The ecovillage is set in forested hills about an hour from Florence, was founded in 2003. The interests and talents of the community include permaculture design, synergic agriculture, nonviolent communication, mindfulness, biodanza and “do it yourself” construction (self build).
At present we are 8 residents living in the completed stone buildings and the two straw bale cabins that comprise the ecovillage. The photovoltaic system (we’re ‘off grid’), solar panels, firewood from the forest and water from various springs ensure self sufficiency in energy and water.
Besides the 2.4 acres (one hectare) that we own – mostly forest with several small vegetable gardens, fruit trees and a large chicken coop – the association has been granted 26.4 acres (11 hectares) in concession. On this land we have cleared a large field for growing grain, potatoes and vegetables. Very soon will begin a “forest school”. In this project two or three students will be living with us for 6 months to a year, enabling them to immerse themselves in the practice of the active learning of permaculture, under the guidance of Enzo, our resident certified permaculture teacher.
We believe that to live in a community in this extraordinarily beautiful natural setting can be a wonderful experience. The forest, which we think of as a ‘teacher’, is rich with many species of trees, animals and plants. Our lifestyle is frugal, with care and attention given to saving energy and using natural resources with awareness. Care is also given to the relationships between the members in the group, using nonviolent communication and consensus to make decisions.
Volunteers will be able to acquire knowledge and experience in synergic gardening, permaculture and the use of herbs.
We use tools with mindfulness and ask volunteers to do the same.
We need help in the forest. That includes collecting, splitting and stacking firewood; the gathering of fagots of small branches and twigs to put into a chipper. The wood chips are then spread as mulching on the vegetable gardens.
Volunteers can also work at maintaining the paths and garden spaces in the forest, including clearing them of brambles. They will also create little terraces with stakes and logs and plant them with vegetables and fruit trees.
We value help in the building and repairing of dry stone walls.
Help is welcome collaborating in the daily domestic chores: cooking, cleaning and gardening.
Accommodation for the volunteers is in the building just remodeled. There is a guest room with 6 twin beds, sanitary facilities, (bathroom, shower and washing machine), and communal spaces.
During the spring and summer, it is possible, and very pleasant, to sleep in a tent in the woods, with a compost toilet, and an outdoor shower.
The volunteers will have their meals with the residents of the ecovillage. Meals are mostly vegetarian and organic, but meat, from animals raised in an ethical way, may be occasionally offered.
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