Off-grid permaculture farm & rural retreat in Matarranya, Aragon, Spain



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  • Description


    Hi! We're looking for house sitters in the first half of September, mostly to watch our alpacas, chickens & dogs.
    Preferably a couple, family, or 2 (or more) friends - and with your own mode of transportation.

    We are Axel (Dutch) and Sandrine (from Belgium), and we moved to Spain to live a simple life - working for ourselves, growing our own food, spend more time doing meaningful or fun things.

    Our house is 100% off the grid; this means we have electricity from our own solar panels and water from our own well. Our property is 3,65 hectares (9 acres) with about 50 olive trees, 200 almond trees, and a few other fruit & nut trees. We have alpacas, dogs, and a bunch of chickens - and "farm stay" style guest accommodations. 

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Language practice

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We're happy to share our skills, knowledge and experience with you, and hope for the same in return. 

    Axel has worked in sound, light and climate control - both technical and sales automation. I (Sandrine) am a sociologist but now work as Facebook strategist & online business coach. I'm a founding member of the Farmish Collective, and spend a good amount of time supporting other online entrepreneurs and digital nomads in their business ventures.
    Axel likes building (both traditional building with stones from the land, and carpentry) and is into the technical side of living off the grid (alternative power and such) - I love cooking and baking with local and seasonal produce and have a permaculture design certificate. We love to share what we know with our volunteers, and hope to learn many things from you as well. 

    We speak Dutch / Flemish with each other, but are happy to speak English when others are around. We both speak some beginners' Spanish, usually only when we go out to town though. I speak French (Axel doesn't, which is why I write in English even to French-speaking people) - Axel speaks some German and likes to learn bits of other languages. 

  • Help


    We're looking for general help around the farm. Working on rainwater retention, rebuilding crumbled terrace walls, setting up garden beds, planting the spring garden, cleaning up the alpaca pastures, processing olives & almonds,... and anything that might come up in daily life.

    It could also include some house sitting, so we can go to the city for the day - or even visit our families up north.



    While you're here, we’d love for you to help us out with various projects and chores around the farm: harvest, pruning trees, help with installing systems, repairing and building structures,... More projects pop up all the time.

    We could also ask you to house-sit (watch the alpacas, dogs, chickens and cat) when we’re away for the day.

    This is for you if:
    - You have a positive attitude and hands-on mentality
    - You would like to experience off-grid life - and maybe start a project of your own one day
    - You’re outgoing: not afraid to speak your mind, ask questions and communicate in a positive and open way.
    - You’re not afraid to get your hands (and feet) dirty, or of hard work
    - Having your own mode of transportation is a plus
    - You speak either English, Dutch or Spanish fluently. We love all nationalities, but have found it’s difficult to communicate about work and safety if there isn’t at least a language in common.
    - You want a Workaway experience with a little more privacy - you'd have your own bedroom and the guest kitchen/sitting room at your disposal OR you'd stay in the Maset, which is the tiny house we lived in before our big house was ready.
    - You clean up after yourself

    Please be aware that we're 7 minutes by car from the nearest village - this is not a place to come if you want to be around people or need a vibrant nightlife. We don't leave the farm too often - a few times a week, usually for a shopping trip or to visit friends.

    When applying, please mention
    - What languages you speak
    - If you're not travelling alone - names and ages of everyone in your party (including children and animals, if any)
    - Your mode of transportation
    - When you'll be (or won't be) available

    (about 90% of people who contact us haven't actually read all of our profile, and don't bother answering these questions. Please take the time to go through it, so we don't spend time e-mailing back and forth only to discover you're not actually a good fit)

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Dutch, French and beginner's Spanish

  • Accommodation


    Accommodation includes a bedroom and the (shared) use of the sitting room/kitchenette downstairs. If you come alone to help out on a specific project, you might be sharing a room with somebody else - please check with us if that would be an issue. During warmer months, there's the option for you to live in the Maset; this is a little stone building about 2 terraces down from the big house (with its own access). The Maset is the ultimate off-grid experience, as it has its own solar system, a composting toilet and sun-heated water.

    Honesty, reliability and commitment to the job at hand, respect for other people's stuff and privacy, kindness, and pro-activeness are really important to us.

    We share lunch (the main meal of the day) on working days. We provide you with basic foodstuffs for everyday life, and you have access to your own kitchenette. Snacks, alcohol and special food are on your account.

    Send us a message if you'd like to come: tell us why you'd like to come here, and (if your profile doesn't include that) tell us a bit about yourself. We reply within 2 days of getting your application; if we don't, please send us a reminder!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are between Lledo and Cretas, in Aragon - close to Catalunya, and about 2 hours by car from Barcelona airport.

    There are plenty of things to do around here if you like nature. You can go from a hike in the national park (or just in the hills around here), walk to the Via Verde, or visit the local villages and castles. There’s ibex, vultures and other wildlife. In the nearby village of Cretas, you can rent bikes or book a more adventurous way of exploring Els Sports: kayaking, horseback riding, climbing, “multi-adventure”. 
    This is not the place for you if you need a vibrant nightlife.

    We are quite flexible but believe good communication is key to you having a good stay here.

  • 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

  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hours maximum

We incubate eggs and hatch our own chicks
The "maset", the converted stable we lived in before the big house was finished
Axel, Jinx and Jabba with a friend's dog - pruning vines
We've got about 50 olive trees, and 150 almond trees. (these are olives).

Host ref number: 425112938112