Greetings fellow travelers of the world! My name is Gabriel and I’m looking forward to welcome you in the land of Aphrodite, and at the Garden of the Goddess!
OurPermaculture Land & Training Center is a 4,050 square meters Permaculture designed Land, demonstration and educational center site in progress, dedicated on displaying and sharing regenerative land development and management practices based on permaculture principles, techniques and strategies. It is owned and run by Permaculture Designer, Consultant & Educator /Activist, Gabriel and was founded in 2009 by Gabriel and his father Andy Gabriel.
The project seeks to promote ecological, cultural and economic resilience in the Island of Cyprus by continuing to develop our small scale permaculture site to serve as a model and training center for local farmers and international permaculture students. We aim to be a model of sustainable development and self-sufficiency for the whole of Cyprus, and to build connections with permaculture projects regionally and internationally.
The site began as a un-fertile, neglected agriculture land belonging to our host’ s family, and has been under restoration and cultivation since it was handed to him in winter of 2009. Since moving into the land, we have build a residential house, made of junk and recycled materials (60-70%), installed storm water harvesting earthworks and storage tanks, planted over 300 heirloom & medicinal plants, fruit trees, olive trees, nitrogen fixing trees and ground-cover for soil building, insect attracting and edible plants as an understory. We now have a fully productive garden of vegetables, strawberries and flowers, plus an outdoor kitchen, compost toilets (1 in the house, 1 in the garden), an outdoor classroom for workshops and many more on the making.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
This is a great opportunity to experience Permaculture / off-grid living, and learn how to be sustainable and resilient to climate challenges.
In terms of learning new skills, I will gladly teach and share with you a broad variety of topics including, water harvesting & management, greywater systems, soil building & soil amendments, composting, building, carpentry, welding, irrigation, wicking beds & raised beds, natural & alternative building and many more. You will also have the opportunity to be a part of the different events and festival we organise, participate in open days for volunteers, permablitzes and seed savers activities that we organise with Cyprus Seed Savers team, for heirloom seeds. Additionally you will also have the opportunity to learn about growing clean organic food, herbs and medicinal plants, and propagating, planting and grafting trees and plants.
We are looking for hard working, self motivated, reliable people with a "can do" attitude, interested in sustainability and in helping to contribute towards the future of our project. People who want to experience Permaculture off-grid living, and co-creating a “be-at-home” environment for our students, volunteers & visitors, one that pleases and nourishes all.
We generally offer some flexibility letting people choose to work on projects they like most, or creating their own schedule that we plan together every week, including the days they want off, but all within reason, and as long there are no deadlines or urgent things to be done in the designated time. Volunteers may also use their exchange hours towards non-gardening activities, such as vegetarian/vegan cooking, house keeping, dog walking/care, teaching yoga/tai-chi, massage, etc. ,as long they will still participate in other projects/garden tasks. We appreciate flexibility from our volunteers and try to be flexible from our side too.
There are a number of various projects & responsibilities around the land that need to be taken care of on a daily or weekly basis, which means that most of the time work is physical, but there is also need for organisational work, social media, promotion and lots of other things to be done who are also providing learning and teaching opportunities for you and for us! This is a hands-on experience and working in a garden can be a hard work, so if you're afraid of insects or digging in soil, or being long hours outside, this will not be a good case for you. Therefore if you are just looking for a place to holiday, this is not the one, so please, only apply if you are serious about this.
It is of the outmost important that you let us know beforehand if you have any limitations (physical or mental), on what kind and magnitude you feel this work could be feasible for you. We've had few volunteers cases who were extremely particular and only wanted to work on their own art projects. We encourage art, but we also ask that you respect our goals and help contribute on prearranged working dates as there will be times that we need you for certain hours. You will have plenty of time and space to do art work, or spend in any way you want.
We ask that you are respectful to everybody staying/working here, and follow the rules, meaning you will comply with the agreed working hours (5 hours daily, 5 days a week), you will keep tidy, and take care of the environment and the facilities and make sure your behavior here and at the nearby village/community will not in any case create problems or harm us in any way. Please note that we WILL ask volunteers to leave early if they are disrespectful, negative, untidy, needs babysitting, and/or not contributing enough.
Smoking in the land is prohibited outside the designated area, as we are in the middle of the forest and the fire risk is extremely high. Any illegal substance (drugs) is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated and in case you try to use any, you will be asked to leave the place immediately.
Alcohol is prohibited on our property except for special occasions, and this because we've encountered a variety of problems that result from over-indulgence. You can of course have your drinks in a bar on your night out as long that is not affecting your tasks the following day or not causing troubles to us and the other volunteers. We expect that you will be respectful and conscious of your actions. Intoxication in no case will not be tolerated , and in the unpleasant event you will be asked to leave the place immediately.
We need people with skills and knowledge to help with ongoing projects (preferably who have done a PDC), on natural/sustainable building, carpentry, welding, engineering and electrical, energy, gardening, animal care, seed germination, planting, pruning, harvesting, natural pest control, watering, weeding, soil preparation, composting, organising, internet & social skills, house help, cooking, and anything else that is under Permaculture design, or any other resilient/sustainable practices.
As a result of Gabriels job working as a Permaculture Designer/Consultant & Educator, that often needs to work away in other parts of the island or leave the island for training or holidays, we will need to have people that can be happy with their own company, able to motivate and continue with projects while Gabriel is away and being able to take care of the the land and look after the animals (dog, cat, and chickens at the moment).
Accommodation is very basic, and at the moment we can only offer camping facilities and its more suited to late Spring to late Autumn time. We have a big tall tent (2x3), plus smaller ones sitting on platforms, and an outdoor kitchen equipped with all cooking utensils (plates, serving bowls, pots, pans, stove top, juicer, blender, solar dehydrator, cutting boards & knifes, etc.), outdoor shower with hot water, and outdoor compost toilet. Please understand that all amenities are very basic. More options on accommodation on the way with your help.
We can provide camping beds and mattresses, sheets, blankets, pillows, and some bathroom towels. Since all kitchen, shower, and laundry water goes through our greywater systems, get cleaned and used for the trees or our ponds, we ask you to only bring and use natural/biodegradable products.
This is NONVIOLENCE & PLASTIC FREE venue. Cooking on the Farm is exclusively Vegetarian/Vegan. We have chickens, so eggs are also available and of course you are encouraged to experiment in cooking vegetarian food with our other volunteers. One-use plastic is prohibited and will not be accepted, so please do not bring any. We urge you to bring your refillable water bottle, glass/metal straws and reusable bags.
Meals and arrangements on days off:
We will provide 3 meals daily for you; Breakfast includes coffee/tea, bread, butter, jam, seasonal fruits, oats, and if available fresh organic eggs from our chickens. Occasionally we may have some cheese & yogurt too. Lunch will be a cooked meal (Monday to Friday), and Dinner can be a lighter meal (soup, salad, sandwich, wrap, fruits, etc). You are also welcome to eat whatever you harvest from the trees and vegetables as long as you leave for others too. During weekends at your free time, you will be responsible for feeding your selves. We will provide you with the ingredients, so you will be free to cook your selves meals, or just live with a sandwich! If we are not super busy for the weekend or away, we will usually provide dinner for you, and maybe a glass of wine or a beer, while we share stories!
*️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️PLEASE let us know before you arrive if you have special dietary needs or intolerances or else we won’t be responsible once you come and can’t eat what we offer. Please also note that we are on a tight budget so we cannot accommodate special dietary demands that are going to create a burden on either. You can also talk to us and see whether we can make it possible.
We greatly appreciate and ask your help with preparing meals.
All Volunteers are expected to wash and dry their own dishes and take turns washing up utensils after cooking, cleaning the tables, tidying up and storing leftovers after meals.
Getting Here: Closest airport is Larnaca airport as it is approximately 50 minutes drive from here, but there are the options of Paphos airport and the Ercan Airport which is in the North (Turkish occupied area). In all three cases there is frequent bus transportation to the capital Nicosia, and once you are there we will pick you up for the 25 minutes drive. Once you book your flights, let us know and we will further guide you for everything, so don’t worry.
Time off: Cyprus is a beautiful mediterranean island with more than 300 days of sunshine and great natural beauty! With a rich history going back 9,000 years, there are plenty of historical places, archaeological sites and a rich cultural heritage to explore. Some of the most amazing beaches in the world, beautiful mountains with picturesque villages and amazingly friendly hospitable people, are some of the thing that will capture your heart and imagination. It is located in the forest of Mitsero village 1.8 km from the village, and just 30 Km from the capital of the island, Nicosia. There are is bus connection from the village to Nicosia, or the other cities (larnaca, Limassol, Paphos), and a great chance to explore the mountains, or go to the beach.
There will be many occasions that I will be traveling to Nicosia or other towns for work and I'm happy to give you a ride there on your days off , and also to take you around as long I have the time, or otherwise I will let you know about the local busses, restaurants, etc, so you can explore by your selves until I pick you up again to return. There will be also many chances to show you some of the beautiful places that we have around in the mountains and to picturesque villages in the area.
What to bring:
-Clothes comfortable for working and relaxing. It is advisable to wear light long trousers and a light long shirt even in hot weather. We will provide you with work gloves if required.
-A sleeping bag and one personal tent is always a good idea, especially if you plan to travel around during your free time. In case this is not possible, let us know and we may be able to provide one for you.
-Sturdy shoes for work, flippers for the beach or relaxing, running/walking shoes (there are beautiful places for trekking or walking around)
-Hat, Sunscreen (Cypriot sun can be quite harsh even in winter), Sunglasses
-Personal things - medicines, toiletries(eco friendly/biodegradable only), etc.
-Coffee Mug or Bowl for soup/coffee/tea marked with your initials.
-Camera, note pad, tablet or pc, hard disk or usb stick (32Gg and up), as we have a lot of material on permaculture/sustainable living, that we will gladly share with you. (ebooks, documentaries, movies etc).
A complete packing list and detailed information will be send to you upon your booking coming here.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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