There's an outstanding organization called World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms or WWOOF! The program pairs willing workers from all walks of life with organic farms all over the world that need an extra helping hand. The workers volunteer 4 or 5 hours a day in exchange for lodging and all their meals in an exotic land of their choosing. Read more about it here: http://www.wwoofusa.org/About_WWOOFUSA
I first learned of WWOOF recently from a blog. At first I was skeptical but I've done my research and heard the success stories firsthand. I've know people who have picked apples in Fiji, harvested vegetables in Hawaii, and tended animals in South America. A kind of symbiotic relationship exists between the host family who needs the help and the worker who wants the getaway and the experience of a lifetime!
To take a look at the bigger picture: here are five reasons why small farms are essential:
1. Small farms are essential for food security by providing food at a local and regional level.
2. Small farms have higher yields than corporate farms if you consider total output rather than yields from a single cash crop, all this with less damage to the environment.
3. Small farms are more resilient to environmental factors because they practice techniques such as water harvesting, mixed cropping, opportunistic weeding, permaculture and agroforestry.
4. Small farms maintain genetic biodiversity by remaining GMO-free.
5. Small farms offset carbon emissions with organic composting while industrial agribusiness is responsible for one-third of total greenhouse gas emissions.
I believe in the practice of small organic farming and I want to be a part of it. I also have a strong desire to travel: to meet local people, see the land, live simply, and work hard. If you believe in the cause but don't have the time or desire to invest in small-scale organic farming yourself then help out someone who does!
I am asking for your support in making my travel-volunteer dreams come true! A donation of any size will be greatly appreciated to help cover the nominal fee of a WWOOF membership along with the expensive cost of airfare.
Thank you for your consideration!