[This post is the sixth and final in a series that looks at different efforts to build a more sustainable food system in the United States. These efforts challenge us to think about food as not just a commodity, but more as a relationship with the Earth. Feel free to leave any other interesting food movements, organizations, or “revolutionaries” in the comments]
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is a worldwide movement that facilitates the placement of volunteers on organic farms. Farmers who grow organically or use ecologically sound methods on their farms host volunteers who want to learn about these farming methods. Typically, the volunteers are not paid, but the hosts provide living accommodations, food, and technical knowledge in exchange for help on the farm. Volunteers can participate for anywhere from a few days to several years.
According to their website, WWOOF networks are spread over 90+ countries and include more than 7,500 hosts and 100,000 volunteers. Not only does this movement support sustainable living and food, but it also does so in a non-capitalist way. The exchange of labor for lodging, food, and knowledge does not occur on a free market, and does not include capitalist processes. Instead, the WWOOF website says, volunteers “usually live as part of the family.”
WWOOF USA provides this networking for farms across the country, and a look at the map on the homepage shows an impressive organization, with connections to dozens of farms in every state. Their mission statement coincides with what I would call “agricultural revolutionaries”:
World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, USA (WWOOF-USA) is part of a world-wide effort to link volunteers with organic farmers, promote an educational exchange, and build a global community conscious of ecological farming practices.