Help with a permaculture project in the ancient imperial city of Nara, Japan

Country

Japan

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    Last activity

    19/08/2019

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  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    🌱🌿🌳! Hello Everybody ! 👋 NEW AVAILABILITIES:
    3~4 openings from October, flexible scheduling but 3 weeks or more preferred.
    October to Dec workawayers will be decided between now and the end of August.
    Every other spot before the end of September is FULL, thank you for your numerous applications!

    We are a new hub for local practice of natural farming, permaculture and food forestry*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️
    At the moment, it is not a company/npo, and we don't have a website beside a fb page,
    It is a family project looking at a big picture.
    Humanity is facing the global 6th biodiversity extinction, we are acting to preserve what we can while educating the people about resilience and the natural ways to grow local food.

    We will read your mails and may answer something straight away but please understand that we currently have many requests and it takes us a while to sort it out. Specialists have priority.
    When we do reply, please acknowledge our email and follow up!

    Thanks!

    ///

    We have a rotating teams of workawayers, around 4 at the time, usually 3 weeks or more, all joining to help us build a sustainable, constant food supply using some natural techniques plus some root enhancement science.

    Jerome is teaching the basics of companion planting and soil management.

    A “Food forest” system is a farming method aiming to plant vegetables, fruit trees and berries in an intricate way that minimizes the recurring efforts while maximizing the food availability.
    Our objective is to share the knowledge of "Food Forest" making and management to workawayers, guests and friends living here or just passing by. The garden/forest already acts as a biodiversity reservoir and will gradually grow on 7 levels for maximum yield, in the middle of Nara old imperial city, and less than one hour from Osaka and Kyoto by train.

    Join us! Help us grow and learn to plant a food forest in your garden too!

    Example activities: Companion planting and guild making close to perennials and fruit trees - Multiplication of plants by cuttings, seed harvesting, potting and replanting - Bamboo forest management - Tree pruning and wild bush uprooting - Soil protection and enhancement aaaaand selective weeding.

    *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️We are not official practitioners of Permaculture per se, but are adhering to the philosophy and trying our best to evolve towards its principles. Minimal or no till, organic farming. We like to follow the lunar calendar too (biodynamics).

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Farmstay
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Language practice
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Our family is Japanese (my wife and her parents) plus me, a French man with international background. You will learn useful things about natural farming and what are the steps to build a resilient house. Don't hesitate to ask questions. Depending on what you are interested in you could also join some of our weekend music/food expeditions around Osaka/Kyoto. I'm currently going to Japanese school on Thursday morning 9.30am in Nara. You might want to join this class too.

  • Help

    Help

    ANYONE serious and with good ethics can apply as long as they are willing to dedicate 25 hours per week to this project.
    The main mission is early morning 6.30am to 12 with two fifteen minutes break, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The fields are just outside the house and there are possibilities to be in the shade at some point. After we finish, if you are interested, you can help with some intellectual things like planning the planting plan or designing the space evolution. It's outside of the minimum hours, it is not mandatory but any help is appreciated. If you are committed please offer some help!

    If you have landscaping, permaculture, forestry skills it will be useful because we have some extra land that needs to be planted with fruit trees and an adapted plant guild. We will organize it the best way possible and with the maximal plant interactions. While the trees and bushes are growing, we will plant annuals. If you can, please read about permaculture so you can participate actively and give us suggestions especially about fencing and plant positioning.
    We can provide some study material if you need.

    If you are good with renovation tasks, there is a lot to do. We plan to setup a water collection and drip system, insulate roofs, paint some walls, install a led assisted aquaponic system and build a hen house. We have a lot of sorting and cleaning of house equipment to do too. If you have knowledge about that let us know.

    If you are a Chef with Vegan / Vegetarian meals practice, you should apply, learn and experiment with us how to make new recipes that will be served in your cuisine (once a week for a shared meal). On your turn if possible we'll ask you to take the lead and prepare something with the seasonal vegetables. We sometimes cook with herbs or spices that are not ordinary, so it will be a nice place to experiment new recipes. Please bring some new vegan/vegetarians recipes for everyone to try.

    If you are willing to help us in making an attractive online presence, please take pictures or short videos to share on our future wordpress website and Facebook page.

    If you don't have any skill in particular but genuine motivation and the will to serve a cause bigger than any of us then: You will help in the garden and the house, to make things go faster and smoother until we have a working local food bio-machine! Please enjoy the given tasks, enjoy the food, and do your best!

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Japanese, French, Italian, Chinese, some German, some Spanish, some Portuguese

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    !! IMPORTANT, NO ARRIVAL ON FRIDAY OR SATURDAY !! Please plan to arrive here between 2.30 and 5pm on Sunday.

    Staying with us in Nara, you will get to experience the Japanese life the traditional way, in an old house with some paper doors, tatami, futon and Japanese garden. We have a fully equipped renovated guest apartment with a separate shower, toilet and kitchen, within the walls of the 400 years old property with Japanese garden.

    Helping days meals are free, the workawayers will eat with the family Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday lunch. At least once per week you'll be asked to cook the shared dinner in a tandem volunteer team. On Thursday, Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, we provide rice we bought from a neighbor, some cooking oil and garden herbs. For the rest of the food, the workawayers need to sort their groceries and cooking by themselves. You can go grocery shopping about 5min from our house with our bicycles, through the rice fields. It's a beautiful scenery. We like to cook vegetarian and Vegan meals and try to have at least half of our meals at least vegetarian. It's good for us and the Planet. The rest of the meals, we cook classic Japanese or fusion style food. If the workawayer is an epicurean like us and that he/she wants to share wines and/or European cheeses, a participation to these expenses is encouraged, let's enjoy together! The food we prepare is various, we like to eat good food. If you stay for a while and are OK to participate in the grocery purchase sometimes, for exemple when you are preparing a shared meal, we will appreciate it! It's not an obligation though.

    If you want to go out and explore the region during your free time just let us know the day before. You don't need to stay for every lunch or dinner, just tell us in advance so we can organise the grocery and cooking accordingly.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Nara is super central in the Kansai region, so you will be able to travel very easily to Kyoto, Osaka or Kobe during your free time. Our place is about 10~15 min by car/bus from the Kintetsu station.

    About messiness/personal hygiene: Japan is a well organized, ordered, conscious country. You must be able to maintain personal and shared space in good shape at all time. Some participation in the house day-to-day cleaning chores is expected but not more than a fair share. On Tuesday afternoon we do a bit of more specific house cleaning, mostly commons like kitchen and bathroom. It won't take more than 2 hrs per week. Observe, ask questions, and please give us feedback if something is missing or wrong. Personal guests are not allowed in the house unless agreed with us beforehand.

    If you consider or know yourself as a messy or inattentive person, if you are used to stop half way or are sloppy with the missions given, do not apply because it will quickly lead to frustration on both sides. We will do our best and provide you with the best so we expect reciprocity. We are not willing to deal with either lazy or confrontational temperaments, It either flows and everybody is genuinely happy about sharing that time on this planet together or it won't work.

    If on the contrary you are passionate, respectful, clean, joyful and want to experience life in Japan with a friendly family, don't wait anymore, please send us your details & tell us what are your skills and what you want to do!

    When you arrive here, we'll ask you to provide some personal identification info so that we can make sure who you are, plus a copy of you personal insurance. We are not a business so you don't need a working-holiday visa to stay with us.

    Please insert your phone number or social network contact in your mail as we will may need to contact you for a short phone interview or at least make a simple connection a few days before you arrive here.

    日本で会いましょう!

  • 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

    5 hours a day, 4 days a week, in the morning / +1 and half hour cooking per week / +20 min kitchen cleaning after shared meals / +2 hours house cleaning once per week. Flexible but regular. Total ~25 hrs

Nara's famous Tōdai-ji is 10min from home
Hanako's parents
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Host ref number: 255375748687