Experience winemaking and agriculture on a berry and vegetable farm in the Andes Mountains, Colombia

Country

Colombia

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    Last activity

    13/02/2020

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  2020 

 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    My name is Andres, I own and run an agricultural farm and wine-making project Silvania, Colombia. We grow all sorts of vegetables and a good constant harvest of blackberries which we use to make our wine. We use sustainable and eco-friendly farming methods such as organic composting, pyro-weeding and biogas generation.
    Our farm is a luscious patch of eco-friendly agronomy. The entrance will take you along our fish pond, stocked with Tilapia, Carp and Cachamma, a delicious (and completely harmless) relative of the piranha. You will walk up the stone stairs up the hill, past our berry patch and vegetable gardens. At the top there is a medieval-style castle made with a construction method called super-adobe. This cheap, ultra-strong, virtually unbreakable method involves 2 ft-wide walls made of bagged earth and mortared, with a beautiful stone finish. Spiral stairs lead to the top of the castle revealing a panoramic view that is hard to match. In the distance the infamous image of "La Embarazada" is very clearly visible, a five-mile cliff face with an uncanny resemblance to a pregnant woman in childbirth. This mountain and the cliff faces around it are important to the local myths and ancient indigenous activity evident in the region.
    Our farm is comfortably set in a small community of farmers and cattle herders in the Colombian Andes mountains, located about an hour from Bogota to the south. The area is safe and tourism -friendly, less than two miles from the town of La Aguadita, which has food and supplies, as well as its own police station. Four and a half miles the other way is the town of Silvania, located on the major highway La Panamericana, with much more to choose from and a decent hospital in case of emergency.
    Living quarters are comfortable, sanitary and aesthetically pleasing, with a stone-colored finish and smooth tile and mineral flooring. Bathrooms are clean and comfortable. Most of the food that we eat was either grown or raised on our farm, or another farm within a mile of us. We eat lots of root vegetables, rice, soups and oats or arepuelas (Colombian pancakes) with coffee for breakfast.
    If you want to have a unique and rewarding experience and learn how to make seeds and dirt into an incredible lifestyle, we hope to see you soon.

    -Andres

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Hospitality/Tourism
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    One way that anyone can benefit from an experience like this is to broaden their perspective of the world. You can see how other people live, what their motivations are and how they see the world that you share with them. This will give you a new perspective on life and help you understand what you truly want for yourself and your life.
    Another great thing to be taken away from an experience like this is, obviously, to learn skills that will make you able to literally live off of the land, not only to feed yourself but to make profit from this satisfying and peaceful lifestyle so that one day you can create your own successful farm.
    Other benefits can include learning a new language, global networking or enjoying a simple sabbatical from the monotony of life. The area is a panoramic beauty, with rivers and streams running through lush vegetation both natural and cultivated. This is a great place for inspiration or to re-charge.

  • Help

    Help

    5 hours of help per day, 5 days a week will be compensated with room and board, as well as 3 meals a day. We eat lots of root vegetables, rice, soups and green vegetable platters and egg-fried rice with soy sauce. We eat oats or arepuelas (Colombian pancakes) with coffee for breakfast. Spare time can be spent either on the farm or adventuring in this amazing and inspiring part of the world. We have activities at the farm after hours like Qigong, American Power-Yoga and group exercise for those interested.

    There are things to do in this neighborhood like visiting local stores and playing tejo (a game similar to bowling or horseshoes, but with fireworks), going into town or attending local gatherings.

    *️️*️️*️️Workawayers who would like to explore the region would be encouraged to do so on their own, or take it upon themselves to invite and organize others in the group for walks and outings.*️️*️️*️️

    We need gardeners, or people who want to learn how to garden. We can teach you the basics if you're a beginner, as long as you have patience and good work-ethic you can learn quickly.
    We also need help building our next amenity, a super-adobe tower by the fish pond. This is a great opportunity to learn an alternative construction method that is eco-friendly and very inexpensive compared to traditional methods. Like with many arts, skill with this type of construction comes with practice and experience. We'll teach you everything you need to know to make a sturdy, impressive structure with minimal expenses.
    Other jobs include wine-making, general maintenance and help in the kitchen.

    *️️️️️️️️️️️️5 hours of help per day, 5 days a week will be compensated with room and board, as well as 3 meals a day. We eat lots of root vegetables, rice, soups and green vegetable platters and egg-fried rice with soy sauce. We eat oats or arepuelas (Colombian pancakes) with coffee for breakfast. Spare time can be spent either on the farm or adventuring in this amazing and inspiring part of the world.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Workawayers will stay in cabin rooms located within the farm, or in private rooms on top of the castle itself. These amenities are clean and aesthetically pleasing, our bathrooms are comfortable and clean.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    *️️*️️*️️Workawayers who would like to explore the region would be encouraged to do so on their own, or take it upon themselves to invite and organize others in the group for walks and outings.*️️*️️*️️

    Local tourist attractions include Parque Quinini, a national park mountain climb to a peak so high that the curve of the earth can be seen, and other ecological hiking tours. These tours can be organized at request for those interested.
    The town of Fusagasuga (population 100,000) is seven miles away, a small city with everything from bowling alleys and movie theaters to burger-joints and pizzerias. There are often expositions and agricultural fairs going on in the towns around the farm, where people socialize and show off their animals.

    *️️*️️*️️Workawayers who would like to explore the region would be encouraged to do so on their own, or take it upon themselves to invite and organize others in the group for walks and outings.*️️*️️*️️

    A few things to keep in mind:
    1) This is not a tropical region, the weather is usually good but nights are cold and you would do well to bring appropriate clothing and a warm blanket.

    2) We are a small winemaking operation, we re-use materials like food-grade buckets (fermentation safe) that we get from bakeries and 3000 ml recycled containers. We make a quality product that our customers love, but we are not a hundred-acre wine farm with 2000 gallon fermentation vats.

    3) We do whatever we can to help the environment but when more severe pests try to invade our crops, or when rain falls for a long time and fungus appears on our plants, we use commercial pesticides/fungicides to save our harvest. We go as organic as possible but we are not willing to lose entire harvests for this sake. We do not appreciate being badgered over this as to lose entire crops could put us out of business completely and put a stop to the great things that we are doing here. If this is a problem, another workaway option would be better for you.

  • 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

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

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




Host ref number: 157267351264