Our farm is a cooperative organic farm led by a loving Trinidadian family that also includes a food-preserving project, producing local fruit preserves, seasonings and hot pepper sauce.
Work on the farm, sell at the market, bake in our clay ovens, and help out at the local school. But, don't forget to dip in the ocean, sway in a hammock, and dance with family and friends.
Nestled in the coastal range of southern Trinidad, the arm is the work of a small cooperative of local farmers. It is run by the most positive and supportive families, led by Noriga, his daughter Giselle, and Giselle's husband, Ottis. This cooperative also includes a food-preserving project, producing local fruit preserves, seasonings and hot pepper sauce. Crops under cultivation include banana, plantain, papaya, hot peppers, pimento peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, okra, rice, herbs, breadfruit, coconut, yams, casava, and eggplant. Plum, mangos, and pomme cythere are also sourced from the village and forest.
The warm and loving extended family of this farm is what renders this project an exceptional cultural, as well as agricultural, experience. You may find yourself dancing to reggae in the kitchen or reasoning on politics and philosophy in the garden. The family believes in self-sufficiency and upliftment for their community. There are two farms, one off the main road and the other in the rolling hills of southern Trinidad. From the hillsides under cultivation, there is a view of the sea and, on a clear day, the Orinoco delta of Venezuela.
The people of the area are extremely friendly and the few visitors that do make it to this part of Trinidad are warmly welcomed. The local cuisine consists of yam, dasheen, breadfruit, fresh vegetables and fresh fish. Accommodation and food (available as prepared by the family or yourself) are provided in return for 5 hours of daily work. Running water is sometimes unavailable here, but bottled water and rainwater are readily available. There is a lovely, clean two-bedroom house just for volunteers with a nice breeze on the garden by the main road. There is also a rustic ten by ten cabin on the mountain farm if preferred. The farm is a short walk to a river and to the ocean. Come down to help any time for any length. There are always projects that need attention.
Cooking / shopping
The warm and loving extended family of this farm is what renders this project an exceptional cultural, as well as agricultural, experience. You may find yourself dancing to reggae in the kitchen or reasoning on politics and philosophy in the garden. The family believes in self-sufficiency and upliftment for their community.
Projects include, but are not limited to: organic farming, making preserves and sauces, baking bread (In our new Clay Ovens!!!), clearing the pond & river, running daily operations, selling at the market, and working the shop.
Early morning and late afternoon will be the coolest times to work in the sun. You can have weekends off, although you may want to help with the weekend market so you can always exchange a weekday for that. Whatever you put in you will get out.
There is a great balance of fun and work on the farm. The family will welcome you as their own so please feel free to make yourself at home right away and speak up about any questions, concerns or ideas. If you see a project that would add to the farm or if you have any specialties, Noriga, Giselle, and Ottis are all ears.
There are many things other than basic farming that need attention, for example improving the compost, adding water filtration system, etc. What to Bring: Sneakers or boots for the garden, flip flop/sandals, swimsuit/trunks, towel, sheet (they are provided, but you may want an extra), sunscreen, bugspray, extra t-shirts (it's hot!), garden gloves, leatherman or swiss army knife, soap, Mosquito net for bed (some of ours have holes by now), and extra clips for drying clothes always helpful.
Food, veggies, and fruit from the garden will be provided for all meals. Occasionally chicken and fish will be provided.
There is a house on the garden that is just for volunteers. It consists of 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a shower, and a bathroom. There are 3 full size beds and 2 twin size beds. Sheets and pillow cases are provided. Giselle will clean your sheets on the weekends.
There are additional rooms at the family's house if preferred.
Note: sunscreen, mosquito spray and soap can be bought in Trinidad. If you wish to have chicken and fish that is not offered, you may purchase yourself snacks, bag of rice, coffee, alcohol etc can be bought from the shop or from the grocery Liming: Liming is like hanging out and if you are into that, you will find it in Trinidad. You will most likely lime at the volunteer house, family house or If you feel to go out to a bar, Rati, a good family friend and occasional gardener, will be happy to show you a good time. Internet: As of now, there is no internet box at the volunteer house. You will be able to use the internet at the public library down the road at Marac Community Center or ask Gisele to borrow her portable wifi usb (please chip in for usage). They just put in new cables/tower for a better connection in Moruga so if you have a smart phone, you will get service. Laundry: There is a laundry machine at the family house that you can use. You can buy soap in the shop. There are lines to hang dry the clothes. Giselle will wash your sheets every weekend if you bring them to the family house. House Guidelines: The house is for all volunteers to enjoy so the better you keep it, the better it is for everyone. Muddy shoes stay outside the house. Conserve water. Clean up after yourself. Clean your own dishes. Replace Toilet paper if needed. Customs: It is important to have a return ticket for customs. Once you are confirmed with us, I will send a detailed email with arrival info. If you wish to bring something for the family it is always suggested that it is something that represents your country. Books are also always welcome. If you have a small flag from your country, we would love to hang it in the house. If you wish to spend time in POS or other areas of Trinidad, we can help connect you with good friends. Travel Smart: You will be well taken care of and looked after by the family and friends, but as a foreigner you should always use good travel judgement, watch your things, and be respectful. We ask volunteers to add to the good vibes of the community. Recommended Reading: Dragon Can't Dance by Earl Lovelace V.S. Naipaul (Miguel st. is a good one) Cote ci Cote La: Trinidad and Tobago Dictionary
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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