2019 Festival Update:
Following the success of the previous 3 years, we are planning to hold the 4th Annual Khubaizeh Festival from 14th February to 21st March 2019.
Khubaizeh is a delicious and nutritious vegetable, similar to spinach, but even more nutritious, grown in the Jordan Valley. It crops in the spring, the time of year when this part of the world is at its most beautiful. We grow it on our farm here and the Festival is a time when many people gather here to learn more about traditional Jordanian culture – its food, its handicrafts, its music and its dancing – and about leading a healthier and more sustainable life.
There are sporadic festival events during the 5 week period, but the main focus, along with the opening and closing ceremonies, is on Friday afternoons, when we invite local people to come along and sell their products in our 'Farmers' Market'.
We are looking for volunteers to help with preparing the festival and making it happen. we would like to have you with us during the week prior to the event to clear the grounds, for office work, to decorate the buildings and to set up the stalls. Then during the festival, people will be needed for looking after the stall holders and attendees, and other duties.
We are an experimental initiative networking with peace organizations and environmental institutes to have a peace community, organic farm and an earth school in the same place near the Dead Sea which is the lowest point on earth and in the middle of a politically hot region.
The farm is located in the Jordan Valley, 300 meters away from the Jordanian border point at King Hussein bridge, not far from the Jordan river, the Dead Sea and the Baptism site, and very close to Israel and the Palestinian territory. In our 50.000 square meters we have about 200 date palms, some seasonal vegetables and a Maringa orchard.
We require a minimum of 2 weeks commitment from volunteers.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
Help with Computers / internet
If travelers are interested, they can practice their Arabic language skills. They can also learn about traditions and heritage of the country in general and our region in particular. They can learn about local cuisine and habits, as well as visiting places of cultural significance.
There are several old and new buildings on the farm that need development and painting, we are also doing some organic farming so weeding and planting is also expected. We are also growing papaya, passion fruits, mangos, various citrus fruits, basil, mint and some rosemary (in addition to a lot of dates). A new structure, "the project" needs an artistic finishing touch. It is expected that you are self reliant and independent and can work unsupervised for extended periods of time. Overall, we are looking for someone that can help us for a longer period of time.
1. FOOD FESTIVAL - From February 14th till March 21st we host a food festival. It is meant to celebrate the free products this land gives us every day. Khubbayza is a plant that grows wild in nature, it is a very healthy and tasty plant. We cook a lot of different traditional dishes with it, and we invite people from all over to come have a sustainable meal with us. During the festival there will be entertainment, music, dancing, handcrafts, food made from local produce, and a farmer's market on the weekends selling locally produced vegetables, fruits, dairy products, eggs etc. We will need many volunteers here, to help us run the festival. (See above for more details.)
2. RENOVATION - We are currently working on renovating a courtyard complex at the entrance to the farm which will become rent-able rooms for people stuck at the border, and a living space for volunteers. We need people to help clean the space, assist in construction, and add their own artistic expertise!
3. DATE PALMS - harvesting takes place in August, but outside of harvesting season there is a lot of ongoing maintenance of the trees - clearing of dead branches and bramble, digging out of irrigation trenches, mulching the plot, harvesting the pollen and pollinating the female trees in the spring, and sorting the stored dates etc.
4. GENERAL LABOURING - in a bid to deliver lower impact agriculture, the vast majority of the work here is done by hand without the use of machinery and/or artificial chemicals. This means there is a constant need for digging, for weeding and maintenance of the fruit, vegetable and decorative areas of the farm, for maintenance of buildings, hedges and fences, and caring for the few animals we have here.
It's probably worth checking in advance what sort of projects and tasks are happening around the time of your proposed stay, as these can vary depending on the time of year etc.
5. IT - We are very keen to increase and enhance our social media presence, so you will most likely be asked to provide material to put on our Facebook and Instagram pages, and to add to the volunteers' blog.
6. ADMINISTRATION - Volunteers are expected to keep track of requests to volunteer here, and to book AirBnB stays. This means checking emails daily and responding as appropriate, depending on our capacity to host people at any given time.
As a volunteer, you might be appointed “Head Volunteer” if you are at the farm for a long time. In this role you will be given more responsibility on the farm and take on a more 'managerial' role. You will also probably be the key contact with Mohammad. When you leave the farm, you can delivers your status to another volunteer. This status could be a valuable addition to your CV.
Multiple options are available, including a dorm, and the roof top. Camping is possible with your own tent. Access to toilet and shower.
Usually we try to eat together. We tend to stick to a vegetarian/vegan diet, it is entirely possible to have meat though. Some of our produce comes from ours and our neighbours' farms.
As a rule volunteers share the cooking and cleaning responsibilities which requires a reasonable degree of communication and of taking responsibility. It can also require some serious creativity to make a meal out of the eclectic set of ingredients we often have at our disposal(!) Obviously some people have got more skill and/or experience than others in cooking and that needs to be taken into account when assigning roles.
Coming from Amman, you can take the public bus from Muhajireen bus station to Shuneh, a town 3 km from the farm. From Shuneh you could either walk or get a taxi (max. 1 JD) towards the King Hussain Bridge. You will see our gates on the left hand side, covered with pink flowers, between two billboards. There are usually taxi cabs parked right in front.
We are surrounded by the beautiful Jordan Valley and close to the beaches and restaurants of the Dead Sea. Amman with its young artists is an hour away. Madaba, with amazing mosaics, the Baptism site, and Mount Nebo are all within 30 minutes driving distance. There are also hiking trails in the nearby mountains overlooking the Dead Sea.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week