Plant a food forest and enjoy campo life outside of Minas, Uruguay



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    We have a lot of projects in process and lots of ideas, but also a great deal of interest in people with their own ideas for experiments and learning new materials and techniques. What would you like to build, design, grow...?...
    We are:
    Randy, Meli, many chickens, four turkeys, one pheasant awaiting his harem as soon as we can find them, four dogs, five kitties, two cows (one is a new baby) a horse, and a mule;
    Working on the interior plaster and earthen floor of superadobe domes that we built with the help of friends and neighbors;
    Also finishing up the final touches on the galeria-greenhouse-sunroom. It has a loft now also.
    Building protections for garden spaces from the birds,
    Thinking of creating a shelter for the horse and the mule;
    In need of a tool shed- workshop type building;
    Dreaming about a root cellar, more comfy spaces for friends and visitors...;
    Un the designado phase of in-ground conservadoras to be built into the floor of the domes;
    Going to design and make the bathroom in the domes mostly with stabilized loam;
    Building an outdoor shower, solar heated;
    Scavengers for reusable materials from auctions to dumpster treasures (not for food, don't worry);
    Fortunate to have lovely neighbors, living in the very peaceful campo;
    Adventurous food lovers..what is your special dish? (Please do tell in your message...;
    Bilingual, still learning Spanish and I will try to translate this;
    Learning some Portuguese as well, from the neighbors;
    Planting a food forest;
    Interested in permaculture, soil microbiology, food preservation, irrigation;
    Planning to build a geodaisic dome greenhouse, perhaps some ceramic structures and certainly a kiln..there is a lot of clay here;
    Working with a good deal of land that is suffering somewhat from depletion after monoculture farming and over-grazing, but ripe for being put lovingly to use in a symbiotic relationship;
    Intent on planting a 'native' forest;
    Two colonies of bees, as well;
    Currently able to offer camping space, use of the stove and oven inside of our small living space, use of the dry toilet, water from rain barrels, the brick well, and the pond for bathing, but if you are friendly with the neighbors, you might be invited to use their lovely hot shower;
    Confident that all of those water sources are potable as they were tested;
    Preparing to build a thermal mass masonry stove;
    Organizing compost systems and compost tea production;
    Reclaiming the land on behalf of the land;
    Invigorating this place with love;
    Creating a lye-leaching system to make use of our ashes;
    Preparing to do the natural water-resistance coatings on the exterior render of the domes;
    Nearing the phases of decorating, decopaging and painting the exterior and interior of the domes;
    Pondering how we will create a sturdy, beautiful terrace over the front entryway to the domes and finish the exterior of the entryway;
    What else?

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Animal care
    Language practice
    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

    Learn about Permaculture, sustainablility, building from simple things to domes and arches and vaults, solar power...
    This is a beautiful place with a warm and unique people population. There are also many different ecosystems in Uruguay, which attracts many types of birds and a great, variety of interesting populations of other lifeforms.

    We have a great collection of books on the Fauna and Flora of Uruguay, on natural building , permaculture and the like and novels also, all at your disposal.
    If you are interested in learning about chickens, natural/alternative building, building with reclaimed materials, solar power, hempcrete, rammed earth, superadobe building, growing food...
    There are two ponds and a stream for chilling and bathing, lots of sun in spring and summer.
    We are very close to Arequita, one of the highest 'mountains' in Uruguay, for hiking and climbing. I can see it from my window.
    Maybe you would like to learn about raising and baking with a sourdough culture, or making other fermented foods.
    Perhaps we will go foraging for mushrooms.
    Perhaps you want to improve at English. We can certainly improve at speaking/understanding Spanish.
    What would you like most to gain from this experience? Do tell.
    Honestly, make a proposal if you have a dream to implement. We'd love to facilitate it, if it fits with our vision.

  • Help


    If you will be our guest, we can pick you up in town.
    When you notice something here that can be improved upon, or was left not quite completed, please help us by telling us and especially by fixing those little details up.
    Building new structures, fixing up old, garden-work, path clearing, swale-digging, green building, hugelculture building, animal-care, organization, creative design, building a solar oven, and improving at Spanish...
    We need people who can swing an axe, who aren't afraid of spiders, who enjoy getting dirty, who want to learn and perhaps have skills to share, who know how to feed themselves, clean up after themselves and the like.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English and Spanish

  • Accommodation


    There is a lot of space for a tent.
    We are on 12 hectares and you can tent where you'd like. There are a few prime spots for a tent under the shade of trees. You have use of the dry toilet here and the kitchen in the little casita. The sunroom/gallerita is almost finished, and there is a loft and plenty of space to sleep in on the ground level. The loft is a very average plain loft. It is not a private bedroom, but more of a raised platform above the rest of the sunroom. It still needs to be fixed up and finished. It is a nice place to sleep and store your belongings, but not large enough to "hang out" in. Maybe we will sleep in the loft and you can take the casita...we have a tent you may be able use, if nobody else is using it (please tell us if you need it). There is a market on Thursdays and Sundays in town, and we usually go on Sundays. Of course, you can come too. Also, we or the neighbors go into town once or twice during the week and you can join then as well. We rise fairly early and will generally want you to begin early also. On hot days especially, it's very nice to finish working when it is the hottest part of the day, and retire to the pond or the shade. There are a few nice shady spaces near the small house, nice spots for a tent. Also, there are two large eucalyptus by the stream where you might want to camp. You are welcome to camp on the other side of the property, if you like, there are some neighbors' cows and our one cow with them, but they won't bother you. You would be far from the toilet, can figure it out.

    Once we are able to move into the domes, after a few more items are complete..the little house will be potentially available to guests. We hope to have this house available by the summer. It is shown in the photos: small, simple and lovely! It is one room with a great oven and stove on gas, and a beautiful wood-fire stove for winter heat. It has solar electricity all set up. The well is here and the sunroom is attached and almost twice the size of the house itself.
    There are a few places where a hammock can hang.
    We will provide food for meals and even prepare much of it, (we both really love to cook and bake) but you will need to be willing and able to participate in cooking for yourself at times, and to preparing shared meals. We eat well here, but if you want a lot of snack foods between meals, you should stock some. Breakfast will likely be oats, fruit, bread... Simple... On the weekend, at least I will probably cook some sweet or savory eggs pies. We are omnivores but also love vegetarian meals and cook very good vegetarian and vegan foods, when the mood strikes. We have both eaten vegan-style for many years, however maintaining a vegan diet is difficult here. Clearly, we all take turns at washing dishes.
    The internet here is spotty at best; some days it will not work. In town, you can find a couple of places to use the internet, no problem.
    We ask that visitors refrain while here, from using chemical products that will wash into our water. Have you ever washed your hair with honey-water or an egg? Both can work well enough to get rid of cement dust, but the egg is better in that case. Really, the stream is below and fish and frogs live there, who we love very much. The horse, mule and cow drink there...
    We are on solar power..we have upgrading to do...more panels to connect up for the domes...
    That will afford a good deal more electricity available, but...
    As it stands now, it is somewhat limited. We prefer to save it for the evening in case we need it and try to charge phones and such at night to that end. But it is only scarce on cloudy days, really.
    We have a dry toilet here. There is a well with potable water (we had the water tested from the well, the deep well and also the pond,) and a deep perforation on a pump, and rain collected. There is a pond for swimming. We have a solar shower.
    Please, if you have any questions, if there is anything I have failed to discuss, ask us. We will do our best to respond quickly to messages, but the internet connection being so blessedly minimal means that we all must be patient and content with what is or I suppose we can always choose to suffer and complain. Whatsapp is easier to use by far, than messaging over the website, which loads very very slowly.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    There are great comfy buses to go to Montevideo and many other parts of the country from Minas. We have some beautiful old bicycles, three, but they need fixed-up and that could be your project and then you can borrow a bike and explore...
    From Montevideo you can get a bus to any other place that you can't get to from Minas directly..
    And it's a cinch to hitchike here.
    The Salus nature reserve is nearby, there's a cave at Arequita with tours available, Salto de Penitente is not far and some virgin Mary temple that you can hike to, with a beautiful view from the top.
    When we go into town, of course you can ride with us, or possibly with neighbors when they are going...
    And we also like to go hiking, go to the river, we can plan to do fun things while your here too.
    We like peace and quiet here and tend to get to bed early as the Roos will wake you up early. Were it up to the Ibis, we'd all sleep in until at least 7.
    The sunrises and sunsets here are the most beautiful I've seen anywhere. And the moonrises are consistently resplendent.
    We'll want you to do some of the dishes as well, but you won't have to empty the poo-bucket.. Although its really not so it's composting actively, it isn't even very stinky...(less than a wasteful water-flush toilet, believe it or not.)

  • 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

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

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Host ref number: 196583339931