Volunteering in Orchards and Organic Farms: the WWOOF Organization

Today I will tell you about an initiative that has been putting organic or ecological farmers in contact with volunteers interested in improving the environment and learning about organic farming for decades. These are the volunteer programs in orchards and farms of WWOOF, where the participants help to spread and practice an agriculture that respects the environment and, at the same time, live an experience based on cultural exchange and social relations.

What is WWOOF, how did it come about and what is the experience of WWOOFers?

WWOOF or, what is the same, Working Weekends on Organic Farms (which translated into Spanish would be something like Working Weekends on Organic Farms ), is a non-profit organization that emerged in the United Kingdom in the 70s.

In 1971, London-based Sue Coppard, seeking an immersion in rural life, offered her help to a local organic farmer in exchange for food and a place to sleep. This first experience was a success and, within a few years, the idea began to spread throughout the United Kingdom, and many similar exchanges began to be organized throughout the country.

The idea of ​​WWOOF is to connect urbanites interested in organic farming with organic farmers living in rural areas.

Hosts or hosts welcome WWOOFers or volunteers into their homes in exchange for help on their farms or organic farms.

Little by little, new WWOOF organizations have been appearing in other countries, and in 2013 the Federation of WWOOF Organizations (FoWO) emerged to coordinate the activities of the different organizations and farms in countries that do not yet have a national WWOOF organization.

These are the countries with organic farms that are currently participating in WWOOF programs:

In all these countries you can participate in the program as a volunteer or WWOOFer, although the FoWO Federation recommends having a first experience in the volunteer’s country of origin.

As we write from Spain, below we will see how to participate and where are the organic farms and orchards for volunteers in our country, but I remind you that from the page of the Federation of WWOOF Organizations (I left you the link above), you can access the various WWOOF programs around the world.

Volunteering in orchards and organic farms WWOOF in Spain

There are 314 WWOOF farms in Spain that participate in the Volunteering in orchards and organic farms of this organization, and that are spread throughout the country.

You can check what they are and where they are on this map of WWOOF Farms in Spain, by clicking on each of the 50 Spanish provinces.

If you want more information about how the organization works in our country, you can visit the WWOOF Spain page.

What you have to do to participate in the Volunteering in orchards and organic farms in Spain

The conditions to participate in the volunteering of WWOOF Spain are very simple:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Being in agreement with the objectives and activities of WWOOF ESPAÑA (such as the dissemination of organic farming techniques and care for the environment, the promotion of nature protection, social volunteering, solidarity between people, contact between urban world and the rural world, etc.).
  • Pay a donation of 20 euros to be able to access the WWOOF volunteering for one year.
  • Be a resident or have a residence permit in Spain during the chosen period.
  • Fill in correctly and truthfully the data requested in the registration form.
  • Accept the Volunteer Commitment.

(The conditions are similar in other countries, although the donation for registration varies from country to country).

I hope you have found this idea of ​​volunteering in orchards and organic farms interesting. Do you know other initiatives of exchange or volunteering in orchards? Have you participated or have you had similar experiences as volunteers in community organic gardens? Hopefully you can give us your opinions or tell about your experiences related to organic farming and cultural exchange.

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