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Great green vacations: volunteer on an organic farm

About this time last year, I took note of sustainable agriculture tours that provided great learning and getaway experiences. Want to go a step further, and actually get your hands dirty? Turns out there are lots of opportunities all over the world to exchange your labor for meals, sleeping quarters, and a great hands-on education in organic farming.

Today at CNN, Camarillo, California-based robotics engineer Jacob Madden describes his and wife’s experience with WWOOFing… that is, participating in organic agriculture volunteer opportunities through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, a loose confederation of national organizations that match wannabe farmers with farms that could use their help. WWOOF organizations exist on every continent (except Antarctica, of course), and provide volunteers not only with work experience, but the opportunity to experience local cultures and communities.

Madden notes that flexibility is key: farms involved range from tiny to huge, and some opportunities fill up fast.  Expect to do a lot of weeding. And sleeping quarters may involve a B&B-style bedroom… or a tent.

Still, sounds like a great opportunity for a meaningful, and relatively cheap, vacation. We got any WWOOFers in the house? Share your stories with us…

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Image: A WWOOFer in Japan Credit: strikeael at Flickr under a Creative Commons license