In exchange for about 4 hours of work per day, hosts around the world provide volunteers with free room and board. There are no skill requirements, and people of all ages are welcome. It’s basically traveling for free! You can stay at each farm from anywhere from a week to a month, depending on how you like it.
Try the website helpx.net (it’s what I use!) or you can buy the WWOOF book. WWOOF stands for “Willing Workers on Organic Farms.”
Here are some examples of the kinds of experiences I had while volunteering abroad. Click the links on the names of the towns to see more pictures.
I learned how to milk a goat by hand on a small farm near Riverton, New Zealand.
On the same farm, I learned how to chop firewood. This was one of my favorite places!
For two weeks I volunteered in Tianyar, a tiny village in northern Bali. I worked as an English teacher at an after-school program for teenagers. I spent the mornings snorkeling in the ocean, the afternoons teaching, and the evenings enjoying the spicy local food and dizzying arak, a drink made from fermented palm juice.
I helped paint the outside of a bed and breakfast in Arthurs Pass, an alpine village in New Zealand, spending my free time hiking in the nearby mountains.
I worked on a dairy farm in Edendale, New Zealand, where my favorite job was feeding the calves every morning and afternoon.
Silly cows! How I love them.
Also on the dairy farm. Playing with Jack, the 2-week old calf!
James working the Farmers Market stall in Port Pirie, Australia. This was a biodynamic stone fruit orchard, with peach, plum, nectarine, and apricot trees. We came at the perfect time of year when everything was ripe.
I helped set up and build Native American style teepees for a family in Daylesford, Australia. At the same place I smeared mud on the walls of a straw-bale house, learned how to brew and bottle homemade beer, and constructed a spiral herb garden.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
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You are pure inspiration, pregnant with ideas and bursting at the seams with joy. I cherish your being dearly.