Hi! We are Nenad and Marija, a middle aged and open minded, nature loving couple. After we both spent years working abroad, we have decided to start a self sustainable place here in the countryside where we can practice permaculture gardening, eat fresh healthy food (our diet is mostly whole food plant based), and enjoy the simple life in a rural landscape. We've also really enjoyed the like-minded, life loving people who have already spent time here, leant us helping hands and brought a touch of their culture. Our property is located in a small village, near Zagreb. We have 10 Indian Runner ducks, one spoiled male cat and one small dog who need to be cared for.
However, as of recently we are both spending lots of our time living 30 minutes away in Zagreb due to Marija's mother's health so that we can be close to care for her. This means you would be living there alone or with the other volunteers. We would still come as often as we can (usually few times a week) and are always just a phone call away. In terms of work, there is always a lot to be done and based on your individual capabilities/interests we will discuss what needs to be done beforehand.
In May 2018., a helpful neighbour introduced us to workaway and it's been a new and enjoyable experience for us. We welcome people from all walks of life and like to work as a team with open exchange of ideas/strengths, sharing meals and creating a warm "family style" atmosphere. Since starting as workaway hosts, we have had some great people coming and helping us build more raised beds, start work and nearly complete a greenhouse made from recycled windows etc.
In the past 3 years, we have been quite busy completing the renovation of an existing home, building a new wood house on the property and have planted 3000 Aronia berry bushes! We are hoping to produce healthy juice and other products from it over the next year or two. There are also several very old fruit (apple and plum) trees that were in very bad condition when we purchased the property, we have given them first aid... those apples have tasted sooo sweet.... and we would love that those trees survive! More work and care is needed for this to happen.
With spring at our door we still are needing help building more raised beds, mulching and removing weed around the Aronia bushes, completing greenhouse (mostly indoor shelving, tables, work space) and organizing/making use of materials we already have for projects in the near and distant future i.e. fences, trellises, produce drying racks, finish work in the house and around. We really love the idea of having more sustainable projects going as talent, experience and time permits i.e. outdoor pizza oven, rocket stove :), outdoor shower and even a compost toilet!
While there is always work, we really enjoy our "off time" as well. There are so many beautiful trails in the forests nearby to explore by bike or foot (sometimes even come back with a basket of mushrooms:) You are most welcome to use our bikes, or enjoy long walks in quiet, peaceful and untouched surrounding. Local people are very kind and friendly but not many speak english;)
In ours and many other guests' opinions, the sunrises and sunsets are the most amazing... what colours!...and a night sky full of stars..... you'll just have to see for yourself.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
This is untouched rural part of Croatia with no tourists. You can escape from the busy city lives; walk in the forests, relax or cycle on empty roads end enjoy scenery.
This would fit you if you don't mind being independent, working and living alone/ or with fellow workawayers. Taking self initiative would be greatly appreciated.
It would be great if you have experience in permaculture gardening as we are trying to make the most of it.
Primarily, we would appreciate help with removing weed and mulching around aronia berries' bushes.
Since spring is here, there will be more work in garden as preparing the soil, sowing the seeds etc.
We also started renovating attic in garage and we are planning to turn it into space for workaway great people as sleeping and sitting area. Bottom area is planned to be kitchen/cooking area. Plenty of space but also plenty of job to be done.
One of future projects we are looking forward is to build the rocket stove in green house and later in old house. Someone with knowledge in this area would be greatly appreciated.
Above, we have listed other ideas that we have but mostly we welcome all people who don't mind rolling up their sleeves, getting a little dirty and working with us in a common direction.
Early risers and animal lovers are appreciated! Of course, you don't have to love our animals like we do and there is no specified wake up time but this is how we live. Since we don't live on the property, either individuals who don't mind alone time or those that travel with a friend/significant other are the best fit.
We are seeking a help from kind people who would take care of our property as their "home away from home".
Cleaning up after yourself and helping maintain a respectful, healthy work/living space:)
There are 3 bedrooms in the houses; each of them with two single beds that can be made as a double bed as well.
If you travel solo, there is a possibility that you might share the bedroom with other volunteer.
Kitchen and the bathrooms are shared.
Feel free to cook meals for yourself; the freezer is full with veggies from the garden (depending on season).
When using the water (taking a shower, washing the dishes...), please keep in in mind that water is limited to some extent, as we use water from the draw-well. Also, we would like to ask you to use electricity only when needed (meaning that there is no need to have light on in room when nobody is in that room), as we try to keep electrical bills low as possible. And we thank you for consideration and cooperation regarding this matter.
There is no internet on property but we go to caffe bar which is 5 minutes away by bicycle, when we need it.
Also, if you prefer to stay in your tent or camper van, you are most welcome to do so.
We are located just outside the small town called Dubrava, which has a local bus station from where you can take the bus to the city of Vrbovec, where is the closest mainline train station.
Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is a 30 minute train ride away. The ticket costs under 4 euros and departs approximately every hour..... Plus, if you like to roam, there are various other places to go and explore for the day or overnight trip, on your days off.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week