WWOOFer Guidelines

Aloha and thank you for checking out WWOOF Hawaii

We are very happy to welcome you as a part of our WWOOFing team. Your WWOOF Hawaii journey provides you with a great opportunity to travel throughout the gorgeous Hawaiian Islands, while learning organic farming and other sustainable living practices.

As a WWOOFer, you will participate in the daily lives of your Host family, in which you may experience a new culture and are given the chance to form close personal relationships with people from various walks of life. Each Host registered with us offers a different experience from the next, so make you sure you choose one that is a great fit for you. To ensure that you have the best possible experience that you can, please use the information on this page as a guide for successful.

You will make an outstanding WWOOFer if:

You are willing to partake in the physical demands involved with farming. Be prepared to contribute four to six hours of organic farming and gardening each day for about five days a week in exchange for meals and accommodations.

You act as an ambassador for your home country. In this capacity, you should be willing to form relationships with people from a multitude of cultures and backgrounds.

You treat your Host with consideration and respect. Be a polite and courteous guest in their home and on their farmland. Also, be sure to keep an open communication policy with your Host.

You are genuinely interested in and passionate about organic farming and sustainable living. You do not need to have extensive knowledge or a strong skill set in these areas, but you should arrive at your Host farm eager to learn and excited to contribute to the global sustainable farming movement.

Contacting Hosts

WWOOF Hawaii recommends that you use e-mail or our message system for your initial interaction with potential Hosts. When you are ready to make some contacts, please send your e-mails to a limited handful of Host farms that interest you the most. Take the time to craft thoughtful messages, showing the Hosts that you have gotten to know about their farms through the WWOOF Hawaii site and letting them know why you would be a strong fit. You may be tempted to send a lot of e-mails to increase your chances of finding a farm. But, oftentimes, Hosts can recognize when you are blasting a generic e-mail to a lot of people at once. This can greatly hinder your chances to find the right WWOOFing fit. Keep in mind that if none of your initial contacts work out, you can always reach out to more Hosts. If you don't hear anything back within a week or two, feel free to give the Hosts’ a call to follow up. It is also your responsibility to keep Hosts’ information private and to not share it with anyone outside of the WWOOF Hawaii network.
When both parties show an interest in one another, you should touch base through a phone call or skype in order to get a better feel for each other. This gives you the opportunity to hash out the particulars of your stay: how long you will be there, how you will get there, what you should bring, etc. Please be courteous and do not head to a farm without making arrangements with the Host first. If you wish to arrive in Hawaii prior to when you should be at the farm, you are responsible for finding your own accommodations.

WWOOFing Accommodations

Please see each individual Host farm description for details on accommodations. Oftentimes, WWOOFers stay in modest, temporary living spaces, ranging from a tent platform to a room in a house. WWOOFers will receive safe and dry accommodations, in exchange for their farming help. The amount of food that is offered will also vary from place to place, so make sure you are clear about what to expect. The farms who offer a more basic setting and only part of your overall diet, will ask for less hours in return and vice versa.

Children and Pets

Very few Hosts allow WWOOFers to bring their children and/or pets along with them on their journey, but it is possible. You can check mark this option when doing a search through our Host listings. Please discuss this with Hosts to ensure that you have their approval before you arrive with your kids or pets in tow.

What you should pack

  • Durable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Rain jacket and any other waterproof clothing and shoes for inclement weather
  • A sleeping bag (Bedding is generally supplied, but it always helps to double check.)
  • A wide-brim hat or two, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Boots and gloves for farming

In addition to the basics that every WWOOFer should pack, some additional items may help you on each individual farm. Be sure to ask your Host if there is anything in particular you should bring with you.

Insurance

While it is unlikely that you will be injured while WWOOFing, we recommend that you arrive on your Host farm with insurance, in the event that you may need it. WWOOF Hawaii and its Host farms do not provide WWOOFers with insurance. In order to protect yourself from accidents, we ask that you do not participate in tasks that you feel will place you in physical danger. If you would like to shop for travel insurance, we recommend using Squaremouth where you will be able to compare travel insurance from over 24 reputable companies.

Getting there

Within the Host descriptions, you will find information about where the Host farm is located and how to get there. Many farms are located in secluded areas that may not be easily reached by public transportation. For this reason, you may want to make arrangements with your Host to pick you up. Because he or she may have to travel a long distance, please plan ahead and don’t expect your Host to drive to get you at last minute’s notice.
Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances come up and plans can change. If you are unable to make it to the farm, please give your Host as much of a heads up as possible.

Some questions you may want to ask your Host:

  • What will my farming schedule be like each week?
  • What kind of farming help do you currently need?
  • What organic farming and sustainable living practices will I be able to learn on your farm?
  • What is your family dynamic like?
  • Can you accommodate vegetarian or vegan diets?
  • Is your farm in a remote location? If so, would I have access to a bike or car to travel into town?
  • Are there local sightseeing and leisure activities that are available during my off time?
  • Will I be able to receive and make phone calls from your home?

Your WWOOFing Tasks

The farming projects you will help with varies from Host to Host. You may be asked to garden, do some weeding, plant trees, feed animals, etc. Before arriving, ask your Host with what farm duties you will be assisting. Keep in mind that Hosts are not permitted to ask their WWOOFers to use pesticides and other chemicals, as WWOOF Hawaii focuses on sustainable, organic farming practices.
Because organic farming can be demanding, you should be willing and able to meet the physical and mental demands of the WWOOFing lifestyle. We recommend that WWOOFers have at least average physical fitness. Because of the intensive nature and social aspect of WWOOFing, it is generally unsuitable for those with psychiatric or psychological conditions. If you have any concerns, please contact WWOOF Hawaii and/or your medical physician to discuss whether WWOOFing is right for you.

Your WWOOFing Schedule

Typically, WWOOFers are expected to help their Host about six hours a day for generally five to six days a week. WWOOFing is an exchange program, so you must contribute a reasonable amount of time per week in exchange for meals and accommodations. WWOOFers should have at least one day off each week. Each Host farm will be different in what amount of help it needs, so be sure to discuss schedule expectations prior to your arrival.

WWOOFer Etiquette
While you are WWOOFing on someone else’s farm, you are their guest—please treat your Host family with respect and consideration. Please keep your living quarters tidy and clean up after yourself in their home and on their land. Help in the preparation of meals and cleaning up afterwards. Most Host farms are living or striving toward a sustainable lifestyle, so please conserve water, electricity, gas, etc.. Your host should provide most of your food, but if you follow a special diet, please make arrangements with your Host ahead of time. 

If It Doesn’t Work Out

Even when people enter a WWOOFing relationship with the best intentions, sometimes things just don’t work out. You and your host are never expected to continue with an arrangement that isn’t working out.
Before you leave the farm, however, please attempt to smooth out any issues that might be tarnishing your WWOOFing experience. Continue to keep the lines of communication open; talk calmly and constructively to your Host about why you are unhappy and listen to what he or she has to say. Then, try to renegotiate the terms of your WWOOFing exchange relationship.
If you simply cannot reach an agreement, than it is best for you to decide on a departure date with your Host. Staying a few days longer than you might like may allow you and your Host to make other arrangements. Please try to leave the Host farm on reasonable terms.
Don’t be discouraged if your first WWOOFing experience does not work out as you expected. Each Host farm is different. If you did not enjoy your first experience, please just try out another farm.

WWOOF Hawaii is always looking for feedback. If your WWOOFing experience does not meet your expectations for any reason, please let us know.