We are a British couple living at the edge of a forest village in the mountains, 12 km South of Yalova, which is reached by fast ferryboat from Istanbul. Since the beginning of 2009 we have been working to create an Organic Permaculture smallholding, and our aim is to live both sustainably and comfortably. You are welcome to come and take part in our work, to experience living in a small forest village and to join in with what's going on at the time.. It's a beautifully quiet rural area, close to Termal, the geothermal spa, and also remarkably accessible from Istanbul. Yalova is 1 hr from Bursa (historic city & former Ottoman capital, plus Bursa has good connections to & from the rest of Turkey.)
The Sufi trail "Walk to the Light" goes past our gate.
We have dogs, cats and chickens (free range eggs); we're a no-smoking household.
You can check our feedback!
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Our experience is that we learn as much from our volunteers as we hope they do from being here with us. Alan is a retired farmer & Seed merchant and I am a Garden Designer & Horticulturalist, and we bring a range of experience to making our home and gardens a balanced ecological entity. We do a lot of preserving, processing our home-grown fruit into jams and chutneys, and during the summer make sun-dried products. We also grow and dry our own herbs from the garden, which we use in soaps and teas.
If you are a long-distance walker, the Sufi trail "Walk to the Light" goes past our gate. It's a long-distance trail from Istanbul to Konya. If you're a short-distance walker, there are lots of trekking and hiking routes through the surrounding forest. Yalova forest is unique in Turkey, the only one with "model forest" status.
Volunteers join with the variety of things going on at the time, according to the weather & the season. The jobs generally include helping with the land, garden, chickens, dogs, planting, construction and in the house, and we can also adapt our program to suit our volunteers and their skills. We grow vegetables & fruit, garden plants & herbs, make our own preserves, herbal teas and soaps, and there is plenty of practical work & construction. There is a lot to do & we provide a range and choice of tasks. In return you'll get a comfortable bed, your own bathroom (shared if we are full) and we all share in cooking and eating together.
We joined Workaway as hosts in 2011, so we're going into our 9th year as hosts. We've generally hosted 40-50 volunteers each year from March through October.
During 2019 we've got a few plans... as well as growing vegetables, we're building a cabin in the orchard, improving our trees, and intend to start growing mushrooms. We have three young dogs so any aspiring dog-trainers out there would be very welcome!
Recently our family commitments have increased (caring for ageing parents) So from time to time we are both away and you might find yourselves house-sitting for a few nights.
4 double rooms (own shower-rooms), meals are all shared and eaten together
From time to time we also have B&B guests, so occasionally you might have to move rooms
Volunteers are welcome from late-March through October (not during the winter) We prefer you to stay with us for at least a week, which gives you time to settle in and us time to get to know you better.
The village is small & friendly (120 households), there is one shop, 3 tea-houses, 4 restaurants, and a health centre in the next village. The village runs a bus to & from Yalova, which is a busy university, sea-side & market town, with all the services of a provincial centre. Yalova forest is the only model forest in Turkey, offering unique opportunities for trekking & walking. 4 km from us is Termal, a renowned centre for geothermal healing waters. There are plenty of tracks through the forest, a 13km trekking route which starts/ends in the village, and the Sufi trail ("walk to the light").
We eat mostly vegetarian, but we also butcher wild boar meat (from the forests) for the table, as well as the occasional chicken if we need to slaughter a cockerel.
No smokers please: the accommodation is in our home.
We only speak English at home.
We are not able to accept children under age 16
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
5 hours per day 5 days a week
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