The twentieth century brought significant changes to our planet. Humanity increasingly relies on fossil fuels and chemicals to grow what nourishes us: our food. At the same time, the world has become an urbanized place. More than half of the world’s people now live in urban areas (UNFPA, 2007). We have become disconnected from nature and natural processes. However, there is a new awareness of how to live in balance with the earth cropping up across the globe. Sustainability has become a way of life. There are now many organizations dedicated to promoting sustainable practises. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is one of these organizations.
WWOOF is an international volunteer exchange network advancing organic and sustainable agriculture. It seeks to match hosts with farms, gardens, and other smallholdings with volunteer labour. In exchange for fair labour (usually 4-6 hours per day), the volunteer (or WWOOFer) is provided with shelter, food, and any other necessities during their stay. WWOOF has become a popular way to travel cheaply while regaining connections to the countryside. The organization allows members to advance their knowledge of traditional farming techniques, while establishing new friendships, experiencing new cultures, and most importantly, living sustainably.
Origins and Background
Like many organizations, WWOOF had humble beginnings. Sue Coppard (see Figure 1), a London resident, created “Working Weekends on Organic Farms” in the fall of 1971 (WWOOF, The History of WWOOF, 2013). The idea for an organization stemmed from her desire to support the burgeoning, organic agriculture movement. However, she had limited means and found there were few opportunities to go to the countryside (...
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WWOOF Canada. (2013). New member sign up. Retrieved from WWOOF Canada: http://www.wwoof.ca/new-member-sign-up
WWOOF Canada. (2013). WWOOF guidelines. Retrieved from WWOOF Canada: http://www.wwoof.ca/guidelines
WWOOF. (2013). Live and learn on organic farms. Retrieved from WWOOF: http://www.wwoof.net/how-it-works/
WWOOF. (2013, April 2). Press kit stats. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms-WWOOF: http://www.wwoof.net/media/
WWOOF. (2013). The history of WWOOF. Retrieved from World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms: http://www.wwoof.net/welcome-to-wwoof/
WWOOF USA. (2013, February 20). News-WWOOF-USA farm grants available! Retrieved from WWOOF USA: http://www.wwoofusa.org/About_WWOOFUSA/News?id=144
WWOOF-UK. (2013). The story of WWOOF. Retrieved from WWOOF UK: http://www.wwoof.org.uk/history
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