Outdoor help wanted for a water efficient gardening project near San Diego, California


United States

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    within 3 days

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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Located in a canyon at the foothills East of San Diego, 30 minutes from the beaches, 20 minutes from downtown, but secluded and surrounded by a county park… the sanctuary is a new, privately owned farm. Our goal is to demonstrate water-efficient gardening in a semi-arid climate. Rather than to maximize yield, we want to demonstrate a method that minimizes waste and effort: a methodology of low-maintenance permaculture. Come participate and learn how proper planning and thinking outside the box can result in abundance while being manageable for those still trying to maintain a professional career and participate in the modern lifestyle.

    The sanctuary is in its early phase of development and provides an ideal opportunity for those wanting to learn how to take hobby gardening to the next level. You will learn how to landscape for cheap (or free), how to build water-retaining earth works, how to plan your planting for minimal effort and maximum yield and how to farm in ways that are sustainable in a more challenging climate.

    Open to locals for one-off participation or for travelers wanting to have an experience of 1 to 4 weeks, we will provide you with comfortable accommodation.
    Though healthy, gourmet dishes will often be cooked and shared together, you will be expected to occasionally make your own meals using the produce and kitchens provided (both indoor and outdoor).

    Activities will be co-directed by the owner and an expert local gardener and will include:
    – Landscaping
    – Planting & Gardening
    – Drip systems installing
    – Wood and metal construction & maintenance
    – Masonry
    – Education and demonstration of comfortable off-grid living

    Although 4 to 6 hours of zealous participation are expected 5 days a week, the sanctuary is not just about long days of hard work. We have our own private hiking trail, bouldering, sport climbing, a slack line, smoker BBQ and an attitude of enjoying life and finding the balance between productivity and healthy living for the body and soul.
    For those interested, an occasional Ashtanga yoga instruction is available.

    Getting Here:
    The property is a 30 minutes drive from downtown and the beaches. If our schedules align, I might be able to pick you up directly at the airport. More likely, with advance notice, I can pick you up at the Santee Town Center station. The tram departs from from SD downtown, not far from the airport from which you can get a bus. Trains run rather late, but you should check the schedules to be sure. Also good to know is that the cost of a Lyft or Uber from Santee to the farm is only about $10 to $15.

    I drive to town and the beaches at least a couple times a week. Although I can't always promise a ride back, there is also public transportation to Santee from where I can pick you up. San Diego also features many electric scooters and cycles you can find and hire with an app on your phone.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Art project

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    San Diego is a multi-cultural city with many distinct neightborhoods and beaches. You can borrow a surf board and catch some waves, learn acro-yoga at the park, enjoy the farmers markets or one of the many museums in Balboa park or the world famous zoo. You can also learn rock climbing from the owner who has climbed around the world, including up the Nose of El Capitan.
    The owner has lived on 3 continents and traveled to two dozens countries. Bilingual in French and English, familiar with German and Spanish. Just being here is a cultural experience. Learn about off-grid living, traveling and lifestyle design: how to balance making a living with the freedom to explore your passions for the outdoors and creative arts.

  • Help


    Most of the help here is done outdoors, centered around gardening, construction and maintenance.
    Gardening: from landscaping with trees to cultivating small scale crops, from tilling a new area to planting and harvesting in the main garden section, from creating water retaining earthworks to nursing seedlings: there is a large variety of tasks for all types of people and preferences.

    Construction: from building a cement berm to redirect runoff water into the garden and on the construction of a house, to building creative art projects for burning man or a deck in the garden: there is a lot of room and plenty of ideas to work on. Come learn or hone your skills for wood work, masonry, welding and more.

    Maintenance: from changing the oil on vehicles to fixing old tools and adding comfort customizations to the living spaces: there are many little fun crafts to be done, involving electric work, plumbing and mechanics.

    The owner will provide direction for all of these projects while still giving you room to express your creativity.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    Fluent in English & French, conversational in Spanish and German

  • Accommodation


    There is room in the class-A motorhome for a couple people as well as more private accommodation in the custom built adventure van (come experience vanlife!). We also provide space and gear for tent camping, or room for you to park your own rig.

    No indoor toilets are provided; however, there is a clean outhouse.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Participation will be organized in 2-week session.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 153687461367

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