We are restoring our organic olive farm that was destroyed by forest fire in 2012. Situated in the mountains 40 minutes by foot, 20 minutes by car, above Lanjaron, the Gateway to the Alpujarras, near Granada, Southern Spain. Part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, beautiful scenery, a great place for walking, bird spotting, nearby horse trekking centre, good mix of rural Spanish village communities alongside many people of various nationalities and backgrounds. The main languages spoken by ourselves and by people in the local area are Spanish and English. Good local bus service to Orgiva and the mountain villages of the Alpujarras and an hour away by bus from the city of Granada or the coastal town of Motril.
I live and work on the farm and also teach Tai Chi, Chi Kung and Meditation locally. My son of 31 also lives and works here, the farm has become a joint venture between us. He also works as part of a catering team at the big music festivals alongside being an accomplished builder using natural building techniques and materials, mechanic and a general Jack of all trades.
Also living here are several cats, dogs and 2 old horses and some chickens, alongside the occasional squirrel, badger, wild boar, mountain goat and deer, so volunteers need to like and appreciate animals as well as nature.
We are asking 25 hours help per week spread over 5 days in exchange for accommodation and all meals which are vegetarian. Please note that at this moment in time we do not have a large vegetable garden and often the vegetables that we buy are not organic but are from the local village shops or supermarket, but the food is always good.
We also offer exchanges for a shorter work week of 3 or 4 days. The average stay is around 2 weeks for most volunteers.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Possibility to learn building techniques, farming, gardening, landscaping, vegetarian cookery, ideas on sustainable living.
Opportunity to learn one of the various Qigong forms or Tai Chi or meditation techniques, if it interests them, or to listen to some of the varied electronic music my son enjoys whilst having a beer, or both !!!!! Probably not at the same time however.
Some of the help is gardening type tasks. ( clearing land, raking, weeding, sything grass/ brambles etc, planting out, composting, pruning ) also sometimes things like making fences, helping out with any current building projects ,collecting rocks and logs, digging channels, in fact anything that we need a hand with. Occasionally decorating, varnishing etc. Often times tidying up and/ or finishing off previously started jobs around the land, such as collecting prunings etc.
Volunteers are often given a few projects to complete, and/ or will help alongside either myself or Daniel on specific tasks, depending on the time of year, the tasks needing to be done and the skills of each volunteer.
Because of the isolated position of the farm, as well as the altitude and the nature of the tasks involved, ( which often involves carrying buckets, lifting and bending, kneeling, etc etc, ) volunteers need to enjoy being outdoors in various weather conditions, and need to be fairly fit and healthy. However, there are always 'light garden type tasks' available all year round, so ask about this if you need to when you first write to us. We cannot offer places to anyone with ongoing serious health issues or allergies unless we know about them when you apply. Previous experience using gardening tools a plus but not essential, and most people learn very quickly to use them, we have a lot of clearing land, walkways and gardens to do at the moment, alongside an ongoing small building project.
The accommodation for volunteers is in a small casita where there are 2 bedrooms that both have 2 single beds in, plus a kitchen/ dining area, a bit basic but functional and comfortable, there is an eco friendly toilet and shower close by, you will have the run of the mountainside. It is a beautiful place to wake up, the views are stunning. We live in a separate building 80metres away. If there are more than 2 volunteers with us at a time then the bedrooms are shared. There is limited electricity on the farm and internet access for volunteers is limited to specific times and only if really needed, but there are many WIFI spots at bars and cafes in the local village, and most people who stay with us come here to get away from the internet etc, but if you need to use it for study courses etc that can be arranged.
There is a small market in Lanjaron every Friday and the nearby village of Orgiva has a good market every Thursday.
Volunteers would need to be ok with their own company, although we spend a lot of time together during the work day and often there is time in the evenings for conversation and / or training sessions in Qigong and/ or meditation. We have several interesting books and downloads/ videos etc. on various subjects.
Volunteers need to bring suitable outdoor footwear, work gloves and work clothes, it is advisable to bring long trousers/ jeans to wear even when it is hot for certain jobs here. Also bring a head torch or flashlight and batteries, even better get a rechargeable one. For all the seasons a sun hat is a good idea, also sun cream and insect repellent. For the winter months bring warm clothing, a woolly hat, and rainproofs. Having said this, for those volunteers on short stays we do have spare clothing and gloves, etc.
Please note that we cannot get online all the time and so please be patient for a reply, we will always reply as soon as we read your e mail, but sometimes this may take up to a couple of days, thanks
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Any size, but the track is steep and gravely, could be difficult for certain vehicles.
5 hours a day 5 days a week
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