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A WWOOF participant farm in Australia.
The raspberry bushes pictured require regular weeding.

World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (also known as Willing Workers on Organic Farms) (WWOOF) is a loose network of national organisations which facilitate the placement of volunteers on organic farms.

While there are WWOOF groups in many countries around the world there is no central list or organisation. There is no international WWOOF membership. All recognised WWOOF organisations maintain similar standards (though not identical) and work together to promote the aims of WWOOF. There are two main sites that promote and give general information about WWOOF (see external links below).


WWOOF originally stood for "Working Weekends on Organic Farms" and began in Englandmarker in 1971. Sue Coppard, a woman working as a secretary in London, wanted to provide city folks with access to the countryside, while supporting the organic movement.

Her idea started with trial working weekends for four people at the bio-dynamic farm at Emerson College in Sussex.

People soon started volunteering for longer periods than just weekends, so the name was changed to Willing Workers on Organic Farms. However, the word "work" caused problems with some countries' labour and immigration authorities, who confused WWOOF volunteers with migrant workers. Because of this, and in recognition of the worldwide nature of the organization, the name was changed again in 2000 to World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, though some WWOOF groups chose to retain the older name.

How WWOOF works

WWOOF’s stated goals are to provide volunteers with first-hand experience with organic and ecologically sound growing methods, to help the organic movement, and to let volunteers experience life in a rural setting or a different country.

WWOOF volunteers ('WWOOFers') generally do not receive any financial payment. The host provides food, accommodation and opportunities to learn, in exchange for assistance with farming or gardening activities.

A large variety of people volunteer through WWOOF, from vacationing students to those who are interested in starting organic farming or organic gardening for themselves. WWOOFers range in age from teenagers (or children with their parents) through to pensioners. Likewise the farms can range from a private garden through smallholdings, allotments, to commercial farms.


The farms can range from a private garden through smallholdings, allotments, to commercial farms.

Farms wishing to become a WWOOF host provide their details to their national organisation. In countries where there is no WWOOF group yet the farms can list in the "Independents List" which is managed by WWOOF UK and WWOOF Australia. These are collated and published in a booklet or on a secure internet site. Interested volunteers pay a small annual membership fee to receive internet access or a copy of this booklet and a membership card. They can then contact the farms directly to arrange a visit. The duration of the visit can range from a few days to months or even years.

Locations around the world

, the following countries or states have their own WWOOF organisation and therefore publish their own booklet:
Hosts located in other countries have their listings in both WWOOF Independents and WWOOF Australia.

The role of the WWOOF organizations is to provide contact between interested volunteers and hosts. They respond to complaints if there are any problems. If an issue should arise between a host and WWOOFer then the local organizer will be able to mediate to find a resolution. Hosts are expected to offer a friendly and welcoming environment and experience in organic growing methods. The WWOOFers should be willing to learn by pitching in with the daily chores.


External links

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