Woofing : what is it ?
The story of woofing began in London thanks to a city dweller in need of nature, Sue Coppard. That lady from London contacted farms to offer her services. Having posted an ad in a newspaper to find companions interested in this experience, she quickly realized that many city-dwellers dreamt, like her, of spending time in the countryside. The first test took place on a biodynamic farm in Sussex in 1971. It was a success and, thanks to word of mouth, many farmers offered to welcome volunteers too.
A keyword: exchange
The woofing is based on exchange. The hosts offer food, accommodation and learning opportunities against market gardening, gardening or other agricultural work. The woofing excludes no monetary exchange and proposes an alternative model precisely.
This requires the woofer to invest and the host to share his expertise. It is not a job. As associations all over the world say, woofing is not for backpackers looking for free accommodation! The hosts are sometimes very disappointed to receive opportunists, not interested in their approach. Do not confuse woofing and couch surfing, which are two very different concepts.
Woofing is open to everyone, regardless of age or nationality. You do not have to be a connoisseur of composting or beekeeping! One of the objectives is to "allow non-experts to have a first experience in the field of organic farming and eco-construction".
More broadly, the ambition of woofing is also, thanks to this sharing of knowledge and this chain of meetings, to disseminate the principles of a more environmentally friendly agriculture and thus defend biodiversity. Woofing also helps to promote communication within the organic farming movement and to create links between townspeople and rural people.
What are the advantages?
Formula halfway between ecological holidays and an exchange of skills, woofing has several advantages. It is a form of solidarity, ecological and economic journey. It allows travelers to:
- Travel cheaply
- Enjoy a warm and friendly welcome
- Meet people committed to the environment
- Learn about farm work
- Discover a lifestyle, a terroir or another culture
- Practice a foreign language on a daily basis (in the context of international exchanges).
This formula allows the hosts to:
- Meet people from other regions or countries
- Share with the woofers their daily life and their projects
- Exchange and transmit methods of agriculture or organic breeding
Anyone can do woofing:
- Students who want to travel cheap and discover the world
- People interested in agriculture or organic gardening (individuals or future farmers)
- Travelers who are looking for alternatives to mass tourism and holidays without commercial relations.
What are the best woofing destinations?
Good news for those who want to start their woofing adventure or even continue it, all over the five continents covered by eDreams, it is possible to woofer. The most famous destinations are Europe, the Middle East, North America and Latin America.
In Africa and Asia, woofing is also starting to gain ground and several associations are offering this brand new type of trip for those interested. To organize your woofing trip then, you can see with the specialized associations or on eDreams.