Host Tips: Questions to Ask WWOOFers Before Accepting Their Visit Request

Mar 26, 2024

(Photo taken by our WWOOF Host Rachel Dionne, at Ferme l’Idéel)

WWOOFing is a wonderful thing. But the key to having the best experience with WWOOF is ensuring that there is a good fit between hosts and WWOOFers.

How can you, as a host, ensure that you find WWOOFers who are a good match for you and what you’re offering?

The best way to do that is to ask questions, set expectations, and just talk it out! We suggest that you ask questions through the WWOOF Inbox and then set up a phone or video call with your potential WWOOFers before Accepting, and then having them Confirm your visit request. Click here for detailed instructions on how to manage your visit requests.

In this post, you will find a list of questions you can use when you message or chat with potential WWOOFers. Some of these questions may not be applicable to you or your situation, so pick and choose the questions that work for you. You are also welcome to change these questions in any way that you see fit. 

  1. Why are you interested in WWOOFing?

Different WWOOFers come to WWOOF for different reasons. Some join WWOOF to learn about organic growing and sustainable living, others may be traveling and exploring Canada. It’s important to know what the WWOOFer is looking to get out of the experience, and if you can provide that.  

  1.  Why did you choose our Farm/Profile?

This question tells you if the WWOOFer read your profile and had good reasons for choosing you. If the WWOOFer can’t answer this question, it might indicate that they picked your farm without doing their homework. 

  1. Have you ever WWOOFed before?  If so, where?  What type of experience do you have?  

Remember, we don’t expect WWOOFers to have previous experience when they go WWOOFing. However, it’s useful to know how they’re starting out. 

If they haven’t WWOOFed before, take the time to explain to them how WWOOFing works, along with your specific approach to hosting WWOOFers.

If they have WWOOFed before, take the time to ask them about their previous experiences.

  1. What do you want to learn while WWOOFing here?

Is the WWOOFer interested in picking up specific skills (such as making cheese, succession planting, or sustainable building) or are their goals more general (learn about self-sufficient living, etc.). If the WWOOFer’s goals relate to making connections, exploring Canada, or self-discovery, that’s okay too, but encourage them to pick a few things they want to learn while staying with you. 

  1. What type of daily schedule do you prefer? 

Find out if the WWOOFer enjoys having more free time in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that they are comfortable with your proposed schedule (number of hours, days of the week, etc.). Just remember that WWOOFers should not WWOOF more than 25 – 30 hours a week. 

  1. Do you have any dietary restrictions and allergies?

Is the WWOOFer a vegetarian, pescatarian or vegan? Are they celiac? Lactose intolerant? Do they have an allergy to cats or other animals? 

  1. Do you prefer sharing meals with us or do you like eating by yourself? 

We encourage hosts and WWOOFers to share at least a few meals a week. It’s a great opportunity to check in and build a sense of community.  With that said, depending on the host and the WWOOFer, it might make most sense for the rest of the meals to happen separately or together. 

  1. How comfortable are you working outside or on a farm? 

If the WWOOFer has not worked outside or on a farm before, give them advice on what to bring (clothing especially) and what to expect. Physical work can be a real adjustment for people who have never done it before. 

  1. What type of social life are you looking for while WWOOFing?

WWOOFers vary widely when it comes to the type of social environment they are looking for on a farm. Some seek a bustling farm with people coming and going and lots of fun activities once the chores are done. Others are seeking a quiet and tranquil space. 

  1. What type of leisure activities are you excited to do once the tasks are done?

WWOOFers aren’t only there to assist with farm tasks. Many are excited about exploring the surrounding countryside, taking trips into town, or swimming at a local lake or river. Ask the WWOOFers about this to ensure that your expectations line up. 

  1. How are you traveling? Do you need someone to pick you up at the local bus station/train station/airport?

Technically, WWOOFers are responsible for their own transportation. But the reality is that most WWOOFers don’t have a vehicle of their own and would be unable to get to your farm/home without your cooperation. It’s good to get on the same page.

  1. Will you feel comfortable in our WWOOFing accommodations?

A gap in expectations regarding the WWOOFers’ sleeping area is one of the most common reasons for a disappointing WWOOF stay. We recommend being extremely clear about where the WWOOFer will stay, and ensuring that they feel comfortable with those accommodations. Doing a video tour during your call with WWOOFers is a great way to do this!

  1. What type of insurance coverage do you have?

WWOOFers must have some health care coverage while WWOOFing in Canada. If they are Canadian, they are likely covered by their provincial plan, but WWOOFers on a tourist or work-visa will likely need to purchase coverage from a private insurer. 

  1. Questions for visitors from outside Canada: 
  1. Do you already have a visa to enter Canada?
  2. For how long do you plan on staying?
  3. Do you have enough money to find another place to stay if you have to leave our farm?

If you have questions as a new host, please refer to our page How it Works and our Help Center.

You can always contact us by email at info@wwoof.ca if you need help with anything.

Website Feature Update: WWOOFer Community List

Website Feature Update: WWOOFer Community List

The WWOOF website is at the centre of how WWOOF members connect. Built and managed by the Federation of WWOOF Organizations (FoWO), the website is an online platform shared by WWOOF groups around the world. The Common WWOOF Platform, as we call it, unifies the WWOOF...

WWOOF Canada’s Exciting Transition!

WWOOF Canada’s Exciting Transition!

On February 1, 2024, WWOOF Canada went through several important changes. Becky Young, WWOOF Canada’s longtime Executive Director retired, WWOOF Canada officially became a non-profit, and a Board of Directors was appointed.

WWOOF Canada’s Longtime Executive Director Becky Young Retires

WWOOF Canada’s Longtime Executive Director Becky Young Retires

Photo: Becky, WWOOF Canada's outgoing Executive Director, with Robin, WWOOF Canada's incoming Executive Director. On February 1, Becky Young, WWOOF Canada’s longtime Executive Director began her retirement. Becky had led WWOOF Canada for the past 14 years. Becky first...