Experimenting permaculture and eco-friendly building in Lebanon

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    Last Activity

    26/05/2017

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2017

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  • Description

    Description

    Our farm is located in the mountains of the beautiful Nahar Ibrahim Valley. The house belongs to Raed's family and I'm (Joanna) a French architect. The house is surrounded by an orchard (mainly apple trees) and we grow vegetables between the trees. We have a spectacular view of the Nahar Ibrahim valley from the house !
    Our aim is to create a place to promote both permaculture gardening and eco-friendly building. We try to live a sustainable life as much as possible in many different ways : eating and transforming what we grow, reducing garbage, experimenting permaculture principles and natural building, reducing water consumption etc.

    We converted the orchard into an organic orchard a few years ago, we were the first in the valley to do so. Little by little we changed from an apple orchard only to a diversified orchard with vegetables, berries and even chicken between the trees ! We are also integrating permaculture principles in our way of working : planting complementary crops, mulching to reduce water consumption, composting on site etc, in order to bring more and more biodiversity in the garden.

    Part of our work is also to transform the products we have in the garden. We make apple juice (and many other apple products), rose water, Arak, liquors, Kombucha, Kefir, jams, tomato sauce etc.

    Raed works in the orchard taking care of the trees and of the vegetables. He sells our products every Saturday at Beyrouth's organic market. I'm experimenting natural building with eco-friendly material ( earth, reed, straw,...) and organizing workshops and events at the farm for Lebanese or foreign guests.
    As I'm pregnant and the baby will arrive in June, our projects may change a little !

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    Cooking / shopping
    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Helping with Tourists
    Art project

  • Help

    Help

    We usually host volunteers from March to end of October to help us in the garden and/or in the other projects.
    Depending on the season, we need help in different things :

    It's usually mainly in the garden with Raed or in the kitchen to transform the products ( jam, compote, pesto, olives, liquor, juice, drying fruits or herbs etc.). On Fridays, we usually harvest fruits and vegetables for Beyrouth's market on Saturdays.
    Sometimes we need help with the building projects (plastering earth, making small wood constructions etc.) or with the hosts.

    We usually ask volunteers to help around 5hours/day from Mondays to Fridays so that you have your week-ends free to go for a walk or to discover the rest of the country.

    We offer a community type life to the volunteers so we all contribute to cooking the meals, making bread and cleaning.

    We have been hosting for one year now and its really an opportunity for us to travel (through you !) exchange and spend nice moments together. We like volunteers to be curious and interested in what we do here and we're happy to learn new skills or new recipes from you ! If you are a musician, you are welcome to share your art with us, Raed plays a little oud and I'm learning ukulele.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, French, Arabic, Spanish

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    You will share the house with us and you will have a bed in a small dorm (4 beds) with a shared bathroom.
    We are both vegetarian and we try to be as self-sufficient as possible. We eat fruits and vegetables from the garden (sometimes wild edible plants) and also dairy products from shepherds of the valley.
    We like cooking a lot, recipes from Lebanon and from all around the world !

    We usually host volunteers for two weeks, if possible from a Sunday to a Saturday.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    There are many nice walks to do around, the Afqa spring is 1 hour walk from the house and from there you can hike on the LMT, a beautiful trail going from North to South Lebanon through the mountains. There is also the Jabal Moussa reserve not far from the house which is a beautiful protected area with many endemic plants where you can easily spend the day walking.

    If you are interested to come to our place, please don't contact us more than two months before the moment you are willing to come.

  • 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

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    At our place you will learn about the Lebanese culture and from the life of the mountains, Raed's family is from the village. We also use many traditional recipes when we cook or in our products. During summer, there is all the family around so you will learn about the modern Lebanese way of life !
    For languages, when we are just the two of us, we usually speak French but if you want to learn Arabic, we can speak Arabic (I'm currently learning). When all the family is here, you will hear a lot of Arabic.
    Apart from that you will of course learn a lot about organic gardening, cooking and about eco-friendly building.

  • ...

    Volunteering hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Photos

Click images to enlarge

Host ref number: 558737369776

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