Please, we ask you to read the whole profile before applying. Thanks.
We are looking for volunteers who main interest is learning about ORGANIC MARKET FARMING, or just helping and being part of a LOCAL SUSTAINABLE PROJECT.
- WHAT THIS PROJECT IS ALL ABOUT:
More than 10 years have passed since this project was started. During all this time we have grown ORGANIC FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, supplying to different ORGANIC CONSUMER GROUPS in the region (Extremadura).
But our main goal is not just to run an organic vegetable farm, but to create a totally sustainable PERMACULTURE PROJECT in the 30has of land we are responsible of.
And we are creating that from ZERO, starting with very little economic resources, and learning with experience.
We plan the ORGANIC GARDEN (1 ha) to be the economic engine for this project, and it is where we are currently focused on. Once the garden is totally economically sustainable (hopefully in 1-2 years’ time), we plan to start the permaculture project (restore a Mediterranean forest and to create and edible forest). But by now, we don´t do any permaculture work.
- WHAT YOU WILL AND YOU WON´T FIND HERE:
You will find a place where you can learn from the experience and all the mistakes we have make for running an organic farm for more than 10 years. We will try to show you as much as we can, and to give you good advices. We will always answer you any question you have. But this is not a workshop school. You will learn from daily practice and from all the questions you will make us.
You will find a place to share experiences with other volunteers, generally sharing a good time. Most of the time there are 3-5 volunteers at the farm, but sometimes there will be only one or, on some exceptional cases, only you. So interested volunteers should be ABLE TO LIVE TOGETHER WITH MORE PEOPLE, and also TO LIVE ALONE in an isolated place.
I do not live at the farm. I go to work at the farm only in the mornings (Monday to Sunday). This means that during the rest of the day you won’t be sharing your time with your hosts. It you are looking for a more social sharing with local people, this is maybe not the best place.
We sometimes go to visit some nice places nearby. Depending on the season, we can go 2-3 times per month, or none. At break time every day (20 minutes) we share our time together, eating some watermelon, drinking some beer,…
We can talk to you either in Spanish or in English. But if your main priority is to learn Spanish, a better option would be another project in which you can live with your hosts.
Help with Eco project
With this project you can learn from the experience of running an organic market farm for 10 years. To learn from all our mistakes and our skills (our main knowledge and experience is about organic farming and soil, not so much about permaculture).
You will have the feeling of helping at an interesting project, who looks to manage the land we are responsible of in a different and sustainable way. And, very important, LIVING ECONOMICALLY FROM THAT.
You will also be part of a small comunity of 4-6 volunteers (usually), and have a good time you may remember forever.
The kind of help at the farm is quite varied, depending mainly on the season.
During February-May the main tasks are to get the garden ready for the summer bounty: preparing seedbeds, getting prepared the permanent beds for sowing or transplanting, applying compost,...
During the summer the main tasks are to harvest, weeding, storing produce, mulching permanent beds, watering,...
Winter (november- february) is usually a period for general organization at the farm, and for getting some small projects realized that are not possible to make during the "rush" of the rest of the year.
Besides the garden work, there are also plenty of different tasks all year around:
- Every Wednesday and every alternate Thursday we prepare and deliver the veg boxes to the consumer groups.
- We are also preparing different stages in and around the garden as we plan to organize different activities in the future (markets, concerts, festivals,...).
- We plan to start the edible forest during this autumn (2018), preparing the place and starting planting some fruit trees.
We ask for 5 hours help every day, from monday to friday. On summers, because of heat, we use to start at 7:30 and finish at 12:30. On winter, it is from 9:30h to 14:30h. We have a break of around 20min for a cup of tea. Afternoons and weekends are off.
#WE DONT ASK for a deep experience (knowledge + work) in farming (although it is much looked after) but mainly for a desire to help and to learn#.
And we are also looking for ARTISTS, ALL KIND OF ARTISTS (painters, musicians,...) who would like to leave their mark in this land.
There are some other abilities that would be greatly wellcomed:
- working with stone.
- Building knowledge.
- Experience in organizing markets and festivals.
Spanish, English and some Portuguese
Volunteers have at their disposal an ancient stone cottage, with one dinning room, one kitchen, and 2 bedrooms (2 single beds + 1 double bed).
#There is not running water in the farm# Drinking water has be looked for to a nearby well (300m). The water for cleaning and shower comes from a nearby pond (20m).
There is no internet nor wifi in the house. The nearest wifi is in the village of La Codosera, 5 km away (4 km by track through the hills). Mobile phone signal is quite low in the house and around it.
There is electricity.
Clothes are cleaned with a wash tub, by hand.
There are clean sheets and towels at the house. The only thing may be necessary for you to bring are wellies in the winter and summer cream in the summer.
There is not a toilet inside the house. The toilet is outdoor, a dry one. The shower is also outdoor, without roof.
Althought there are not many commodities in the house, most volunteers agree that it is a quite pleasant one to live in, and one they will always remember.
There is also a caravan available for volunteers.
We don´t live at the farm, but in the nearby village of La Codosera, 5 kms away. We are planning to build our own house at the farm this or next year.
#CLEANLINESS is compulsory for us# There are some basic rules about cleanliness to be kept in the house.
FOOD: Volunteers have at their disposal a kitchen in the house where to prepare their own food (sometimes they prefer to cook altogether, and other times separately). There is a list in the house with all the ingredients we will be provide you when you ask for them (bread, rice, pasta, legumes, vegetables, fruit, milk, biscuits, muesli, tea, coffee, honey, sugar, jams, sunflower and olive oil, spices,...). We look forward for all the food asked to be vegan, although we also provide non vegan food (but not meat or fish).
There is a small supermarket 2 km away, in the hamlet of La Tojera, and some bigger ones in La Codosera (5km away).
LOCATION. The farm is just by the Portuguese Natural Park of San Mamede, where you can visit the most beautiful villages in Portugal: Marvao (39km away), Castelo de Vide (40km) and Alegrete (17 km). You can also visit the Medieval village of Alburquerque (25 km), with its stunning castle. As this is a frontier region with Portugal, there are plenty of castles around, many of them abandoned: Mayorga, Ouguela, Azagala,...
You can also enjoy the solitude of this place, walking around to La peña del Buho, going up the farm stream discovering abandoned houses, wells, stone walls, gardens,... Or just going to the top part of the farm, la "Sierra de los siete lobos" and contemplate the views.
ARRIVING HERE. The best way for arriving here is from Badajoz, 60km away from the farm and 500Km away from Madrid. There are many buses from Madrid to Badajoz, and 2 dayly buses in the summer and 1 bus in the winter from Badajoz to La Codosera (). We would pick you up in La Codosera.
Another option is coming from Lisbon to Portalegre (35km away from the farm), but there are no buses connecting Portalegre to La Codosera, so we should pick you up in Portalegre.
We have a market at Badajoz every Wednesday (18:00-20:00h), so it is maybe the best day for you to come, as we could meet at the market. Sundays are the worst days for us to pick volunteers, as it is our day off.
Unless you are coming with your own car, we ask for a MINIMUM STAY OF 3 WEEKS.
LONG STAYS (many months, years,...) can be very rewarding for all of us, but before agreeing to a long stay we ask for a stay of 3 months, for us to get to know each other.
More than two
25 hours a week - flexible times