Food and accommodation in exchange for a few hours of daily agricultural work. It’s not just a passing fashion for alternative travelers but a trend that has been growing year by year.
Increasingly numerous sites around the world are offering farm work experiences. Some offer real paid, long lasting positions, with the addition of food and accommodation.
In Denmark, for example, farms are looking for help with their summer strawberry harvest. Some are ready to provide a gross salary of around 2,150 euros per month for 160 hours of work. Other sites and organizations offer more designed experiences for traveling on a budget, especially during the summer holidays.
This relatively new form of low cost tourism Tis called “wwoofing”. Its name come form a global movement called “Wwoof” (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), which was founded by Sue Coppard in England in 1971. She started by engageing in some farming during the weekends as a break from her city life in London.
Nowadays. the movement connects volunteers and rural projects across the globe. Each country has its own independent participating organization, and all of them partake in organic and sustainable farming!
Volunteers are employed for a few hours a day in activities such as gardening, animal care, fruit and vegetable picking. Some companies also offer more specialized jobs such as beekeeping or the use of aromatic herbs. Being familiar with the work is not required, but you must be open to collaboration and ready to learn.
The participants are generally young students, but there is no shortage of adults, pensioners and families. They are housed on the farm and have a room at their disposal. It might be sometiomes required to bring a tent. Many of the hosts who specify that they offer vegeterian meals only.
Summer 2019 saw than 50 countries offering this kind of experience, each with its own unique aspects. One of the most extreme experiences is that on the Miekojärvi farm in Sweden, where travelers are hosted in a typical Swedish house with a sauna. The place is located in the far north of Sweden, near the Arctic Circle. Depending on the season, activities include fishing, taking care of sled dogs and shovelling snow. In Portugal, some farms in the Algarve make it so that you can work and learn agriculture and in your free time surf on the region’s famous beaches. In Nepal you can be hosted at 3 thousand meters above sea level.
We find this movement to be intriguing, it offers a great solution for those who want to travel on a budget, learn useful new skills and find a greater contact with nature!