I live with my family of 2 adorable Great Danes and a mongrel plus two cats, gardening & landscaping 7/24. If ever have some spare time, I swim, read, write, cook and enjoy the company of some visiting friends and family.
Me & my pets, we live around the sun: get up before it and go to bed soon as it sets, in a unique, remote/isolated setting on the slopes of the Bay of Gokova, at the tip of the Aegean, in Mazi village, near Bodrum town in Mugla province.
The property is 7 thousand square metres, mostly olive trees; no neighbours in sight, surrounded by (on two sides) pine forest, with an exquisite view of the Bay of Gokova.
Also, I am currently working/developing another -similar size, olive orchard -mainly landscaping and planting accompanying draught tolerant plants.
I do not eat and for that matter cook red meat; occasionally enjoy locally caught fresh fish or cook chicken.
I do love to propagate plants, especially agaves hence constantly busy mixing soil, potting, re-potting.
I love reading, especially on history, including history of gardening and gardens; as a matter of fact I am currently writing a book on the history of this particular garden. I would love to have a blog of my own but neither have the skills to start one or the patience to learn how.
Before I chose to settled down in this remote place more than 10 years ago, I have travelled widely and lived in Canada as an infant, studied & lived in the UK & USA and lived in Argentina.
I need help mainly in gardening & landscaping: hoeing, manuring the trees, pruning, dead-heading, shredding, preparing beds and soil, potting and some landscaping.
I should let the potential volunteer know that life/volunteer work starts early: Most of the jobs are done early in the morning until noon.
Occasional pet sitting and grooming will be most welcomed; so that I can go and explore the nurseries in the vicinity hunting for new plants or socialise occasionally.
Also, I have a dream to have an open shed build so any volunteer with an experience and skills, will have a priority and a bonus visit to a near by site driven by me :-)
Transportation is provided upon arrival and departure from Bodrum town only when we have some errands to do in Bodrum; otherwise the volunteer has to use the local "mini-bus" service.
English & Turkish and a few words of Spanish: Hola :-)
There is a one room independent cottage with a shower & WC and a kitchenette.
I have given most of the information on what volunteers can do in their free time above. So here I add a few more lines on our life here and what a volunteer can expect:
To give more on our life here I can say that we live a very simple and environmentally conscious life: save water & electricity. Living extremely organised due to distances; can't afford to say "oops I forgot to buy wine or toilet paper": the next/nearest shopping is half an hour drive away.
For that above mentioned matter a volunteer should also be practical, organised, should have a creative mind to solve problems as when & if they occur with whatever available at hand.
We live by checking the weather report couple of times a day between October-April, to make sure that we put the cushions in before a midnight rain -not that it rains often; or to be able to un-plug computers, wi-fi, hi-fi before a thunderstorm and lightnings arrive.
Since this is a remote place it is ideal for someone who will be content with not having a night life or missing going out to have a drink or two while chatting with other people: it does not exist in the vicinity!
Or, it is an ideal setting for a single person who is into reading, writing, researching/studying online or looking for inspiration in nature which might (for some at least) require rather solitary life.
Also, volunteer should be aware that, winter months here are cold and there is no central heating in the accomodation provided.
The dates are most flexible; I am not actually looking for a long term help it is only for the benefit of the volunteer/s who might be interested in a long term assignment that I anounce longer dates. I am open to flexible schedules, providing we set a goal together to achieve a project or two. As mentioned, like the Australian couple who came to pet sit last winter, we could work on a schedule where we achieve a project than the volunteer/s can take some time off travelling and come back to achieve another project.
Last but not least, by experience I have learned that some volunteers have a tendency to think or behave as if they are in a hotel or hostel, this is not:
Apart from designated jobs & hours, your participation is expected in daily tasks such as cleaning your accomodation, helping with cooking, washing up dishes, setting the table, emptying the garbage, and etc., is part of this volunteering position.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Apart from experiencing local Turkish culture, I can try & help them learn basic Turkish; teach Turkish cooking; how to prick and treat olives, experience of olive oil pressing at a local press in season.
Volunteer/s can learn how to maintain draught tolerant plants, tending of olive trees, pruning, preparing types of soil for different needs; potting & re-potting, propogating plants, tending a green house.
For ecology & enviromental & horticultural enthusiast both the region and the property is a heaven: There are mountains, beaches, forests with wild animals of boar hedgehog, porcupine owl, hawk, partridge, quail, . . . wet lands where flamingos stop over; from flora point of view it is also an experience with many native varieties of carob, sage, lavender, oregano, thyme, arbutus, chaste tree, agaves galore, . . an endless choice to explore for enthusiasts.
Local fresh product markets are a feast to visit and shop, especeially for vegetarians!
Volunteers can explore the many historical sites starting from the nearest & famous town of Bodrum (ancient site of Halicarnassous). The province of Mugla -where Mazi is, has many ancient sites from Neolithic to Ottoman, with ancient Greek, Roman, Lycian and more, in between.
Or the volunteer can simply enjoy the isolated setting to research online, read, write, swim and sun bath (depending on the season) or simply take some time off meditating, enjoy doing nothing in her/his spare time.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week