Our beautiful off grid, eco farm is situated in the heart of the Garden route of South Africa and has breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, forests, lakes and the ocean.
We moved to this little piece of heaven in October last year (from Namibia), and are in the process of transforming the farm to a self sufficient, organic farm and nature retreat centre and workshop venue with accommodation. We are busy with alien clearing (wattles, blue gum), as well as using it for construction, and we are looking into reforestation.
The goal is to provide a living example of a more connected, responsible and holistic way of living. We are already off grid, and have solar ovens, a solar rig, rainwater tanks for our water supply, etc.
Jani is a transformational facilitator & holistic healer and Fabian a consultant & teacher for organic gardening and permaculture.
We have a dog, puppy, two kittens and Muscovy ducks (more animals are planned for later;) and there are bushbuck, wild pigs, porcupines, caracal and guinea fowl that roam the farm. We have also spotted the exotic Knysna Turaco, and are frequently visited by Jackal buzzards!
This part of South Africa has exceedingly beautiful afromontane forests, beaches, water falls, hikes, kayaking, paragliding, surfing, sailing, kloofing, mountain biking, birdwatching and pretty much any other activity you can think of - all in a 40km radius from the farm.
The farm is very quiet and peaceful and is only 7kms from a main highway and 9kms from a beautiful beach.
We are close to Wilderness and Sedgefield (14km either way) and 45 minutes' drive by car either way to Knysna or George (airport).
This project is an exciting work in progress and it’s about learning, living a fulfilled and joyful life and contributing in a meaningful way to the ecology and economic and social environment.
Help with Eco project
You will be exposed to a natural way of living, in a peaceful and beautiful South African environment. The area has a mix of young people interested in a simple lifestyle, local and international holiday makers and retired people. The main language spoken is English, so a good grasp of the English language is important. However many of the locals speak Afrikaans which is very close to Dutch and other than African languages, German is quite widely spoken in the area.
Enjoy organic gardening, building, meditation, forest walks and lots of outdoor adventures!
On the farm we are busy implementing:
Permaculturally designed food, energy and waste recycling systems (gardens, compost toilets, grazing areas etc)
Permaculture earthworks (swales and dams)
A cottage to be rented out to permanent tenants
Converting a former tank house into a tiny space for accommodation
A retreat and course venue for holistic retreats and workshops
A labyrinth and medicine wheel
What we need help with:
We are looking for volunteers to help us with specific tasks on the farm, and prefer stays of 6 weeks and longer, so that we can get used to each other and both you and us can enjoy the experience to the fullest. We expect volunteers to help 5 hours per day for 5 days a week, and be able to do hard physical work.
Volunteering here is a diverse and vigorous experience with lots of outdoor work and fun. Currently we are looking for volunteers that are 20 years of age or older and:
1. Optionally have a drone and can help us make a 30cm contour interval topographic map of the farm, to be used for the permaculture design
2. Have experience with renovation and maintenance work (painting, plastering, plumbing, electrician work, building roofs, fencing, cleaning), as we are renovating the cottage and venue room etc.
3. Are physically fit and motivated to help with general farm work like alien vegetation control (trees to be cut and de-barked for use in construction), maintenance of the gardens (mowing lawns, sheet mulching, building and turning hot compost, building garden beds and managing the Muscovy ducks, pet sitting when we want to go away).
4. Have good photography skills to help us set up an advertising presence, both on and off the internet.
English, German, Afrikaans
We welcome a maximum of two volunteers (preferably couples if you are two) and you will stay in our beautifully renovated guest room (separate from the main house) or in your own tent under a solid roof and a beautiful view, whenever the room is not available. We therefore expect you to be flexible. Both places are quiet and beautiful.
We can share breakfast and one more meal on work days in our house and you can prepare your third meal in a separate outdoor, roofed kitchen adjacent to the course venue.
We mostly cook vegetarian and focus on a varied, healthy and nourishing diet. Although we do not have anything against you drinking alcohol, we ask that it is in moderation.
You will have a bicycle available to you to share in your time off. Please note that there is a very steep hill between us and the shortest routes to the beach and towns.
You would work 5 hours daily, for 5 days per week and the rest of the time is yours for adventures and sight-seeing.
There is very limited electricity on the farm, as we only have a small solar rig. This means there is no plug in your room, only light and when you need to charge your cellphone/laptop, you can do this in our house (a power bank is advisable). There is no wifi available, but fairly good cellphone reception with data capability (3G). All water is obtained from the rain, and therefore saving water is a priority! We don't have any television, music players/radio as we prefer the quiet and sounds of nature. Because of the quietness and vicinity this place is not ideal for younger volunteers who want to socialise a lot.
Filter cigarettes are not allowed on the farm, only roll-your-own cigarettes. Smoking is only allowed outside, away from the buildings and not in or near the forest and Fynbos areas. We expect you to be respectful with all people, animals, plants and equipment on the farm. No synthetic chemicals allowed on the farm; all toiletries and personal care products must be natural and earth friendly. If need be, we can put your clothes through our washing machine once every week or two (depending on sunshine, as we have a solar system).
The ideal workawayer we’re looking for:
We are looking for positive, responsible and open people that are interested in learning about, and implementing a new way of living. If you want to be ecologically responsible, contribute to (instead of detracting from) the natural, economic and social environment and understand that we are all ultimately responsible for our own behaviours and life experiences, then this is the place for you. We would like you to have an affinity with the overall intention and vision of positively affecting the environment and working towards self-sufficiency. Virtues we are looking for are: patience, tolerance, simplicity, responsibility, humility, honesty and reliability. We would like to have people in our project who radiate harmony and balance within themselves, and toward others and nature. You need to be fairly balanced in yourself, and not struggle with any addictions or take any mind numbing/altering substances. The ideal volunteer will be happy to go without luxuries, city comforts, and social media (else it’ll be quite challenging for you here!).
If you’re looking for a peaceful, quiet and beautiful place to spend a few weeks, then you found the perfect spot!
What to bring:
The farm has a pool fed by rain water for swimming (not filled at the moment) and hosts a diverse mix of afromontane forests, Fynbos and agricultural lands (grazing only). When you are not working, exploring and outdoor activities are obvious attractions. The area is very safe, nonetheless we ask you to always keep your room locked if you are not around, as a precautionary measure. When working we expect people to be safely attired, so that means with solid shoes, and often also gloves. We suggest you bring along the following to make your stay enjoyable:
Sun hat and long cotton clothes to defend against the sun
Eco-friendly toiletries, sunscreen
Insect repellent if you want to sit outside on warm evenings
Good walking shoes
Warm clothing for the evenings
Rain protection that you can work in
Bed linen: duvet inner (for single beds) or a sleeping bag
Swimming gear for the beach, rivers and pool
Your own tent
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
5 hours a day, 5 days a week