Dig It: Partcipating In Farm Life
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Is there a vacation package that allows a city person like me to experience what it's like to work on a farm?
Working on an organic farm will deepen your appreciation of nature's intricate and clever dynamics. You'll learn about how some plants have each other's backs by repelling each other's pests. You'll meet new people when you help out on market days. You'll be more sensitive to resource conservation when you learn how many things can be reused as compost.
WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) at http://www.wwoofinternational.org/home/ is probably the most extensive and most affordable network available.
- The price of joining the network varies a little from country to country, but is generally no more than $45 for a year's membership in one country;
- During that year, you can volunteer on as many farms as you like in that country;
- You are provided with a list of hosts that need help and a description of the work involved. It's up to you to write to the ones that suit you and explain why you want to participate;
- Projects vary. There are farms in the Dordogne that need help tending donkeys and ducks; others in hot countries need help harvesting olives or bananas;
- The workdays are generally five to six hours long with time off on weekends;
- Room and board is free, but meals are often prepared communally, a wonderful way to bond and learn about local cuisine.