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We are in Year Ten of living in, restoring and landscaping a beautiful stone built Umbrian farmhouse in 5 acres of land. We are close neighbours to part of the original Italian family, who have welcomed us and from whom we have learnt a lot. Our project was born out of a wish to live closer to the land and grow produce in an environmentally acceptable way. We try very hard to lower our carbon footprint in whatever ways possible and take great pleasure in re-using materials and re-cycling. The setting is wonderful : we are within walking distance of the medieval hill top town of Lugnano in Teverina, of which we have a full view from our house and garden. We are just one hour north of Rome by train and two hours south of Florence.
We are an English couple in love with Italy; our main careers have been in town planning and social work. I am Eric, a town planner by profession, now enjoying garden design and landscaping, olive growing and creative writing. Helen, who has Greek origins and a background in social work, now works as a silversmith and jeweller as well as being involved in our project.
Help with Eco project
The lifestyle around us is predominantly agricultural with small farms, olive groves and vineyards, mostly cared for by local families. Culturally the area is alive with festas in the surrounding towns and villages especially during the summer. There are also free concerts, a film club and great opportunities to mingle in the local culture. We encourage volunteers to visit nearby towns and cities, including Rome, Orvieto, Arezzo, Viterbo, with their long history of art and architecture; and Lake Trasimeno. Our nearest station (Attigliano) is just 10 minutes away and buses from Lugnano connect to Orvieto, Amelia and Narni.
We enjoy and appreciate the help of volunteers and they have made significant contributions to our project: we are now in the 9th year of hosting volunteers of many nationalities. The majority of the work is outdoors and the main tasks, depending on season, are: cultivating and preparing our vegetable garden; harvesting vegetables and fruit (depending on season we have figs, plums, hazelnuts and walnuts); pruning our olive trees; General garden maintenance, hedge cutting, grass mowing, weed clearance etc; building and repairing stone walls and terracing. Some of the work can be strenuous and requires the use of garden machinery. In late October we harvest our olives and we need helpers to prepare the ground, pick and pack the olives and transport them to our local olive mill. woodland management and caring for our 15 mature oak trees and 100 olive trees. There are indoor maintenance tasks in the event of poor weather.
We have limited internet access. No smoking indoors. We are non-smokers.
English, Greek, Italian.
We can accommodate either a single person or a couple. Our volunteers stay in twin bedded rooms on the top floor of the house, with their own shower and toilet.
There are many walks in the local countryside amongst the beautiful local landscapes and olive groves. Lugnano in Teverina is within walking distance and it has local shops - grocery, post office, bank, pharmacy - and cafes, a public swimming pool and a bus service connecting to nearby towns and villages. Day trips by train to Rome, Orvieto and Viterbo are easily possible.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week