Barberry Hill Farm

Participate in a worldwide movement that connects interested visitors with sustainable farmers in an educational and cultural exchange.

How It Works

Participate in a worldwide movement that connects interested visitors with sustainable farmers in an educational and cultural exchange.
Be a WWOOFer
Be a Host
FAQ

FAQ

  • How do I become a WWOOFer?

    Join online and receive instant online access. When you sign up, you can choose an online-only membership, or online membership plus receive a printed directory in the mail.

    All individual WWOOFers are required to have their own membership for safety and security reasons, and to show their identification to hosts upon arrival. Please be aware that sharing account information may be cause for immediate membership revocation.

    Once you’ve become a member, carefully read the information in the How It Works section of this website, look at the Our Farms section, contact the hosts you want to visit to make plans, and go WWOOF!

    Membership is valid for one year from the day it is purchased.

  • How do I become a host?

    Join here to sign up as a host. Be ready to include the following information in paragraph format when you sign up: description of surrounding area and farm, description of activities (crops, projects, goals, etc.), suggested length of stay for WWOOFers, non-agricultural activities (alternative construction, restoration projects, green energy, etc.), expectations of WWOOFers, when WWOOFers are needed, accommodations (number and type), transportation options, languages spoken, willingness to accept children/pets, meals and special diets, nearby area sights and fun things to do, and any other farm or area specifics.

  • How long will it take to get my online password and/or directory?

    When you sign up online, you will create a username and password and have instant access to the online directory.

    If you also request a printed directory and you live in the continental US, it takes approximately 7-10 business days to receive the directory in the mail. Outside the continental US and Canada, it takes approximately 10-15 business days in the mail.

  • Once I become a member, how does my online experience change?

    When logged in as a WWOOF-USA member, you have access to advanced search functions such as filters and key word searches, along with complete farm profiles including contact details, and comments and ratings from previous WWOOFers.  In addition, we have an online forum for the WWOOF community to share information and conversations – a great place to expand your knowledge about WWOOFing.

  • What forms of payment do you accept for people signing up internationally?

    You can join online and use a credit or debit card, or you can mail us an international money order in US dollars.

  • What do I need to go WWOOFing?

    – A great attitude, flexibility, and a sense of adventure
    – Travel or medical insurance (encouraged)
    – Transportation to and from the farm, unless otherwise arranged with a host
    – Travel funds to and from the farm, and extra spending money
    – Appropriate attire – boots, farming clothes, sun protection, hat, etc.  Ask your host about any other suggestions.
    – Identification such as passport or license
    – Ask hosts about any specific items you may need for your visit with them.

  • I’m not 18 years old. Can I still WWOOF?

    Not alone. Anyone under the age of 18 must travel with a parent or legal guardian (judge appointed) who is 18 years of age or older.

  • What do hosts expect from WWOOFers?

    – Show up when expected
    Hosts count on your arrival and probably turn away other WWOOFers in order to hold your spot. Please let hosts know as far in advance as possible if your plans have changed. If you are a ‘no-show’, hosts may leave negative comments on your profile page, and in the forums, which could negatively affect your ability to find future hosts.
    – Fit into the lifestyles of hosts
    – Participate and be interested in learning about organic agriculture
    – Help out for the agreed upon time per day
    – Assist with living chores (such as cooking and washing up)
    – Don’t create more work for your host
    – Be respectful and responsible
    – If asked to leave early, it is your responsibility to do so. Likewise you may choose to leave early if the situation is not working out. Please let your host know if, and why, you are leaving.

  • What do WWOOFers expect of hosts?

    – Basic accommodation and food. Before arrival, be clear about exactly what accommodations are available, as this varies greatly from farm to farm. If you have special dietary requirements (i.e. vegetarian, vegan, etc.) or specific allergies (i.e. to animals or weeds), check with your host that this is alright before you go.

    – Host should work with WWOOFers at times and teach about organic farming. It is likely that you will have to work on your own a fair amount of the time. Many of the tasks may be mundane, but a lot of agricultural work is. Once again, check with hosts about what projects are available before going and throughout your visit.

    – If for some reason the situation is not working for you, discuss it with your hosts and if a solution cannot be reached, you are under no obligation to stay. Any feedback to us would be appreciated.

  • Will WWOOF help me get a visa?

    If you are traveling to the USA as a foreign national, please be aware that WWOOF-USA cannot help you obtain a visa. It may benefit you to secure your visa first, and then join WWOOF-USA.

    Most WWOOFers enter the USA using a tourist visa; however, it is your responsibility to determine the correct visa for your visit.  Please keep in mind that WWOOF is NOT paid work or volunteering. WWOOFing is an educational experience, and WWOOF members are guests of their hosts. The United States has extremely strict labor and immigration laws that prohibit foreign nationals from “working” or “volunteering” in the country without a work visa. Most international WWOOFers communicate their intentions to visit the USA to immigration officials and enter without any problems. However, if you say that you are coming to “volunteer or work on a farm” and you don’t have a work visa, immigration probably WILL NOT LET YOU ENTER THE USA. Additionally, please note that when entering the USA, you cannot enter as a “WWOOFer,” as the meaning of this may be misunderstood by immigration officials. If you say you are “WWOOFing” when you enter the USA (especially from the Canadian border), you will most likely be turned away and not allowed to enter the country. Please take this into consideration and plan your visit to the USA accordingly. If you are traveling from another country, please be aware of this important distinction: as a WWOOFer, you are a TOURIST, NOT a WORKER or VOLUNTEER. Please understand the laws and clearly communicate your intentions when you enter the country.  WWOOF-USA is not responsible for any problems you may experience with immigration.

  • Does WWOOF offer any type of insurance?

    No, we do not offer any types of insurance, including medical insurance and/or worker’s compensation. We are not experts on insurance, so we can’t give you advice. Most hosts have some types of coverage in their homeowner’s policy. When you sign up for WWOOF-USA®, you assume responsibility for any risks. If you are a WWOOFer we encourage you to get traveler, medical, or other adequate insurance.

  • Once I am a WWOOF-USA member, can I use my membership all over the world?

    No, all national WWOOF organizations are independent and you need to join each one separately. Please visit wwoof.net for information on other WWOOF groups around the world.

  • Does WWOOF-USA include Hawaii?

    Yes, when you join WWOOF-USA, you gain access to all US hosts, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. 

  • What is a “One Day (local)” visit?

    This option is a way for local WWOOFers to help out on nearby farms for the day. For this option, most hosts provide a meal, but no accommodations. Please read host profiles for individual details, and contact the host for more information and scheduling. This is a great way to visit a farm in your neighborhood, meet local farmers, and connect with your farm community.

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  • Can I bring my children with me?

    Sometimes. A lot of the farms welcome children, especially if they have children themselves. To find farms that are kid friendly, click the children option under the “Children + Pets” search filter on the Our Farms page (see image below).

    Always check with the host first, and if you have young children who need a lot of your attention, please discuss this with your host. Farms can be dangerous places, and accommodation can be limited- parents should be willing to take total responsibility for the safety of their children.

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  • Is there a discounted membership for a couple WWOOFing together?

    No, we do not offer a membership for two.

    All WWOOFers are required to have their own membership for safety and security reasons, and to show their identification to hosts upon arrival. Please be aware that sharing account information may be cause for immediate membership revocation.

  • How many hours a day am I expected to WWOOF?

    The hours depend a great deal on the projects needing to be done. We say that you should spend about half a day, or 4 – 6 hours,  5.5 days a week, but this needs to be flexible.

    During a harvest, for example, you may end up helping out for longer hours, but you should be given extra days off at the end to make up for this. Once again, good communication with your host before and at the beginning of your stay can prevent many misunderstandings.

  • Do I need to be able to speak English?

    Many hosts speak other languages in addition to English, and you can filter the online farm directory by which additional languages they speak (see image below). We recommend you do not go to a farm where hosts speak only English if you can’t speak it; this leads to misunderstandings and confusion. If you wish to learn English, choose a farm where they speak some of the language you speak and ask if they could speak English to you – many of our hosts appreciate the cultural exchange of practicing a language with WWOOFers.

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  • I’ve sent out several emails and haven’t heard back from any hosts. Why? Where can I check my messages?

    All email responses will come directly into the personal email inbox of the email account that you have linked to your profile (this is the email you entered upon registration). These messages are not accessible anywhere on our website. Once you receive a message from a host or WWOOFer in your email inbox, you can respond to it just as you would any other normal email.

    Here are a few tips for messaging host farmers . . .

    1. Make sure your initial communication with the host is personal and considerate, showing that you read over their farm profile carefully. Include details about yourself, why you are WWOOFing, and why you chose to contact that particular host. We strongly discourage sending mass or generic emails to hosts, as hosts will likely recognize this as impersonal, and may choose not to respond.

    2. Hosts check WWOOFer profiles and are more likely to respond to those who have detailed and complete profile pages. Please make sure to complete your WWOOFer profile and check back frequently to make sure it is accurate and up-to-date, and ask hosts you have met to leave comments and feedback on your profile.

    3. If it has been a few days and the farmer indicated that he or she is actively looking for WWOOFers, follow up with a second telephone call or email. Persistence pays off and shows the host that you are genuinely interested in visiting the farm.

  • What is WWOOF’s comment policy?

    WWOOF-USA invites and encourages all WWOOFers and host farmers to submit comments and ratings regarding their experiences. Our organization operates largely on trust, as well as open, honest, and clear communication. We ask for comments and ratings that are helpful to both the recipient and to the wider WWOOF community. Submitting comments and ratings is an opportunity to build your reputation within WWOOF and strengthen the community by sharing your experiences.

    We ask that your comments focus on your experience either as a WWOOFer or a host in regards to this organization’s guidelines. Please stick to the facts, avoid sharing personal opinions or 3rd party information, and be polite. Remember this is a two-way public forum, with recipients also able to leave comments and ratings on your profile. Write the way you would speak at an open meeting. We welcome clear, truthful, and respectful communication.

    All comments submitted undergo review by a WWOOF-USA staff member before being posted on our website. WWOOF-USA does not permit comments that contain personal attacks or insults, profanity, inappropriate or unrelated content, hate speech, sexual references, intentionally inflammatory rhetoric, or defamation (including libel).

    If you find a comment offensive or believe it violates this policy, please contact us at info@wwoofusa.org. If a comment is called into question, it will be suspended pending review by the WWOOF Comment Review Board. This Board is comprised of one host, one WWOOFer, and the WWOOF-USA board president. WWOOF-USA does not remove reviews without informing both parties involved. We reserve the right to remove any comments that do not follow this policy.

  • What do I do if I feel a comment left on my profile is inappropriate?

    WWOOF-USA’s policy is to review any posted comments that may be inappropriate on our website. Once we are notified of a potentially inappropriate comment, we ask for further explanation from both sides, and suspend the comment for review. The Comment Review Board is composed of one impartial WWOOFer, one impartial host, and one member of our Board of Directors. These three parties will examine the original comment and response, and make a decision regarding the posting of the comment on the profile. If the Review Board does not approve the comment, the commenter is welcome to repost a revised comment. Please review our Comment Policy (above) for details on what types of online comments are considered appropriate, and our Negative Review Policy (below) for more information on how we deal with multiple complaints related to the same member.

  • What is WWOOF’s policy for hosts or WWOOFers with negative reviews?

    WWOOF operates largely on the honor system with members trusting one another to be respectful and to fulfill the mission of WWOOF.  Because of this, we rely strongly on feedback from hosts and WWOOFers about their experiences through WWOOF, and takes complaints seriously.

    We have a “three strikes you are out” policy regarding negative comments. If a farm or WWOOFer receives three negative comments from separate cases, it is our policy that they will be removed from the WWOOF-USA organization. If we receive a negative review, we follow up directly with both parties and try to use the review as a way to improve the situation for future members.

    Zero Tolerance Policy
    If we receive a complaint regarding any sort of verbal or physical abuse, assault, sexual or other harassment, discrimination, or any other form of threat to health and safety, we reserve the right to immediately suspend membership pending review and possibly permanently revoke membership.

  • How do I file a complaint about a host or WWOOFer?

    You may file a formal complaint directly via email or telephone. If we receive a complaint, we will follow up and ask for your response in writing, as well as follow up with the other party in order to try to improve the situation. Please review our Comment Policy (above) for details on what types of online comments are considered appropriate, and our Negative Review Policy (above) for more information on how we deal with multiple complaints related to the same member.

  • What is WWOOF’s policy on sex offenders and/or convicted felons?

    WWOOF-USA does not knowingly allow sex offenders or convicted felons to participate in the WWOOF program, unless they apply to us prior to application. If we receive notification that a member is in violation of this policy, we reserve the right to revoke membership of any offenders immediately.

    If a potential member feels that their circumstances warrant further consideration, we request they provide a written explanation to: info@wwoofusa.org. This information will be reviewed by a committee with regard to the safety of our members. Failure to provide further explanation, falsification, or omission of data will result in denial of or revocation of membership.

  • Are hosts and WWOOFers pre-screened for my safety?

    WWOOF-USA is a small organization, and unable to screen all host and volunteer applications. You are strongly encouraged to do your own background and reference checks prior to entering into any situation with strangers. There are many resources (some are free) on the internet to help investigate strangers. For example, the following sites are free websites where you can check the criminal status of a volunteer or host before meeting: http://www.homefacts.com/offenders.html or http://nsopw.gov. As with all WWOOF arrangements, be sure to have clear and open communication between all parties before finalizing arrangements.  WWOOFing is an amazing opportunity to make new friends, but please take safety issues seriously and contact us immediately if you have any safety issues.

    Please also use the online comments, ratings, and forums to share your experiences with other members. If there is a problem with a profile not being accurate or up to date, encourage the host or member to modify their profile, or let us know and we’ll get in touch with them. If you think a host or member is not appropriate for WWOOF, please let us know. We rely on member and host feedback to strengthen the WWOOF community.

  • What is WWOOF’s harassment policy?

    Harassment based upon an individual’s sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion or any other legally protected characteristics will not be tolerated by WWOOF-USA. All members, including hosts and WWOOFers, are expected and required to abide by this policy. Any reports of harassment between a host and WWOOFer will be investigated by WWOOF-USA, and may be cause for membership being revoked.

  • What is WWOOF’s discrimination policy?

    WWOOF-USA does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include membership application and provision of member (host or WWOOFer) profiles. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of WWOOF-USA, and require all hosts and WWOOFers to abide by this policy. Any reports of discrimination will be investigated by WWOOF-USA, and may be cause for membership being revoked.

  • What is WWOOF’s refund policy?

    If you do not find a farm that is a suitable fit, we offer a full membership refund up to 30 days after registration. Please contact us at info@wwoofusa.org. Please note that once your refund is issued, your account will be deactivated immediately.

  • How long is WWOOF-USA membership valid?

    Membership is valid for one year from the date of registration.

 
Testimonials
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