WWOOF program introduces volunteers to organic farm life

Megan Schiffres

by Megan Schiffres

Some organic farmers in the Northern Neck are supplementing the labor force on their farms with volunteers from across the globe, using a cultural exchange program called WWOOF.

Founded in England in 1971, WWOOF, or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, has connected volunteers to organic growers with a mission to help build a sustainable, global community by promoting cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange.

Organic farmers sign up to become a host farm with WWOOF online, where they are linked to volunteers across the country and abroad interested in working on their farm. Host farms don’t pay WWOOF volunteers, but they do provide volunteers with room and board, in addition to teaching them about organic or sustainable growing practices.

“I like being able to have people that are actually interested in farming and why you do it, it’s gratifying on a lot of levels,” said Carolyn Quinn, owner of Dug In Farms in White Stone and WWOOF host for the past three years. “All these people that had different interests were…