WWOOF is "World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms"
WWOOF Ireland is a voluntary, educational exchange based on trust. By becoming members, volunteers from all over the world can arrange placements with host farms in Ireland (including Northern Ireland) to learn about organic growing and sustainable lifestyles. WWOOF Ireland recognises the importance of volunteers and follow best practice guidelines in volunteer management set by Volunteer Ireland.
The aims of WWOOF
- To enable people to learn about organic growing techniques.
- To enable people to learn about sustainable living, healthier life styles and alternative ways of life.
- To provide opportunities to learn about life and culture by living with families in countries around the world.
- To give practical assistance to producers of organic food.
- To give people a chance to meet, talk, learn and exchange views with others in the organic movement.
WWOOFing in Ireland
WWOOF hosts in Ireland follow organic principles and have a general ethic of respect for the environment. Many have simple, sustainable lifestyles and practise Permaculture, Bio-dynamic or other organic methods. They may be individuals, families, commercial producers, co-operatives or communities including centres for yoga, crafts, arts or spiritual pursuits sharing the WWOOF ethos.
What does a WWOOF Ireland volunteer do?
WWOOF Ireland volunteers are called 'WWOOFers'.
WWOOFers arrange placements with hosts to learn about sustainable living and organic growing. WWOOF hosts may be on large or small farms, small holdings or houses with large gardens. Hosts may be certified organic growers or following organic principals. In exchange for food and accommodation WWOOFers help hosts with their daily tasks. The exchange is based on trust and there is no payment.
WWOOFing is a wonderful way to contribute to the health of the planet. The help you give your host will be wide and varied. What you do is an arrangement made between you and your host. You should negotiate beforehand so that you know what is expected from you.
WWOOFing in Ireland
WWOOF hosts in Ireland are mainly pursuing a simple, sustainable lifestyle. Many are practising Permaculture or Bio-dynamic growing methods. Some farms are Commercial Producers, whether full or part time, others are alternative Co-operatives or Communities. The WWOOF Ireland list also includes locations which are not organic farms but which are in keeping with the general ethic of respect for the environment and the idea of an exchange of knowledge and expertise, food and accommodation for help on a voluntary basis. These may include centres for yoga, crafts or the arts or spiritual pursuits.
What is a WWOOF Host?
WWOOF hosts provide accommodation, food and education in organic farming and living. In return WWOOFers give help to the hosts, mainly as a hands on way of learning from them. The exchange is based on trust. The help you get from your WWOOFers will be wide and variable, and can include: gardening: sowing; making compost; planting; weeding; cutting wood; harvesting; fencing; building; packing; milking; feeding ... the list is endless and obviously varies from Host to Host!
The nature of the help WWOOFers give is an arrangement made between you, the host, and each WWOOFer who stays with you. It is best to agree on the kind of tasks involved before your WWOOFer arrives. WWOOF hosts in Ireland are mainly pursuing a simple, sustainable lifestyle. Many are practicing Permaculture or Bio-dynamic growing methods. Some farms are Commercial Producers, whether full or part time, others are alternative Co-operatives or Communities or centres for yoga, crafts, the arts or spiritual pursuits.
What should a WWOOF Host provide?
Essentially an open atmosphere, warm bed and plenty of good food and craic! this is in keeping with traditions of the spirit of Ireland and what many WWOOFers come here to find. Also make tasks meaningful and varied and take time to expand your WWOOFers knowledge of what is involved in organic living. Skills do transfer, everyone has a skill which can be found with patience and remember misunderstandings can always be resolved with a good chat, avoid letting a small misunderstanding grow, your guest may not always understand you exactly as you intend due to language and cultural differences.
WWOOF Host commitment
- To be following organic growing principles and a sustainable lifestyle.
- To be prepared to welcome WWOOFers into your household and care for their needs.
- To provide good wholesome meals, or ingredients and cooking facilities.
- To provide accommodation which is clean, dry and warm in winter.
- To ensure that WWOOFers are given adequate instruction relating to health and safety and not allow them to use powered hand tools except for a strimmer with a line (not a blade).
- To provide WWOOFers with a variety of tasks suited to their abilities.
- To provide opportunities for learning new skills by working alongside WWOOFers when necessary.
- Not to use WWOOFers as substitutes for paid workers and no monetary payment to exchange hands from either party.
- To ensure that WWOOFers fully understand the hours of volunteering expected from them when arranging placements - WWOOF Ireland usually recommends 20-25 hours a week but this is negotiable - and to give them adequate time off.
- To be patient and open minded and avoid over-expectation of WWOOFers.
- To discuss difficulties if they arise and remember that misunderstandings can be resolved by a simple talk!
- To contact us if you need to report issues relating to individual WWOOFers.