In 1971, London secretary Sue Coppard started a program called Working Weekends on Organic Farms (WWOOF) to provide fellow city-dwellers with a chance to experience farm life firsthand, in support of the budding organic movement. Today, WWOOF is an international organization, and now stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Participants in over 99 countries can volunteer their time, skills, and assistance on organic farms in exchange for food, accommodation, and above all else, farming or gardening knowledge.
WWOOF is an appealing opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about organic farming and its impact on society. I recently caught up with my friend, Audrey, who lived and worked as a WWOOF-er in the fall.
After graduating from college, Audrey spent the fall of 2009 living and working at Ol’ Ways Farm in Solon, Maine. The homestead of Scott and Gemma maintains a sustainable way of life by growing everything from brussels sprouts to strawberries. They also forage for wild berries and fiddleheads, make their own maple syrup and maple wine, and care for over a dozen animals!
Audrey cultivated a number of skills, including the art of making cheese, and preserving and pickling “everything under the sun.” “Really, my whole time there was my favorite memory!” she says.
Interested in WWOOF-ing? Check out their official website to discover all of the exciting opportunities in your county, state, country, and beyond!