I'm a belgian who has moved to Sicily, Italy. Since 2010 on a 5ha plot of land I'm putting back an abandoned farm in working order. Part of it lies next to a river, another part is a plain halfup the hill. Big part of the slope is terraced by dry-stone walls.
The land has never been transformed into a monoculture of species but has been build up logic. Near the river are the trees which are in need of more water like walnuts, citrus, loquats, kaki... also a small vegetable garden is here. Uphill are olives, almonds and carob trees. Scattered around are some apple, apricot, pear, pistachio, pomegranate, myrtle, mulberry etc.
By adding other species like avocado, white sapote, cherimoya, guava,... and experiment with permaculture guilds I am transforming this current situation into a food forest.
More concrete: the walnut guild, alley cropping, mulching, using nitrogen fixing trees, on contour planting...
The goal is to enhance biodiversity, become an educational, demonstrative and working permaculture project (not just words but action), self sufficiency and off grid living.
I grow vegetables for own use and make my own marmalade and dryed fruits.
There are also two old buildings on the land. I already started rebuilding parts of it. By using local material (like cane) and traditional building techniques i want to keep it as ecologic as possible.
Help with Eco project
I can teach you anything I've learned the last couple of years about permaculture in a mediterranean climate.
As well dry stone building and the traditional technique of using canes for building a roof.
To me, cultural exchange is as well telling stories, sharing experiences and ideas.
Do you like to come and give me a hand? Please contact me only if you really really really, really want to help, don't write to me in an impulse. When I accept you and you don't show up you take someone elses possibility away.
Thanks for taking your time reading this. Michel
(Mahatma Ghandi quote: be the change you want to see in the world)
Lots of people know that the rat race is not healthy but do not know what the alternatives are. I also got through this process. That's why I like to create a place for people to come and stay, to come and go, to live and learn with nature and the cycle of life. A place that shows it's possible to live off grid and without all the waste that mass consumption creates. To show some of the solutions.
This last couple of years I learned so much about herbs, wild edible plants, skills that schools do not teach. Things so many people (as I had) have lost connection with.
I would like to invite anyone interested. If you like to have the same experience or if you want to help out (there's always something to do :-) ) You're welcome.
The one in charge here are the seasons, they determine the tasks: pruning, harvesting, planting, building.
End of august you can help me with the carob and almond harvest. I don't have a big production so we'll have time to do other things as well. During october their is the walnut harvest.
Building and renovating I do mainly during the 'colder' months, november until april.
I attend a small farmersmarket where I sell some of my fruit.
English, Dutch, Italian
For the time being I can host you in a simple room. No electricity available nor wifi, (not even for myselve). Free wifi is available in the nearby town where I go at least once a week.
From october until may it's better you bring a sleepingbag, allthough south-sicily it can be cold during the night. Other months it can be hot (but their's allways the river to cool down)
The food will be mainly vegeterian, fresh vegetables and fruit straight out of the garden. During winter there are as well many wild, spontaneous and edible vegetables around, I can teach you about them. What I don't produce myselve I buy on the local farmersmarket, organic of course.
The farm is at only 7km from the baroque town Noto, another 7 km and your on the nearest beach.
At 15min walk from the farm you can find a nature reserve with ponds to dive in or you can enjoy the archeologic site of Noto Antica.
How to get here: The nearest airports are Catania and Comiso. I can pick you up in Noto at the bus or trainstation.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week