Help renovate an off-grid farmhouse in a Tuscan National Park, Italy

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2017

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  • Description

    Description

    Hello! We are George and Sophie from the UK. We work together to maintain two isolated farmhouses in a beautiful national park here in Tuscany and we need your help!

    We are a young couple (Sophie 24, George 29) passionate about living a sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle off-the-grid! We enjoy the peace of living with nature and the seasons and also the hard work that comes with restoring and maintaining the beautiful 16th century off-grid farmhouses that we live in.

    Outside of the work we like meeting new people and sharing good times together, going on walks, playing music (George plays guitar), enjoying some wine round a fire, chilling by the river, and baking sourdough bread.


    SPRING 2017!

    With the arrival of our first baby this year, we are looking for longer term help, from 2 weeks to possibly a few months - who knows! We welcome single travellers or couples into our daily routine lifestyle.

    Towards the end of April onwards we need your help setting up the house and garden after a long winter of hibernation!

    Projects at this time could be cleaning and decorating, building and repairing furniture, painting things, chopping and collecting fire wood, general house renovation etc.
    The garden also needs lots of attention at this time so that we can have yummy homegrown organic veggies in the summer. Digging, weeding and preparing the garden beds are top priorities!
    As a volunteer it is a really beautiful time for you to see the valley and watch it 'spring' to life. It is also a very intimate time at the house, colder weather means cozy evening fires in the kitchen, sharing stories, good food and good company. We bake fresh sourdough bread most days.

    SUMMER 2017!

    In the summer time, we open our home completely by hosting groups and guests. It is an amazingly exciting and sociable time, and you will find yourself meeting many people and constantly learning. Our main role as a working group is cooking for guests and keeping on top of house work and washing. We are looking for volunteers who are confident, assertive and creative in the kitchen, who are confident to work as part of a team and independently at times.

    AUTUMN 2017

    In the autumn the focus will be on renovation projects so we are looking for volunteers with good DIY skills for this time.



    About the house and your stay as a guest....

    This is in an incredible part of Tuscany which is considered the 'Hidden Tuscany'. In contrast to the rolling hills, vine yards and the olive groves of classic Tuscany, here it is much wilder and mountainous and we are surrounded by lush forests.
    The house is literally in the middle of the woods (just inside the boarders of a national park in the east of Tuscany). It is perched on the mountain side of a small valley and reached by an old stone road only accessible on foot or 4x4 vehicle. The house is fully off grid, our electricity comes from solar and water is filtered from the mountain spring. Hot water is provided to the bathroom only, from a wood burning stove. It is an exceptionally peaceful place of untouched natural beauty, we are without neighbours and there is no light pollution in the valley, perfect for stargazing and forest-walks. Whether your interests are in meditation or you just enjoy the peace, this is a very special place just to be and experience nature.

    We hope to achieve a good balance between work and play and that volunteers leave us with fond memories and new friendships. More than anything, we like guests to feel at home here. It's important that everyone feels apart of a whole and has their opinions heard. We cook, eat and live together like a temporary community. We usually host at least two volunteers at a time and are happy to host couples. In the house there is also a large library and a collection of instruments, which you are more than welcome to use.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    Cooking / shopping
    General Maintenance
    Farming
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Other

  • Help

    Help

    We're looking for volunteer's who are passionate about off-grid living, energetic, independent and hardworking. Most of all, they must enjoy being outside and appreciate nature.

    What you will do here greatly depends on what you're capable of doing.

    The garden and house need constant attention and improvement.

    From May until October we are looking for volunteers to help in and around the house with gardening and building/renovation projects and help with hosting guests in the summer months. Daily tasks are split equally between everyone, with mealtimes being a time for everyone to pitch in together.

    Daily tasks can include...

    Cooking (We are a vegetarian household, creativity and confidence are the key!)
    Tending to and watering our vegetable garden and chickens/ducks
    Cleaning
    Collecting and chopping firewood


    Our main focus from September onwards is to find people to help with the renovation of our new house.

    So tasks will be....

    Mixing cement
    Roof works
    General manual chores
    General house renovation and basic stonework
    Clearing brambles
    Chopping and collecting firewood

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Italian and some German

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    You will have a private or shared room in the house. If you like to camp in the summer, we can provide tents etc or welcome you to bring your own, there is plenty of clear space for you to pitch.
    You will have access to whole house, use of kitchen, library and workshop. There is one shared flushing toilet and one hot shower/bathroom inside. There are also compost toilets and cold showers outside.

    The house is off-grid with electricity provided by just a small solar panel system - not a problem in summer but it can mean we have limited electricity supply in the spring and autumn months. Our water, comes clean and natural from a nearby spring. There is working internet, however it is not always connected, this is our personal preference but also to save power for lights and music.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Places to visit during your stay....

    La Verna - the medieval monastery of Saint Francis of Assisi. Perched high on a cliff face at the top of the mountain this sacred place is surrounded by some of the oldest and largest trees in the valley in a forest known as the 'foresta encantata' (enchanted forest). It is here where the Saint retreated in his cave and communed with the wildlife and nature and eventually received his stigmata. It is clear to understand why even to this day many pilgrims still visit this sacred wild place for prayer and meditation... or perhaps for some, just simply to enjoy the view!

    Next is the 'abandoned village' of San Silvestre. This once thriving village was deserted after the second world war and since then it has been left open to the destructive forces of nature and has slowly been eaten up by the wilderness. Here trees grow from the middle of the ruins and the only signs of life are the sheep loitering the old lanes and grazing the overgrowth. Although only abandoned this century, the village emanates a feeling of a 'lost civilisation'. Beautiful place for sunset!

    There are several waterfalls and rivers big enough for swimming in the valley. Indispensable on a hot day, these can be reached on foot and will no doubt be visited during your stay with us.

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    Please be aware that we are isolated and hard to get to. The house is literally in the middle of the woods, it can only be reached by 4x4 vehicles and of course on foot. It is a place to immerse yourself into nature, explore forests and footpaths and to simply enjoy the peace. Fantastic for walkers. It is not a place to use as a base from where you can easily go on day trips to other tourist cities in Italy.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Volunteering hours expected

    5 hours a day maximum (max 25hrs/week)

Photos


My Photo Album


This is during one of the Capoeira workshops
Doing the roof of the new house
This is Sophie and George
The Kitchen
One of 5 bedrooms
This is George
The enchanted forest 40 mins walk away near the monastery or St.Francis

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