Mumbai, India. July 21, 2018
Never in my wildest dream had I ever imagined of staying at a farm or learning the way of a farmer's life. This blog post is all about my WWOOF Experience including what, how and everything in between.
On 2nd July, 2018 I set off on a beautiful journey. A journey to change the world, one seed at a time.
Learning organic farming was never on my list. When my friend told me about it, I found the concept interesting and different. It is not a student exchange, it is not a leisure holiday, nor is it a touring company. It is an experience of a lifetime.
We started looking for farms 2 months prior to our decided tentative dates of travelling. We had registered for 3 countries - Netherlands, Spain and Austria and started contacting the hosts after looking at their description, the kind of work they do and the kind of work they expect from us. Since my friend and I are vegetarians we ruled out the option of working on a farm with livestock.
Finally we were lucky to find a farm in the Upper Austrian town of Scharnstein. Our farm was owned by two friends and they grew 70 different type of vegetables and organic flowers on their farm. Our farm was called 'almgrün Bio Gemuse.' We stayed with our hosts for a period of 2 weeks. The working hours were between 4-5 hours a day and our work included weeding, harvesting, planting seeds, watering the beds and sowing. We cooked and ate together with our hosts and weekends were an off where we could chill around or travel to a nearby town.
Friday's were market days where they sold their harvested vegetables. Most of our dinners were spent with the hosts and their friends and family. We went for a barbecue dinner by the river, and once to a bar which is made out of shipping containers!! On the weekends we went to river running down the town, a lake nearby, and for a small trek.
The cultural exchange and knowledge gain was immense. Once we even cooked a full fledged Indian meal for 11 people and they fed us with a lot of Austrian cheese and bread everyday.
You can swipe next for more pictures of the places around the town and to get an idea of what we did on days when we were not found on the farm.
If you want to make a difference in the world. This is it.
Scroll down to know everything you need for your own WWOOF experience!
What is WWOOF?
WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It provides volenteering opportunities in various tasks such as sowing, weeding, harvesting, planting, gardening, wine-making, cheese-making and much more. The interesting fact here is it connects organic farmers of over 210 countries. It helps you experience a life in a rural setting, meeting new people and also lets you contribute to peace on earth. The exchange is simple- volunteers help on farms in exchange of food and stay.
How do you find a farm and the next steps.
It is very easy to find a farm of your choice and preferences. The website is very user friendly. Following are the steps -
Step 1 - Go on the official WWOOF website
Step 2 - Choose a country you want to go to
Fun Tip - Blindfold and choose a country randomly
Step 3 - Register and find your host.
After you have chosen your country, register on the country's official wwoof website. After you register, you become a member and the membership is valid for a year.
The next step is to find your hosts. You can choose your city or even your preferred town, followed by your working preferences. Which means you choose if you want to work with livestock, wine making or even gardening. You can even decide the duration of your stay and if you would like to stay with a vegetarian host or a non vegetarian one.
Step 4 - Wait for the host to accept you.
When you are done with choosing your hosts, wait for them to reply back. And once you get a reply just get in touch with them on WhatsApp and try to do a background check if you can. For eg. our host has a personal website and we even got in touch with them on Facebook.
Step 5 - Travel and come back home with amazing experiences
Once the host has accepted you, book your tickets and travel. Experience one of the best decision you made in your life and don't forget the benefit you are doing to Mother Earth.
I would recommend everyone to at least try getting into the farmer's shoes at least once and get to know a life which is so different from the ones we live in.
Well for me I am ready to put my farmer's hat on again and am already planning my next farming trip.
If you have any questions or have done WWOOF before, you can comment below or send me a DM on Instagram.