What makes a great WWOOFer
What is a WWOOFer?
WWOOFers are revolutionary-minded individuals who are driven to do their part within the worldwide organic, eco-friendly farming movement. They sign up through WWOOF Hawaii to lend a hand on scenic farms of their choice throughout the five main Hawaiian islands. During their WWOOFing journey, they take part in exciting educational organic farming activities and experience the joy of travelling to new places, where they meet a vibrant collection of people from all over the globe. WWOOFers typically participate in farm duties for about three to six hours a day, five days a week and receive meals and accommodations. Please note: If you have no interest in learning about organic farming and are looking for a place to crash in Hawaii, we are not the organization for you.
What makes a great WWOOFer?
A Positive Attitude and a Drive to Learn
The ideal WWOOFer has a positive, can-do and self-motivated attitude, works well with others and is passionate about doing his or her part within the organic farming movement. Positivity goes a long way in making sure you have the best possible experience. You should also be content to work alone in a quiet countryside for a few hours at a time without needing someone to help or entertain you. Because organic farming allows you to enter a meditative place within yourself, it is helpful to welcome the rhythm and peace it has to offer.
Be aware that organic farming involves a great deal of weeding and physical labor. Organic farming is a fantastic form of physical exercise; just be sure to stretch every day before and after you complete your farm tasks to avoid injuries.
As a WWOOFer, you should have a thirst for knowledge and you should arrive at your Host farm eager to learn. Be observant; look at and listen to your surroundings, and ask questions! Practice patience during your WWOOFing experience and realize that determining the health of the land and plants requires you to be receptive to your surroundings.
An Eco-Friendly Conscious
Because WWOOF Hawaii focuses on organic farming methods and ecologically sound living, you should be someone who respects the environment and takes strides to conserve natural resources. While staying on your Host farm, be aware of what resources and energy are needed to complete farm tasks, and be conscious to minimize your footprint. For example, opting to take quick showers not only saves your Host money, but it also helps conserve water, one of our most precious natural resources.
A Strong WWOOFer Profile
Not only do WWOOFers browse Host profiles, but Host farms also read through WWOOFer profiles to find a strong match. If you would like to be a great WWOOFer, start by creating a strong profile page. Present a complete profile to potential Hosts, by including as many details about yourself as possible. If you plan on WWOOFing at another farm, make sure your profile is accurate and up to date, and ask your Host to leave feedback on your profile page.
Open Communication with Your Host
Being a strong communicator is essential to having a positive WWOOFing experience. Before even having your initial phone conversation with a potential Host, be sure to read the farm’s profile thoroughly, learning as much as you can about the farm ahead of time. Please keep in mind that each Host is different, and it is important to respect and to share your Host’s visions and goals.
When you reach out to your desired Host, be yourself, be considerate and be personal. Show the Host that you have done your research and have a working knowledge of the farm and its goals. Share your personal background, your reasons for becoming a WWOOFer, and your interest in that particular Host. Once you have exchanged emails, we recommend you talk on the phone with your Host, as it is the best way to get to know each other before you arrive on the farm. We strongly advise WWOOFers against sending mass or generic e-mails, as your prospective Host may not respond if he or she finds this form of communication too impersonal.
Once you and your new Host form a WWOOFing partnership, it is very important to arrive when your Host expects you. After agreeing to hold your spot on his or her farm, your Host is counting on you to show up and help with farm tasks and projects that they need completed. Keep in mind your Host may have turned many other WWOOFers away to keep a place for you on his or her farm. Not showing up when you say you will causes much frustration and additional work for the Host, who is left scrambling to find another WWOOFer. As a result, the Host will leave negative feedback on your profile and within the forum, which will lower your chances of finding a good Host in the future. Please be considerate and let your Host know far in advance if your plans have changed. Once you arrive and begin your WWOOFing duties, please be aware that just like you, Hosts are not perfect and may have their share of failures and obstacles. Recognize that you and your Host are in this together and you both may continually have things to learn. Maintain an open line of communication with your Host at all times, even during stressful times. Please be respectful of your Host and his or her homestead by keeping your personal living space clean and leaving it tidy for the next WWOOFer to arrive. Also, please help your Host maintain a beautiful, orderly farm by cleaning up after yourself when you are finished with farm duties. Keep in mind that your Host is welcoming you onto their farming homestead and into their family. While you are offering your help, you are first and foremost their guest.
In the event that your plans change and you need to leave the farm early, give your Host an adequate heads up, so that they can make plans to find another WWOOFer to fill your place.
How it works?
Joining the WWOOF Hawaii community gives you immediate access to more than 280 breathtaking, organic Host farms throughout Hawaii’s five major tropical islands. Also included in your annual $25 WWOOF Hawaii membership is a member profile, in which you can craft a strong image of yourself as a WWOOFer with photos and a personal biography. Your profile gives you a platform in which Hosts can confirm your WWOOF Hawaii membership and can learn more about you and what your WWOOFing goals are. Memberships are valid for one year, so if you plan to continue your involvement in WWOOF Hawaii, please make sure to renew your membership each year.
Once you are a member of WWOOF Hawaii, you can browse the directory for a Host farm where you would like to WWOOF. Because there are so many eager volunteers within the WWOOF Hawaii network, you may need to look for and reserve your spot at a Host farm well in advance. We suggest giving it at least 6-8 weeks to make arrangements. It may take a bit of work to find the right fit with an opening for you, but linking up with the right Host is the most important step in WWOOFing.
As a member of the WWOOF Hawaii online community, you will be able to access advanced search functions, as well as complete farm profiles that list contact information and feedback from previous WWOOFers. Also, check out our WWOOF Hawaii Forum, where you can network with other like-minded WWOOFers, exchange organic farming and WWOOFing information, and learn more about what WWOOF Hawaii has to offer.
When interviewing with a potential Host, be sure to discuss meals, accommodations, the length of your stay, and your Host’s daily expectations. If you have special living needs, please make this clear to your host before you reach your farm destination. Prior to your arrival on your farm, be sure to maintain open communication with your Host, which will make for a productive, mutually beneficial relationship. To get to know each other and to hash out your WWOOFing arrangements, we recommend that you use the phone, which is a more direct, personal form of communication than e-mail or online messaging programs.
If you are under the age of 18, you must have a legal guardian accompany you on your Host farm. If you would like to bring children or pets along on your WWOOFing journey, make sure to clear it with your Host first. You may also use our advanced search within the online directory to see if Host farms meet your required criteria.
Please be aware that you are responsible for your travel and for obtaining the necessary visa. We encourage you to apply for a visa as soon as possible, as it can take several months to receive. Securing your visa before you join WWOOF Hawaii ensures that you are ready to travel. Check out our Visa Information page of the WWOOF Hawaii Website for additional information on obtaining visas.
When you sign up for WWOOF Hawaii, you assume responsibility for any potential risks. We encourage you to have traveler, medical or other adequate insurance before embarking on your WWOOFing journey.