WWOOFing in Hawaii - 4 Awesome Farms and How to Find More
Who doesn’t want to spend time working on a farm in a tropical paradise? Not to mention eating the local organic food and having room and board taken care of.
WWOOFing in Hawaii is a popular choice for good reason. Hawaii can be paradise but, if you’re a broke traveler on a budget, it can feel inaccessible.
The huge expense that can come with the Hawaiian resorts and restaurants can leave dreaming of a date with your couch and a National Geographic travel show.
Becoming a WWOOFer in Hawaii can make a trip to Hawaii a viable option, regardless of your budget.
Where Can I Go in Hawaii with WWOOF?
Hawaii has over 350 farms that participate in WWOOF. For a small chain of islands, this gives you A LOT of opportunity. When you look at the map of the available farms in Hawaii on the WWOOF USA website, you’ll see that you have choices in almost every part of Hawaii you can dream of.
With the small yearly WWOOF USA membership, you can get detailed information about all 350+ of these farms and choose the best one for you.
Below is just a taste of a few of them.
Disclaimer: this is not an official endorsement of the farms listed below. Everyone is responsible for vetting the places they visit. I also can’t guarantee that these farms will be available when you apply. Farms fill up with WWOOFers quickly and may be unavailable at any given time.
Awalau Farm is 30-acre sustainable community on the island of Maui. With a bamboo forest on one side and a eucalyptus reserve on the other, you can bet that this place is gorgeous. They even mention that you can stumble upon waterfalls from time to time. Yes, please!
WWOOFers are welcome at Awalau Farm for a time spanning 1-3 months between July and January.
If you really love the outdoors, Awalau Farm is a great choice. Encouraging their WWOOFers to bring a tent and rain gear, they expect all visitors and workers to enjoy being one with nature.
If you can handle the natural living environment, you’ll be pleased with the work week, as Awalau Farm only requires WWOOFers to work 15 hours per week. This gives you more than enough time to enjoy Maui.
Awalau Farm is a vegetarian farm, so expect delicious veggie meals. As a WWOOFer, your day could consist of gardening, clay harvesting, goat and animal care, property upkeep, landscaping, and more.
Mohala Farms is a 6-acre farm located in Waialua on Oahu. Born in 2005, Mohala Farms began their commercial sale of produce in 2009.
In addition to being a working farm, Mohala Farms is also a non-profit, so it’s a great place for any WWOOFers that hope to learn about the inside workings of these organizations.
Mohala Farms takes up to 2 WWOOFers at a time for a period of 1 to 2 months.
All WOOFers are expected to work for 37 hours a week in exchange for farm-fresh produce, solar-powered showers, and tents on elevated platforms.
During your time at Mohala Farms, you can expect to participate in all sorts of farming activities, sales, marketing, and construction projects.
Waihuena Farm is located in Haleiwa, Hawaii. Even though you’d never question whether any farm in Hawaii would be beautiful, Wihuena Farm is located off of a bike path attached to the North Shore beach community—it doesn’t get better than that!
Despite being a small farm, Waihuena Farm has a lot to offer. They operate a weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and supply food for local chefs, restaurants, and stores.
In addition, their space is used by the community for yoga classed, workshops, potlucks, volunteer gatherings, educational tours, and farm-to-table events. They’ve got a lot going on!
WWOOFers are accepted from 1 to 3 months. This includes a 1-week trial period where both you and the farm determine whether it’s a good fit. Yes, this is tricky given that you just travelled all the way to Hawaii, but it is good top make sure the relationship will work out before making a long-term commitment.
Waihuena Farm has a fairly extensive application process, which is a good thing. If you’re going to spend up to 3 months at a place, you want to be sure that they’re invested and that you’ve shown your high level of commitment as well.
Rising Sun Organic Farm sits on 22 acres south of Moloa’a Bay on Kauai. 20 acres of Rising Sun Organic Farm are fruit orchards and 2 acres are farmland. Similar to Waihuena Farm, Rising Sun Organic Farm also has a CSA and provides a lot of food to the community of Kauai. Their large array of regular produce includes edible flowers, roots, herbs, greens, and fruits.
Similar to Awalau Farm, you’ll have a sweet work schedule if you choose Rising Sun Organic Farm.
WWOOFers are expected to stay a minimum of 3 months and work a minimum of 20 hours a week, with weekends free and optional free days on Tuesdays and Fridays. When you are working, you’ll likely be done before noon and can enjoy everything that the farm and island have to offer. Be prepared to be an early riser, as farming typically begins at 6am.
All WWOOFers must provide their own tents and stay on the 2 acres designated for all of the WWOOFers staying at that time. There are 3 toilets connected to a septic system and an outdoor shower with hot water. There’s a community kitchen for WWOOFers to use to cook the organic produce and food they pick. If this rustic lifestyle sounds good to you, Rising Sun Organic Farm might be a great fit.
Things to Consider WWOOFing in Hawaii
Do you see this as a vacation?
The biggest thing to consider when you decide to WWOOF at a farm in Hawaii is that it isn’t a vacation. You will be working in exchange for your room in board. So, while you may be in paradise, the entire trip won’t be paradise.
The farms you’ll be looking at are real, working farms that rely on their produce and goods to maintain their livelihoods. While you may be choosing Hawaii as a WWOOFing location because it sounds fun, this is serious business for the farms you’ll be staying at.
Are you outdoorsy?
Another thing to consider is how rough and tumble you are. While Hawaii is warm and beautiful, a lot of the farms will be offering you land to pitch a tent on. Take the living conditions into careful consideration before you reach out to a farm.
Can you afford a plane ticket?
Remember that you’ll not only need to travel to Hawaii, you’ll also need have enough money to leave Hawaii after your WWOOFing experience. Think ahead to when you’ll be ready to leave Hawaii. If it corresponds with spring or summer break, you may be paying a hefty fee to leave the Islands.
WWOOFing in Hawaii can be a great way to explore the Islands, even if you can’t afford a fancy vacation. If you go in with the right mindset and desire to work hard, you can likely find a farm that will be a great fit and be an alternative version of paradise.