WWOOF is an exchange: in return for your help on organic farms, gardens and homesteads, you receive meals, a place to sleep, and a practical insight into organic growing methods. WWOOF-Switzerland is compiling a list of organic farms participating in this exchange. At least since the year 2001, the international year of volunteers, more and more countries accept that helping a limited number of hours as a learning and cultural exchange experience is a legal tourist activity! To participate you have to be over 17 years old, at least average physically fit and mentally stable.

The farmlist of WWOOF-Switzerland currently contains about 45 farms all over Switzerland and about 10 farms in other countries.

What can you expect from źwwoofing╗

  • You will get first hand experience of organic farming and growing by giving a hand wherever it is needed.

  • In the country you are staying , you will get ito know the people, the way of live, and the culture.

  • You will meet other people from the organic movement and make friends.

  • And you will help the organic movement, which is often labour-intensive and does not rely on artificial fertilizers or persistent poisons.

WWOOF is not...

... a way to earn money during your holidays, though some farms do pay some pocket money, depending on your capabilities and dedication. We think that 4 - 6 hours help per day on average should do if no money will be paid, and that no pocket money should be given during the first week. Don't forget to come to an agreement regarding pocket money before arriving at the farm, if payment is important for you. Do not rely on any expected earnings. Make sure you have a valid return ticket and enough money to stay elsewhere as a normal tourist in case you have to leave your volunteer job for whatever reasons.

And that's how it works

Details of organic farms registered with WWOOF Switzerland (big or small, rural or urban) are included in our farm list. Among them you find vegetable, dairy, or livestock breeding farms. You can contact them directly. For an initial contact we advise you to send a letter, giving some information on yourself and your travel plans. If you write via email use only plain text without attachment.  Don't write to too many farms in advance. They are looking forward to your help, but they have no time to handle and answer too many inquiring letters. Call the farm after a few days, or enclose an international reply coupon (available from your local post office), if you want to be sure of an answer.

Once you have agreed on a stay don't disappoint the WWOOF farm by not showing up or missleading them otherwise. Phone your hosts and confirm your planned arrival a few days before you leave your home. Depending on the situation somebody will get you from the nearest train or bus station.

You are free to stay for a few days, weeks or even longer, depending on the needs on the farm. Of course you can also move from one farm to another. Some WWOOFers have stayed two or three months at one place; others stay a few weeks, then move on to another farm on the list.

Some rules

  • Don't use old listings in order to avoid contacting farms which can not longer host WWOOFers.

  • Don't pass on the list to your friends, as it is your personal copy. Always quote your personal membership number when writing to the farms. You need to show your registration card to your host farm on arrival. WWOOF depends on the support of those taking part in the exchange. Tell other people about WWOOF and how to become a registered member.

  • When contacting your farm, always leave your full address and phone number, so they can contact you in case they have to change an agreement.

  • Make sure to tell your farm as soon as possible if you can't stick to an agreement, or if only your arrival is delayed.

  • Take with you working clothes and heavy shoes. Check with your hosts if you need to bring a sleeping bag.

  • Be prepared to do a good job in exchange for food and sleeping accomodation.

  • Be prepared to cook a meal from your country and sing some songs from your country, etc.

  • Keep you hosts informed about your plans and don't leave unexpectedly.

  • The farms do normaly have an insurance for part-time helpers, but check with your hosts and also contact your local insurance company. At the moment becoming a member of WWOOF Italy seems to be a good option because the insurance they provide will also cover you fairly whell when wwoofing in other countries. Or consider getting the insurance that we recommend on our website.

  • Students from Eastern European or Third World countries are advised to get a confirmation from their universities, stating that the volunteer work is part of their education. Swiss immigration laws are very strict. Illegal labour may result in heavy penalties both for the Swiss employers and the illegal labourer themselves. So watch it! Without the possession of a valid document allowing to enter Switzerland, we advise not to send any money for a WWOOF membership, since a visa can be hard to get or take a long time. If you need help in order to get a visa and if you are planning only a short WWOOF-stay, then it is not likely that you will find a host who will make the effort of applying for a work permit for you. Therefore it does maybe also happen that some WWOOFers are travelling as tourists.

  • WWOOF-Switzerland can not accept any liabilities for loss or damages you may cause or suffer.

WWOOF world wide

There are WWOOF organizations in many countries. They all have their own regulations and fees, which, we think, should not be very high. Check their Internet websites for current information how to join.

A complete list of WWOOF-organizations you can find on the website www.wwoofinternational.org . An overview of european WWOOF-organization you can find at www.wwoof.eu .

For countries without their own WWOOF-organisation, check the Worldwide-Lists of WWOOF-Australia, or WWOOF Independents www.wwoof.org .
 

Subscription Form WWOOF-Switzerland  (PDF Version)

Please send send this form together with a fotocopy of your passport and your membership fee (paper money, no checks) to

WWOOF Switzerland
Postfach 25
CH-8124 Maur

Active WWOOFers will get next years membership cheaper or free.

Please tick where appriopriate:

:_: I will become a member of WWOOF-Switzerland. Please forward me the farmlist valid for one year. Cost CHF 20.- or CHF 23.- in other major currencies, e.g. 26 US$ or 20 Euro. Active members of other WWOOF organizations receive Swiss membership for 10 Euro or 10 CHF or 10 US$ incl. postage. (Include membership fotocopy and reference/address/email/phone-number from one farm.) 

:_: PRIORITY SERVICE: I want the same as above but faster, or I have a lot of questions, or I will send the payment separate from the application, or I want to send the application via email and the payment via Paypal, or I give the WWOOF office more work than a normal member, or I send the application ahead and I want to pick up the list and spend the night, but I know that I still have to fill points 1 to 4 below. Please forward me the farmlist valid for one year. Cost CHF 50.- or CHF 55.- in other major currencies, e.g. 55 US$ or 45 Euro.

:_: I will become a member of WWOOF-Australia. Please forward me the current Australian Cultural Exchange and Farmlist. Arrival date in Australia (day.month.year): ______________ Cost including basic insurance CHF 65.-  (include passport fotocopy).

:_: We would like as well to be visited by WWOOFers and be listed in the list of WWOOF Switzerland under :_: farms :_: hosts in return for help. Please send us more information.

I have read the WWOOF-rules and I will follow them. I understand that incomplete applications will not be processed. A complete registration consists of 4 parts:
1. this form
2. the membership fee (paper money, no checks),
3. a photocopy of my passport (and entry visa, if required) and
4. a short letter explaining who I am and why I want to become a WWOOF-volunteer.

Date:

 

Signature:

 
 

_ Mr   _ Mrs/Ms

Name:

 

Nationality:

 

Occupation:

 

Home-Address:      

                   

 
c/o-Name (for delivery elsewhere):  
c/o-Address:  
Email:  

A special note to Americans from US: An air letter to Switzerland costs only one or two $ (I don't know how much exactly). Do not send it Priority Mail for $12.95 or Express Mail for $27.95. We are not lowering the fees that you can spend the money on expensive mail services. In addition we will collect those registered letters during opening times only once a week. So in the end you will wait longer!

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