Our project is a social sustainable agriculture farming project in Sri Lanka.
In 2011, we bought an 8-hectare piece of land in the Northwest of the island, in 2013 we were able to buy an adjoining 6.5 hectare lot. At that time a brownfield site, we have planted hundreds of plants (especially fruit trees and coconut palms), created a large lake and built a house in the meantime. Besides some chickens, cows and dogs have found a home here.
The project was initiated by Suresh and Anne. Suresh grew up in Sri Lanka, but is living in Europe since many years. Anne comes from Germany and has spent few months in Sri Lanka. But now the project is funded by Suresh and couple of his friends. The island is our second home. We work in the field of renewable energies. So far we are financing the project merely from our salaries in Germany.
Therefore we have found people on site, who work with us to turn the project into a green oasis. First of all Nilantha, Suresh's cousin works with us. He lives with his family in simple conditions in the newly built house on our land. Before working with us he has already been a farmer, but followed conventional farming methods. We are in constant phone contact with Nilantha, at least once a week we exchange all new developments and plan the next steps together.
Besides we are surrounded by friends and family around the world, who follow our vision, share the same values as well as support and encourage us with ideas, practical help and advice.
We refrain from using any pesticides on the project . The name of the project shall be our program. Usually estates in Sri Lanka are planted very densely and in monoculture (e g only with coconut trees). We are working to create a large and diverse garden. Therefore, we have planted the big trees in further distances than usual, so in between remains space and light for mid and finally ground-level plants. For us a special source of inspiration for the design and management of the project are also the ideas of permaculture.
The project gives people work and feeds them. The land shall be used, but in a natural circle as possible. We need to give back, what we remove from the soil in form of harvested plants and fruits. We "feed" the soil with mulch, compost and In very rare occasions, we use selected fertilizers in very sustainable way to protect the harvest. We give the soil to drink, as we have created water reservoirs that keep it moist during the dry seasons. We revive the soil by letting live large and small animals in and on it. Since we do not use insecticides, we now observe a rich insect life, followed by numerous birds and some snakes.
Our project is adjacent to the largest national park in Sri Lanka – the Wilpattu Forest Reserve. Above all having a national park next door for us means tranquillity and the view towards a huge forest.
Hilfe bei Ökoprojekten
The project is still in it's early stages, therefore there are various options for volunteers to get engaged with.
Volunteers coming here will have Nilantha, the manager as their contact person. Anyhow it would be very helpful at the stage of the project to have volunteers coming who can work quite independently and might even be looking for some adventure. We would also be very happy, if the volunteers can give Nilantha a hand, after normal working hours if needed in extreme cases. (e.g. finish watering all the plants before dawn, if its not finished and etc.)
We offer free home cooked meals, and free accommodation. Technically it is like home stay with Nilantha's family. You maybe able to see wild elephants and other wild animals wonder around in the evenings.
We would like to offer small projects to volunteers for their time here, such as:
watering the plants
helping with composting of coconuts and fruit trees and establish new compost piles
setting up natural traps for pesticides
improving the water management on the land (installation of more drip irrigation, watering of
establishing a plant nursery and home garden
Sometimes teach English or spend some time in the local school with children
Besides we are very open for ideas from volunteers for other projects to be carried out on the land, this can simply be discussed and agreed with Nilantha.
English, Sinhala, German (not on the farm, but by the owners)
Since a beautiful family house was built here in 2015, we can now accommodate guests and volunteers.
The house has a separate guest room, adventurers also can camp at any time (tents are available). You would share the house with a Sri Lankan family (they have two daughters) and experience real Sri Lankan rural life.
Nilanthas wife Chamerie is happy to welcome visitors and will treat them with her delicious and spicy curries. We can cater vegetarian meals, self-catering (use of kitchen equipment) is possible as well. We appreciate every visitor here and anyone who would like to help actively.
We appreciate every helping hand and can discuss individually how long volunteers may want to stay, how many hours per day and how many days per week they can work.
During their time off, volunteers can simply enjoy the tranquillity here. Since we are located right on the border of Wilpattu National Park, it is possible to explore the forest. Besides it is possible to take boat trips to the Kalpitiya Peninsular, where you can go dolphin watching or do kite surfing for example.
There is a motorbike available that can be rented by the volunteers to get around. When coming here we can assist with transport to get to the farm. There are buses coming up along the main road, from where we can pick you up.
25 hours maximum