Best Save-the-Earth Trips
Organic farm work, all over the U.S.
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) USA
Where you go: Any of the more than 1,000 organic or sustainably minded farms scattered across the U.S. These can range from commercially operational, several-hundred-acre organic dairy farms to small, family-owned orchards, apiaries, and vegetable plots that turn out produce for their own consumption or farmers’ markets.
What you do: “Wwoofers” work at widely varying tasks, depending on the seasons and the property they choose. They might find themselves planting, tending, or harvesting crops; feeding and caring for livestock; building or repairing fences, greenhouses, and storage areas; and prepping produce for market or preservation (cheese-making, canning, pickling). Volunteers communicate with host farms before they arrive to work, and agree on the terms of service beforehand, including the length of their stay and the projects they’ll be expected to help with.
Roughing-it rating: Variable. While many Wwoofers stay in farmhouse guest rooms with their host families, other properties accommodate volunteers in bunkhouses, cabins, yurts, or Airstream trailers. Some allow children and pets to come along, others prefer single laborers (or vegetarians, or non-drinkers). All Wwoofers, however, should be prepared to do hard, physical work, and to have a positive attitude toward what can be ad-hoc (but very educational) duties.
Cost: Just the $20 WWOOF membership fee. (Some farmers offer volunteers a small stipend, but most provide just room and board.)