WWOOF UK is delighted to be part of an exciting new international project called Living and Learning on Organic Farms (LLOOF). The project will develop and promote the first and only online Learning Guide as an open educational resource for adult learners about organic food production, entrepreneurship, volunteering and cultural exchange on farm enterprises.
This new and innovative online project is funded by the EU Erasmus Plus Strategic Partnership programme, and is being developed by 10 partners who are all members of the European WWOOF Network: the UK (Project Co-ordinator), Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Serbia, Spain, Turkey.
It will establish a website which will not only complement the practical and informal learning that the 20,000 adults or WWOOFers (mainly 18-34 year olds) registered with the 10 partner organisations receive from their 2,000 hosts, but LLOOF will also ultimately be available to anyone interested in learning about organic growing and sustainable living who can access the web. The guide will contain a wide range of topics including agriculture, animal and crop husbandry, food, building, technology and entrepreneurship. The e-learning for action will focus on both practice and principles and enable full participation by learners – learning from the earth upwards, with others, and for the Earth.
WWOOFers learn informally as residential volunteers on host farm enterprises each year, and one of the advantages of LLOOF will be that it can be offered to them on mobile devices while they are in the field. The growing popularity of WWOOF, not just in Europe, but worldwide, indicates strongly that many young adults want to learn how to:
- volunteer on an organic farm
- educate others about organic food production
- have a more sustainable diet and lifestyle
- become an organic food producer
- learn more formally about organic food production
As well as bringing information to young people through the technology of their generation, LLOOF is also responding to the EU 2013 Indicators of Rural Development Report, especially its emphasis on the fact that ‘the agricultural sector in the EU-27 is characterised by an ageing farming population’. It also describes rural areas as having ‘the lowest share of lifelong learning’ and that ‘learning by doing is the main form of training for the majority of EU farmers’ both fully reflected in WWOOF’s approach to learning. The report presents strong evidence of how vital online education about organic food production and intercultural understanding is for young adults in rural areas.
The project began in September 2014 and will be completed by August 31st 2016 with a transnational conference in Italy this autumn, a promotional day in Ireland next spring followed by the launch of the Learning Guide, translated into languages that reflect the range of countries involved in this project.
Anyone interested in contributing to the project at this stage can do so by outlining their relevant current free online resources.
For more information please contact: email@example.com