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...?...
This Food Forest is well begun. We have planted well over a hundred trees by now. A Food Forest takes a lot of care. I can barely imagine becoming bored here, except for the boring. Always, almost any time, if you have want of some work to do, please, please cherish the trees. Walk around and find the furthest ones especially...take out large wild plants that are competitively close to the trees' roots, cover the ground around them with carton, organic matter...water them with a whole big bucketfull or two...tie them to something for support against the wind if they need it...bring them a drink of some kind of nutritients...
We are all family, friends and neighbors:
Randy, Meli, many chickens and chicks, seven turkeys, three bee colonies four dogs, six cats, 10 sheep, two horses, and a mule; If any of these species are offensive to you, this will be an uncomfortable place for you.
Working on the interior details, including the earthen floor of superadobe domes that we have built with the help of friends and neighbors;
Also finishing up the final touches on the galeria-greenhouse-sunroom. It has a loft now that is available for workawayers, and our little "casita" is often available too. (The little house is in the photos 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 and more comfy spaces for friends and visitors...;
In the design phase of in-ground refrigeration to be built into the floor of the domes;
Finishing lime mortar and brick bathtub which will be enclosed in cob/mud to the outside, sculptural;
Building an outdoor shower, solar heated;
Scavengers for reusable materials from auctions to dumpster treasures (not for food, don't worry);
Blessed 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 and nurturing a baby 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 in the galleria attached to the casita, use of the dry toilet, a shower 'outside' mas o menos in the galleria, water from rain barrels, the brick well, and the deep well, and the pond and the stream for bathing, but if you are friendly with the neighbors, you might be invited to use their lovely hot shower;
Confident that all our drinking-water sources are potable as they were tested;
Building 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;
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
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 including humans from many different places.
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 and turkeys, 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.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
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.
Please visit with us if you love animals. (If you don't love animals, it may not flow so well.)
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...
Observing the natural cycles here to better inform our decisions; I need to develop a system or journal..something simple to keep track of these patterns and flows;
We need to build a laboratory-clean building for growing mushrooms and testing soil samples;
Intent on living free of plastics, foams and garbage altogether.
We need people who can swing an axe, who aren't afraid of spiders or chickens, who enjoy getting dirty, who want to learn and who have skills to share, who know how to feed themselves, clean up after themselves and the like. Life flows as life flows, please be coming here with the intention to assist with general life activities. There are not always big projects in progress, we rest as well. To reiterate, please tell us if you have some specific project you would like to do. We can even do our best to have enough additional workawayers around to help and what is needed at hand, if it is something that fits with our vision.
All the best to you!
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
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. One being a small 'bosque' with a good deal of shade. You will have use of a dry toilet here and the kitchen in the galeria. There is the potential to sleep in the galeria, if the weather is very difficult for tenting. The loft is a very average plain loft and we have the casita...we have a tent you may be able use as well, 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 (I rise before the sun usually. I do NOT expect you to do the same) and will generally want you to begin early also, if we will all work together. If there is a team of people who all agree to start later in the day, you do as you all agree to. 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 sheep and horses, but they won't bother you. You would be far from the toilet, but...you can figure it out.
The casita is a small building of cement blocks. It is rather simple, a place to sleep and store your bags and rest in the heat of the day. It is shown in the photos: small, simple and lovely! It is one room with a beautiful wood-fire stove for winter heat. It has solar electricity all set up. The well is there and the sunroom is attached and almost twice the size of the house itself. One stove and sink and area for cooking are in this galeria.
There are a few places where a hammock can hang.
We will provide food for meals and even prepare much of it, (we all 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, nuts and seeds... Simple... On the weekend, at least I will probably cook some sweet or savory omelets/frittatas/tortillas. 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 (and for me it is unhealthy anyplace in the world). We ask that you keep that in mind when considering a visit. 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 at least until we get the plant filtered gray water system set up, (want to help create it?). 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 horses, mule and cows and all of the wildlife drink and bathe there...
We are on solar power..we have upgrading to do...more panels to connect up for the domes...more batteries, capaz, at the casita...
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 (moreso in the winter). But it is only scarce on cloudy days, really. If you want to plug in a laptop for hours at a time, that eats up all of the power which we all share.
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 collection. There is a pond for swimming. We have a solar shower that you can set up by hanging it from a tree. There is a shower in the galleria and we'll have a curtain for privacy up soon...until we're done setting that up, we just go for a walk whenever somebody needs privacy for a 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 although we're free to suffer and complain. Whatsapp is easier to use by far, than messaging over the website, which loads very very slowly.
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, etcetera...so we can plan to do fun things while you're 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 bad...as it's composting actively, it isn't even very stinky...(less stinky than a wasteful water-flush toilet, believe it or not.)
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host can provide space for campervans.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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