Many skills, few thrills, but a lot of fun on a beautiful uncomfortable mountain farm in Andalucia



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  • Description


    So - we have a farmhouse in the mountains, a beautiful place, and it's slowly slowly falling apart. We don't have money or need to re-build, so we've partly built a tiny eco-house instead. We did this with two brilliant groups of workawayers in 2018, but in 2019 we need to finish it - lots of work with earth / clay / sandbags / gravel / straw. We also need to keep the farm going - building boar-proof fencing, planting lots of trees, tree-felling, painting and whitewashing, oh endless maintenance. So we need help for a couple of weeks of farm maintenance, and will teach any earth/eco building skills in return, but would also be pleased to find longer term sturdy pioneer caretakers who wanted to construct their own life there for a while !

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We've built several eco - houses and can happily teach about / work on various kinds e.g. rammed earth, sandbags, recycling, earth plastering, whitewashing, bread ovens. There are fifty fruit trees so there's work on pruning, irrigation, planting. We can work and speak in Spanish ( or French, or Japanese, or of course English, but maybe Spanish is best...?! ). workawayers cook together - Spanish or shared recipes, tapas, drinks. You can get to see a great but tiny working village in the mountains, away from the tourist coast. And two previous volunteers are getting married and four more are now couples. Just saying. Don't need to get married. Also eight of them have come back to stay at various times.

  • Help


    The farm always needs whitewashing, gardening, hedges and trees, irrigation, irrigation, irrigation, wood cutting, tree felling, strimming... Most of this is common sense but we'll teach anything you want to learn more about. We have worked on the tiny house, and workawayers learnt about building techniques - clay straw walling, earth plastering, lime plastering, gravel foundations, adobe, rammed earth, rocket stoves - they chose to some extent, and it's all easy to learn. We'll keep doing that as you like

    We're very happy for people to stay here for free by themselves, if they're willing to show some energy and initiative when they work with us first.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Spanish, French, Japanese

  • Accommodation


    The existing but slowly-falling-down farmhouse is an odd mix of brilliant and basic. There are three bedrooms with beds and bedding, and a simple common kitchen and sitting area, terraces, toilets, swimming tanks, and and and other things beginning with t. There's unlimited and lovely camping spaces. There will be firewood, a stove, water from a spring, some 12v electricity, phone chargers, gas for cooking, solar shower, rocket stove... It's a 15 minute walk from the village down a dirt track. There are also many books and CDs there. Usually we try to have a handful of volunteers there - we give a basic budget for food and leave them to themselves to cook etc - there's a kitchen. And a wood fired pizza oven. Also an Estonian sauna house ( thank you Alvin and Ann-Liis...). It creates an interesting social life. It's an excellent introduction to the good and bad of off-grid life.
    There's occasional access to showers, laundry, 240v electricity in a house in the village.
    If you are there on your own, you look after yourself, but we pay any running costs for the farm

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    You can easily get by public transport to Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba, Madrid is a few hours away by train. There's a train station in the village, a bus to the market town of Ronda every day, we're good about giving lifts if we're there. The walking and birdwatching is outstanding. It's a typical tiny mountain village, very friendly people, though with a strong local accent... It's not not not exciting party life; very very placid, easy going, open-ended. We've lived here off and on for 25 years, hosted parties for 200 people here, built several houses with gangs of different volunteers from Oxford professors to actors to Japanese lost souls to international school students to American football players... We have a good idea that if you're not learning and enjoying, then it's no good for anyone, so we pretty much always try to make things work for everybody ! And we offer a stake in the enterprise - if it's worked, we give you a voucher for a couple of weeks use of the place any time for you or friends.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 251889422485