World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF); This playlist of short video documentaries describes the culture of working for your bed and board on an organic farm. It attempts to highlight the potential to travel and experience different cultures without having the expense of accommodation and food…BUT…you will be expected to work for the opportunity.
The first documentary in the playlist was aired in 2007 and won an award for the best short film in the free cinema category, Exeter, UK and went on to win further awards in 2009. This is a low/no budget film set in Cornwall in the Southern part of England.
This has no narration and is a poignant view of life working on the land with, in many cases, only yourself as company. This can be seen as a spiritual solitude or as a torture dependant upon you point of view and emotional state at the time. I understand this very well having “wwoofed” in New Zealand and in Greece and there is something very special about being at one with nature and not having any of the social, commercial or business related pressure which comes with working in a regular occupation.
Stefan Van Oeckel, the wwoofer, paints a relaxed but introvert picture of the tasks at hand whilst the film-maker, Robin Whenary, captures some very arousing and compelling images of the life on the land. Living in a remote small caravan may not be everyone’s idea of fun but to many this is a way to spend valuable solitary time with none of the normal distractions of modern life.
The climate in Britain is simply so inclement that you have to be well adjusted to make the most of the situation but you will be wet at some point and the prospect of drying out in that small caravan does not thrill me. My experiences were in absolutely fantastic (but roasting hot) conditions in Greece and a little cooler in New Zealand and the second short documentary in the playlist shows a Canadian reporter, Reb Stevenson, describing wwoofing in Britain in a much different aspect to the previous video which was set in Cornwall getting into winter.
This is a completely different type of documentary to the first but should give an insight to what wwoofing is all about…you should be aware though that this is only showing woofing in Britain but the Wwoofing organisation in a global phenomena and to learn more you should consider visitingwww.wwoof.org for further information.