We are taking volunteers from 20th April, 2019.
We are looking for longer term volunteers in 2019, stays preferably no shorter than 3 weeks please.
Also we would prefer 2 people together. However, we will of course take singles and 2 weekers.
We have one room left to partially renovate, finishing off in the bathroom including creating a Rocket stove to heat the bath, some anti-muddyness projects, various gardening and woodland management projects are ongoing.
Volunteers having cooking abilities is always useful but not essential.
We have limited internet at home, on a phone, the reception is not always great due to our location, I can usually reply within a day or 2.
I always reply to requests!
We are off grid.
We have at present 450W of solar panels feeding an inverter for 240V sockets and 2 large leisure batteries for 12V lights & sockets as well as storing electrickery.
Our water is collected from the roofs and drinking water is collected from various springs, usually with horse & cart. We then filter the drinking water.
We have 2 horses, 2 cats and 3 small dogs. Plus 1 hive of bees, going into our 2nd year from May, we are practicing "natural beekeeping". I follow The BareFoot BeeKeeper, Philip Chandler.
10 years ago we (being Lisa myself, Reuben my 26yr son & Zoé my 22yr daughter, they are only here occasionally now) took on this beautiful & wild wooded land which had not been lived on for maybe 30 years. We wish to finish renovating the cob-brick & oak frame 3 room cottage, clear fallen & dead trees, which we use for our cooking and heating. Grow, harvest & preserve vegetables & fruit, maintain animal housing, have bees, make fences, sit & enjoy, share the space, learn & teach and that will do to start as the list is endless. The 3 of us had been volunteers & have done lots of hosting of various sorts.
Staying here will be primitivish, comfortable, well fed & hopefully interesting & fun!
The WE now is myself, Lisa & Tuncher, who speaks Bulgarian & Turkish. I speak English & Bulgarian.
Tuncher also has a house in the village (see accommodation) where we sometimes work with volunteers, helping with his mother's garden and general keeping the plant growth in check. Here there is about 1 acre. This year we are going to repair the roof over the hay barn/stable, take down the yard gateway/roof and rebuild it and at the same time turn it into the new feed store.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
We are very much involved with the village folk, often helping neighbors. This creates opportunities for volunteers to work in a really local setting, communicating without language, seeing how local people live, work and eat!
Seeing how simply people can live, our home is off grid and without running water, so you become more aware of water consumption for example.
We always try to work along side our volunteers and so the learning is while we are working either through what we are doing or through conversation which is a 2 way street.
Smokers are welcome, however smoking is outside please.
When answering please detail any skills in the gardening/natural building/cooking & preserving areas you have, also what things you are interested in doing while here.
Also in the summer there are children's craft days with a friend.
At certain times of the year there are workshares with friends.
Throughout the year there will be:-
Collecting bales, hay & grain.
Creating new electrickery fenced areas for the horses.
If you wish to get to know the horses, please say.
Sowing, weeding, harvesting & preserving vegetables/fruit.
Natural building: mud work/plastering, timber building.
Clearing land, preparing for winter.
Sourcing timber on our land for winter.
And more, you could also learn how to drive a horse cart!! We do most our work in the village by cart.
Things to do on days off:-
Walking, hiking, if proficient enough take a horse ride or have a riding lesson, fishing, catch a bus somewhere else to explore for a couple of days.
We have arranged a free volunteer account for Internet at the nearest library, Voditsa 8km.
Fishing in the local lake, carp and sheatfish.
Lisa & Tuncher
English, Bulgarian, Turkish.
Volunteer accommodation is in Tuncher's house in the same village about 15 minutes walk away.
There is a separate self contained room with 2 single beds, a sink, a wood-fired stove and long drop loo.
(see photo below with sink in yellow & brown room)
This house does have electrikery and running water!
In your request please put in the following phrase, (so we know you have read all the way to here,) "Swimming with horses"
After that it is a very large summer tent. This would also be at Tuncher's house so you would have use of the same amenities. Accommodation is on a first booked first served basis (unless you really wish to camp).
Of course you can bring your own tent and I have plenty of bedding.
My children & I had a 2 acre small holding in Ireland up until 2004. There we had goats, chickens, vegetables & fruit. I made yoghurt & cheese, baked and preserved. We had often lived without transport, using feet, bicycles & hitching. Since leaving there we have worked and looked after other peoples farms/smallholdings, a couple of times in exchange for accommodation. In 2008 a friend shared their vegetable garden with me so we could increase production, more for everyone by sharing the work. I grew up in a rural area & although my parents did not farm they did grow vegetables and fruit, baked & preserved. I started working on the local farms at age 11 in the summer holidays. Organic living is natural to me, it what I have always done even when doing other things I have always grown something no matter how small an area. I have always lived in rural areas. I have moved to Bulgaria as I wish to put everything I know together & explore living a very low key life, what is wonderful for me is that most people in the village are living that way & so I enjoy learning more from them. From experience I feel it will be easier to live in a basic way when those around you are also doing so. I find the villagers are proud of what they do & are.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week