experience. WWOOF-USA® membership is valid for one year from the day it is purchased. We encourage all types of WWOOFers and hosts who would like to work together to strengthen sustainable agriculture to be a part of WWOOF-USA®.
WWOOF farms offer a variety of educational opportunities, including growing vegetables, keeping bees, building straw bale houses, working with animals, making wine, and much more. With farms in all 50 states, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, there is something for everyone. You can preview the Host Farm Directory before becoming a member on this website.
HISTORY OF WWOOF
The WWOOF program started in the United Kingdom in 1971, by Sue Coppard, a London secretary, under the name 'Working Weekends on Organic Farms'. The intention was to provide people living in London with an opportunity to participate in the organic farming movement occurring in the countryside. Since the establishment of WWOOF in the U.K., the program has expanded to ‘Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms,’ and is now in more than 50 countries around the world, with a wide range of farm stay opportunities. WWOOF programs operate independently in each country, so please contact individual WWOOF organizations directly for the most accurate information on WWOOFing in that country. Please visit wwoof.org for more information on other WWOOF groups worldwide.
HOW IT WORKS
Sign-up online, become a WWOOF-USA member, and receive instant access to the full host directory. WWOOFers can also choose to receive a printed directory in the mail. Each host creates a profile in the directory that describes their location, general responsibilities, projects, accommodations, and lifestyle.
There are many member-only options available online once registered: online forums for communicating with the WWOOF community, advanced search options, uploading photos, and viewing and making comments and ratings about your experiences.
Once you become a member, contact the farms you are interested in visiting to discuss individual expectations, projects, arrangements and availability. WWOOFers generally spend half a day on the farm and receive meals, accommodation, and education about organic activities. Hosts and WWOOFers do not exchange any monetary payment. WWOOF agreements can be defined any number of ways and the hours spent on the farm, types of projects, meal arrangements and accommodations can vary greatly. The length of a farm stay is determined by the WWOOFer and the host, and can vary from a few days to an entire season. It is each host's and volunteer's joint responsibility to form an understanding prior to arrival. The key to a mutually beneficial experience is clear and open communication about expectations prior to a farm stay - we recommend using the telephone to get to know one another and discuss arrangements.
WWOOF offers a rare opportunity for people to share their knowledge and efforts with others from a variety of backgrounds. It relies on trust, respect, and hard work. Read below to determine if WWOOF is right for you.
BEING A HOST MAY BE RIGHT IF YOU:
- will provide a safe, comfortable, and welcoming environment for a visitor
- are participating in organic or sustainable activities and would enjoy teaching others
- have projects and tasks that you could use help with
- are interested in sharing your knowledge and daily life with WWOOFers
- recognize that WWOOFers are not laborers
BEING A WWOOFER MAY BE RIGHT IF YOU:
- are a respectful and courteous guest in the homes and on the lands of others
- are interested in learning about sustainable and organic farming methods
- are willing to work hard on projects and tasks presented to you