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I've recently bought a house with 2 decares of land which I will gradually turn into a permaculture project.
It's quiet and peaceful here. The main sounds you'll hear are birdsong, the humming of bees, the clapclapclap of storks' beaks, the moo of cows and the meeh of sheep, interspersed with goat bells and dogs barking. The location is rural and ecologically fairly clean. The village economy is based on sunflower-growing, solar energy harvesting and fruit orchards.
If you like, I can introduce you to the people in the village, who are really friendly and helpful, though few speak English.
As a passionate gardener and plan to create an orchard, raised vegetable beds and more, to become self-sufficient with fruit and veg. I'm excited to have a huge blank canvas to create a permaculture design from scratch. If you're knowledgeable about permaculture, fruit growing and gardening, you can use your skills. And if you're new, I can train you in some permaculture & gardening skills.
I also hope that you'll be able to help me clean the house, cook (mostly healthy vegetarian food with fresh local ingredients) and if you have the skills, some DIY projects. Are you good at DIY? I need someone who can fix, repair and build a few things .
Depending on the time of the year and your skills, here are some of the projects and tasks:
- Mow the grass
- Composting (turning the compost heap, chopping ingredients)
- Watering plants
- Clear out the shed
- Plant fruit trees
- Plant a flowering hedge
- Build raised beds (timber or brick)
- Create a huegelkultur
-Create swathes (trenches and berms)
- Lay a stepping stones path with reclaimed materials
- Build a barbecue
- Take cuttings to propagate plants
- Harvest seasonal fruits and vegetables
- Preserve seasonal fruits and vegetables
- Rebuild the old derelict outside toilet as a composting toilet
- Build a solar shower
- Paint walls (inside and outside)
- Minor roof repairs (probably just re-attaching some loose roof tiles)
- Build wooden sheves for my study
- Restore an old wooden cupboard
- Assemble flatpack furniture
- DIY and repair jobs
- Clean and tidy
- Shop (this will involve a bus trip to the town, since I don't have a car)
- Cook (mostly healthy plant-based food with fresh local ingredients)
- Care for my pets (cats and dogs. Cleaning, brushing, feeding, playing, petting, training...)
- Teach me yoga, tai-chi, qi gong or similar
Please be honest about what you can do. I don't expect you to be skilled at everything, but don't claim "I can do this" if you don't have the skills. This just leads to unnecessary disappointment for everyone. I'm treat my volunteers with consideration and respect... but I won't tolerate dishonesty.
I'm a writer, writing books. Originally from Germany, I've lived in Britain for many years, and have worked for short periods in Mongolia, China and Nepal. I've lived in Bulgaria for two years, but only recently bought this house. I'm bilingual, German/English. I speak a little Bulgarian and have a smattering of other languages.
I have cats, and train them. Yes, cats can be trained... if they want to be. Mine enjoy it immensely. Anything a dog can do, they can! If you're a cat lover and win their favour, they may perform for you, too. "Shake hands" - "turn" - "high five" - "lie down" and more, all the time purring with pleasure. I've recently been adopted by a stray dog, which poses new challenges. He's friendly and gentle, and I've started to train him. (If you dislike animals, or have a cat allergy, this placement isn't right for you.)
The guest room is nice and comfortable, with a large bed suitable for a couple.
Does this sound like you? If yes, tell me what interests you about this placement and what skills you can contribute. I look forward to hearing from you.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
I'll be happy to tell you about Bulgarian life and culture, introduce you to local people and practice German or English with you. You can learn practical permaculture and gardening skills (depending on the season).
DiY/building/home improvements, cleaning, tidying, cooking, shopping, gardening (permaculture), dog training
Fluent English, fluent German. rusty French, very basic Bulgarian, a smattering of other languages
I have a nice guest room with a large bed, suitable for a couple. There's a shared bathroom.
If you want to live in your own tent or camper van , there's plenty of space to set it up or park it.
There are frequent buses (about 1 per hour in each direction) to the towns of Elhovo and Yambol, but the bus stop is 2km away. Taxis are cheap, and I'll pay your taxi fares where needed (e.g. to bring home shopping).
The village itself has one small shop and a cafe/pub.
The landscape around the village is nice and clean, mostly flat with some hills, with a river and small lake nearby. Near Elhovo is a beautiful large nature reserve.
We're not far from the Black Sea and the Turkish border, so you can go on excursions there.
Internet is good with occasional outages.
The assignment would suit a couple. It's great for a single, too, as long as you like the quiet life, are content to be alone much of the time and don't require entertainment. A group would need to be willing to 'rough' it for the accommodation, i.e. bring your own tent or sleep on the floor in the house.
If you travel with a dog, that should work out fine, as long as he stays outside (there's a shady verandah) and doesn't harangue my cats. My own dog is companionable with other dogs.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
20 -25 hours per week, flexible schedule
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