Join our family and contribute to building art and wellness space in beautiful Turkey, Izmir

  • Favourited 31 times
  • Last activity: 13 Jul 2024



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description


    Join our family as we build our homestead and a multipurpose art and wellness space near the ancient city of Pergamon, today's Bergama, in the Izmir Province, Turkey.

    We are a family of six, parents and four children. We relocated from North America to the Aegean coast a few years ago in order to build a functioning homestead and a multipurpose art and wellness space. Our land is located outside the ancient city of Pergamon, on the hills overlooking the Pergamon acropolis.

    We see homesteading and small-scale farming as pillars of resistance to the dominant modes of being, based on endless extraction, consumption and exploitation, and as key to surviving and thriving in the age of intersecting crises of our time. In our endeavour, we are especially guided by the visions of Wendell Berry's definition of a heathy culture: " A healthy culture is a communal order of memory, insight, value, work, conviviality, reverence, aspiration. It reveals the human necessities and the human limits. It clarifies our inescapable bonds to the earth and to each other. It assures that the necessary restraints are observed, that the necessary work is done, and that it is done well."

    Our aim is to cultivate a way of living, creating and learning that nurtures social autonomy in a world that is growing increasingly more oppressive and exploitative. We envision our homestead as a place where agriculture and culture meet, where work and home are one, where creation, learning and well-being - personal and communal - flourish.

    Ongoing and planned work that will require help from workaway guests include the following:

    - We have planted and continue to nurture an olive grove and fruit trees. Currently working on establishing a small vineyard and planting seasonal gardens, herbs and flowers.
    - We are starting the construction of the yoga podium for small eco yoga retreats.
    - We are planning to establish an artist retreat and residency, with an aim to promote Pergamon's rich cultural heritage and promote cultural exchange between local and visiting artists and craftsmen.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Our homestead offers workaway guests a myriad of cultural exchange opportunities.

    1. We are a multilingual and multicultural family, and among the six of us, we speak English, Turkish, French, Russian and Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian. We are thrilled to host guests who speak or want to further improve these languages as part of their workaway experience.

    2. We are an omnivore family that is thrilled to be living a place that offers an abundance of great vegetables, fruits, dairy, meats, spices, and honey (locally sourced honey from the Kozak plateau is absolutely amazing!). We cook a lot and absolutely enjoy sharing food with guests. Workwawayers can expect to enjoy Turkish and Balkan dishes, and we will be thrilled to learn new recipes from different cuisines.

    3. Pergamon and its multi-layered cultural landscape is on the UNESCO's World Heritage List, a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region.

    Ancient Pergamon is considered Asia Minor's most influential Greek cultural centre of antiquity. It was a rich and influential ancient city of Aeolis, a major and important district located in the Western Coast of Asia Minor. It reached the height of its power during the Hellenistic period, becoming the capital of the Attalid kings, which ruled during the 3rd and 2nd century BCE. It housed one of the ancient world's most important libraries, rivalling the library of Alexandria in terms of volumes and influence.

    Historical sites to see in Pergamon:

    Pergamon Acropolis - The site of the Pergamon altar dedicated to Zeus, considered the greatest masterpiece of the art and architecture in the city (the altar is currently in Berlin, Germany)

    Asklepion Complex - One of the most important healing centres of the Roman world, featuring remnants of the temple of Asclepius, god of medicine and healing, baths, a theatre, a library, and treatment centres.

    The Red Basilica (Red Hall or Red Courtyard) - A monumental ruined temple build ruing the Romans Empire, one of the largest Roman structures still surviving in the Ancient Greek world. It was converted by Romans into a Christian church dedicated to St. John, but was subsequently destroyed.

    Pergamon is one of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor as stated in the Book of Revelations, along with Ephesus, Smyrna, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea (located in Izmir, Manisa, and Denizli provinces of modern Türkiye). In three days and two nights in Pergamon and Pamukkale, one can easily visit the Seven Churches of Asia Minors, along with the house of the Virgin Mary and the Basilica of St. John.

    Bergama’s Great (Yıldırım or Ulu) Mosque, built by Sultan Bayezid in 1398-1399.

    Bergama Yabets Synagogue (Havra), a Sephardic synagogue build in the 19th century and restored in 2014.

    Nearby places to visit:

    Kozak plateau. covered with pine forest is a unique region which holds biggest portions of pine nut production in Turkey. The plateau is located at an altitude of 500-1000 m on the Ayvalik-Bergama road

    Ayvalik and Cunda Island

    Greek Island of Mitillini/Lesbos

    Foça (ancient Phokkai)

    City of Izmir (Smyrna)

  • Help


    Our priority is completing the infrastructure on the land, further developing and maintaining our olive grove, and setting up the following: vineyard, chicken coop, composting site.

    We are also planning to build small mud-houses on the land but the details depend on the weather (rainy season to be avoided).

    We have started conceptualizing our multipurpose art and wellness centre. We want to be able to offer art workshops and artist retreats/residency in the future. We will appreciate help from workawayers related to this project, including strategizing on finding and hosting artists, institutional partnerships, outreach and networking.

    These are specific tasks that workawayers can be asked to help with:

    - building a wooden yoga podium
    - constructing a dedicated composting site
    - landscaping and gardening around the main building
    - watering olives (we have a watering system in place)
    - clearing dry grasses off the land
    - collect and move stones on the land for the purpose of construction of walls

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    Bosnian: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Croatian: Fluent
    Russian: Fluent
    Serbian: Fluent
    Turkish: Fluent

    This host offers a language exchange
    We are happy to offer language exchange for those who are interested.

  • Accommodation


    We have two up-cycled, fully-functioning caravans for our guests to stay in. Caravans offer privacy, and are equipped with a small kitchen and bathroom if guests desire to use them.

    The main structure is also open for use for our guests. It is an open concept house with a kitchen, large living and creative space, bathroom, and an attic where our family sleeps in.

    If workawayers prefer living in the house, we can arrange a sleeping space inside the main building as well.

    We have an outdoor cooking space and an outdoor dining area.

    We cook on daily basis and for the most part prepare Turkish and Balkan dishes (vegetable and legume stews, pies, salads). We are omnivores but thankfully live in the region which makes it easy to accommodate vegetarian and vegan diets given the choice of seasonal vegetables and fruits.

    When days are overwhelming and we are unable to cook meals, we eat in small local restaurants which provide home-cooked and local dishes.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Bergama's location offers workawayers a good base to explore the central part of Turkish Aegean region. Bus line connects Bergama to a commuter rail system (IZBAN) serving İzmir and its metropolitan area on a north–south axis. The rail system will take one all the way south to to Selcuk/Ephesus.

    A network of buses and local transport connects Bergama to coastal towns such as Candarli, Dikkili and Ayvalik. From Ayvalik, an hour-long ferry ride will take one to the Greek island of Mitillini/Lesbos.

    The city of Izmir is a 90-minutes bus and rail ride south of Bergama. Izmir is Turkey's third largest city. The city and its surroundings have a long and interesting history. For more information, please visit:

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We currently do not have internet connection (apart from our mobile telephone internet) but are open to providing it for guests who are digital nomads and depend on good internet connection. This is something we can discuss.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have ample space on our land for parking guests' vehicles, including camper vans and small motorhomes.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    We will gladly accept workwayers with dogs. Unfortunately, we cannot accept cats due to the fact that several family members suffer from cat allergies.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 114474634525

Feedback (3)


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Cultural exchange: (5.0)

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