Permaculture and organic farming in a quaint village near the country's second largest city Plovdiv, Bulgaria



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  • Description


    We are Justin and Nadia and our two sons, Joseph- 8 years old and James- 4 years old.We live in a quaint village near the country's second largest city Plovdiv, in the centre of the country, so a good place to base out of to travel to the rest.We are near hot mineral water, small river, mountains, spring mountain water, paragliding center and others.
    We are practicing organic gardening and permaculture,Nadia is a permaculture designer,Justin is the chef but we are still learning, and trying to gain in a more simple life. We need help with house restoration, our gardens, children playing and teaching, cleaning, building things, cooking, animal care.
    Our routine is:
    -5 days working from 7:30-10:30 and 18:00- 21:00 in the summer( about 6 hours) and from 9:00-12:00
    and 17:00- 20:00 in cooler seasons
    -2 days off
    -1 day(from the 5 volunteering) we have for childrens
    -1 day(from the 5 volunteering) for cleaning the living space
    Everybody help preparing the table for eating and cleaning it after and we take turns for washing the dishes.
    Description of the help we need is below.
    summer 2020
    - planting seeds for winter vegetables
    - planting winter vegetables
    - collecting seeds
    - collecting fruits, herbs and vegetables and preserving them
    - weeding and cutting grass
    - watering
    autumn 2020
    - planting trees, bushes,
    - digging swales (water catchments)
    - preserving food for the winter
    - building hugelkultur raised beds-
    - constructing gray water sistem
    spring 2020
    - designing gardens and food forest
    - sowing seeds, planting in pots, planting in the gardens
    - planting trees, bushes, perennial herbs
    - digging swales (water catchment)
    - building hugelkultur raised beds
    - building herb spiral
    - making a small pond
    - pruning trees, bushes (roses, berries, vine bushes)

    - plastering
    - sanding
    - roofing

    building stuff
    - 2 chicken tractors
    - 2 rabbit tractors
    - shelves for the tool room
    - bar for the back garden
    - fire pit with a shelter
    - building rocket stove for outside cooking

    - drawing signs for the gargens
    - making the place more beautifull
    - creating children games from natural materials

    - creating children corner
    - creating toys WITH the children
    - cooking WITH the children
    - painting, drawing...

    - cleaning
    - feeding
    and many others.
    We prefer people to stay for at least 2 weeks
    We will feed you 3 times a day, teach you things about permaculture, show you how to make sour dough bread, cheese, yogurt, soap,winter jars and so on.
    We also want to build a rocket mass for the rocket stove and a clay oven.
    We love listening good music, having good time with good people, drinking beer and we have Wi-Fi.

    Helper: angelina
    From: Hong Kong Date: May 28, 2016
    Staying with Justin and Nadia were just awesome. I helped them with weeding, mulching and planting for a week. The food was so good. The boys are cute. We always have good chat and beer. Thanks so much Justin and Nadia!

    Helper: Victoria and Seamus
    From: Canada Date: December 2, 2015
    We cannot say anything else that hasn't been said already. We had a great time with Nadja, Justin, Joseph and James (and Johnny!) We helped turn the soil in the sunshine garden, and pulled down the ceilings in the second house.we were fed a lot of food, and it was all delicious. Joseph is a bundle of energy and we got some play time in as well. If you want some down time out in the country, this is a great place to go.

    Helper: Bernardo
    From: Italy Date: September 2, 2015
    Imagine the best experience you could have. This is something better. Good persons , good food , very chilled out place, they are always there when you need them. Stay at justin's place is not just an experience is a way of life. Thanks for everything i hope to see you guys soon!

    Helper: Elise and Maxime
    From: France Date: June 25, 2015
    We spent almost two weeks with Justin, Nadia and Joseph in their "paradise" in April. It was our first volunteer experiment in Bulgaria and was perfect for a start. We discovered the countryside living and its highlights (markets, hotbath, pub and shops...). Working with Justin and Nadia was rewarding and never too hard. The Easter period was really nice, beacuse we got the chance to cook and eat bulgarian meals and meet a lot of their friends from diferent backgrounds.

    Thanks for this time !

    Helper: Roeland
    From: Belgium Date: June 20, 2015
    Right, this review is well overdue, shame on me. I stayed with Justin, Nadya and little Joseph for 2 weeks in May and I absolutely loved it. Me and an other helper did a lot of grass cutting and weeding, some wood chopping and mending of a chicken house. They give you everything you need and more, they will take you to hot springs and local markets, Justin even called one of his paragliding friends for me and I had an amazing experience, floating trough the air. The food they make is always, and I mean always, delicious and more than enough. Go help these amazing people!


    Helper: Roeland
    From: Belgium Date: May 28, 2015
    Spent 13 days with Justin Nadia and little Joseph and i had an absolute blast. They don't ask you to work very hard, they will take you to hot springs, they will contact their friends to fix you a paragliding trip (which was the most awesome thing I have ever done) and they will give you so much healthy food straight from the garden that you start to feel bad about your previous, more unhealthy, habits of eating. Don't hesitate to contact hem, they're lovely.

    Helper: Olof and Anna
    From: Sweden Date: April 8, 2015
    Justin, Nadia and little Joseph gave us a very warm welcome to our first help exchange in Bulgaria. We had a great time with them, learning how to build trellises for their raspberry bushes in their food forest, we also helped out with their seed planting for spring. We learned a lot about how the permaculture movement in Bulgaria is taking shape and managed to tie a lot of connections / contacts to other practitioners in the association. We also helped with their lovely son Joseph who was very entertaining and always wanting to play. Nadia and Justin are great cooks we got a chance to sample delicious traditional Bulgarian dishes like Bob, very tasty Bulgarian bean stew. We spent the nights having very in-depth conversations about life permaculture and much more.

    Thanks so much for a great experience and good luck with your future plans :)

    Anna & Olof

    Helper: Glenn
    From: Australia Date: March 21, 2015
    I had a wonderful introduction to permaculture during my stay with Justin, Nadia and Joseph. These guys went out of their way to make my experience unforgettable with their superb cooking, and Nadia's patience in teaching me how to make home made bread, cheese and yoghurt. We shared a lot of interesting chats around the kitchen table. Thanks guys for your hospitality and kindness, I will highly recommend helping these guys, they have big "realistic" dreams ahead a lot of work to get them fulfilled. Please do not miss this opportunity to learn the permaculture way of life and also local hospitality at its best. Good luck for the future guys.

    Helper: Ming-hui
    From: Taiwan Date: December 7, 2014
    I am really happy that Justin and Nadia were my hosts. I had really great time here with them and the lovely kid. There are really nice and gentle to me. And they are both amazing cookers. The food was wonderful and tasty.

    They have many plans and things to do about the garden and the houses. Its really a beautiful thing they are doing and I am glad that I was part of this way of life. When I worked with them, I didn't feel like I was working. Cause they are pretty relaxed and I felt like I am willing to do this good thing for them.

    Although I only stayed for 2 weeks. But it's definitely one of my best experience. If I came back to Bulgaria one day, I'll definitely visit them again.

    Helper: Lily
    From: Australia Date: July 15, 2014
    I had a really lovely stay with Justin, Nadia and Joseph. They have big dreams ahead of them and it was wonderful to see those dreams in action plus a lot of planning!

    Staying in the small village was a wonderful experience and I am really glad that I spent some of my time in Bulgaria in this way. Walking around the village with any member of the family means that you are covered in smiles and constant welcomes into people's gardens- a very different way of life to what I am used to in the city!

    The food here was excellent. Both Nadia and Justin are fantastic cooks and I was lucky enough to taste (and learn how to make) some delicious traditional Bulgarian dishes.

    I have to thank you too for boosting my confidence levels regarding hitchhiking in Bulgaria. I had a really great experience traveling to my next destination and wouldn't have gone this way if it weren't for them.

    Helper: Steven
    From: Malaysia Date: March 19, 2014
    my original plan was staying there for a week but ends up a month there! it was really fun time with Justin, Nadia and of course their little Russian James Bond son!
    Ivan Vazovo is a nice little village surrounded by nature, friendly locals, nice food, amazing hot spring water and much more! definitely recommend their place for the helpers who like to find out their simple way of living and awesome healthy salads from the garden! Big Thanks again for the Hall's family : )

    Helper: Jerome
    From: France Date: February 18, 2014
    the other people tell the truth,i recommend this place!!!!!!
    All is perfect.

    Helper: Marie-france
    From: Canada Date: October 25, 2013
    I really enjoyed my stay at Justin and Nadia's place. And their son Joseph is a lovely little tornade. And, now I know what a Hooligan is.

    I painted and helped them prepare their new house for the winter. I also helped them making the big autumn cleaning up of their summer house. I liked their rhythm of life, their gentleness and their opened mind. I took some nice photos of them and their village.

    Wish you gook luck and happiness in life. Take care!


    Helper: Lauren and Didier
    From: United States Date: September 30, 2013
    We loved being a part of Nadia and Justin's beautiful life project. Their houses are in a beautiful area of the Bulgarian countryside. There is a lot of work to do, but the atmosphere of the entire village is very relaxed. We enjoyed our painting, digging, and gardening projects, and we really enjoyed the time we spent getting to know this wonderful family. We stayed one week an shared many delicious meals, great conversations, and were sad to leave so soon.

    Helper: Gina and Chris
    From: United States Date: September 5, 2013
    We stayed with Justin, Nadia, and Joseph for a little more than 2 weeks and had a really lovely time. They are very generous people and they instantly invite you into their family. The work is very laid back and there isn't much structure - you just kind of work at your own pace and help around the house. There is plenty to do, so they would always appreciate help. And there is a large variety of work to do, from cooking, baking, babysitting, gardening, home restoration, etc. The village is a fun place full of interesting characters as well. Justin and Nadia want to make sure you are having a good time. They even took us to see the local sights, like the mineral spa and gypsy fair. We had such a great time and feel that we really became friends with them. We highly recommend this place for volunteers.

    Helper: Andrew
    From: New Zealand Date: November 14, 2012
    I have had a amazing time in Ivan Vazavo. I originally came for one night to couchsurf but ened up staying about 10 and could stay longer. Justin and Nadiya opitimise the idea that this is a cultural exchange, I learnt a lot from them about permacutlure and all things life related. The food was amazing and there were always plenty of beers and rakia on offer.The surrounding area was beautiful and there is a free thermal bath near by.
    The work is meaningful as they need to get a new place liveable, including the garden and the house so it really feels like you are helping out and the hours were very reasoanble.
    I would recommend a visit to Ivan VAzavo even if you can only spare a couple of days as I had a great time there and im sure that Justin and Nadiya will appeciate the help. They have space for a few peole so dont hesitate to get in touch with them.

    Helper: Miwa
    From: Japan Date: October 2, 2012
    I had really great time with Justine&Nadia&sweet cats.
    In Bulgaria, I had bad experiences before I had been there.He warlike a my rescuer from awful situations.
    First I just thought staying less than 3weeks,but actually I stayed over 2month.There was too amazing tome to leave.
    I got a lot of experiences with them.They were always taking care of me very well.And also I met their wonderful friends ,include Annelies&Tim!!!
    I could get a lot of things from them and their life.
    They gave me a lot of love.
    I have been missing them....This host is one of my favorite host.I will visit again;)

    Cheers Miwa

    Helper: Annelies and Tim
    From: New Zealand Date: August 16, 2012
    Justin and Nadia were wonderful people to stay with and very kindly took us in on short notice. We had a great time with them and they were very generous with their time and energy, really making us feel comfortable from the first day. Nadia is a fantastic cook and I already miss the delicious meals! And Justin even managed to arrange some paragliding for us which was an amazing experience.

    We really enjoyed our stay with them and I'd definitely recommend them to anyone who likes good conversation, good food and genuine people.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care

  • 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
  • Help


    Houses are slowly being reconstructed, so need help with light reconstruction work. We are also learning about permaculture and organic farming, so it could be a good educational experience. Will need help with the garden, perhaps occasional child-sitting. They're great kids!

  • Languages spoken

    Bulgarian: Fluent
    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Rooms with beds. In nice village. Hot mineral springs nearby and lots to do here.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    There is a hot mineral springs in the next village which is a real treat. This area is called The Valley of Roses and, because of the really clean air, it produces about 90% of the world's rose oil used in the production of perfume. Quaint little village but with lots to do here. Sheep, goats, horses and hens roam freely through the dirt streets. Feels like you've gone back in time a few hundred years.

  • 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

    25 hours a week max

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Accuracy of profile: (4.7)

Cultural exchange: (4.7)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 17262943784d