🌱🌿🌳! Hello Everybody ! 👋
3 volunteer positions available from May onwards.
Flexible scheduling but 3 weeks or more preferred.
Thank you for your interest!
// Covid-19 update:
Japan currently has a mandatory 14 days isolation rule upon arrival. We can't accept volunteers to quarantine at our place during that period as we don't have the facilities to allow isolation of an individual with its own kitchen, room, toilet etc. If you plan on coming to our place, please arrange that quarantine period by yourself. //
We are a new hub for local practice of natural farming, permaculture and food forestry*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️
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 depending the season we may have many requests and it takes us a while to sort it out.
We have a rotating teams of workawayers, around 3 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, 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).
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
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.
During the weekend we play board games. Terraforming Mars, Root, Concordia, Gaia project, Funkenshlag are the current favorites. If you have Magic cards, bring them, we can play together.
I'm currently going to Japanese school on Thursday morning 9.30am in Nara. You might want to join this class too.
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 am 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, 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 (urgent!), fix and paint some walls, install an aquaponic system (planning and installation, not only the theory) and build a hen house, AtoZ. 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 like to keep a house clean and in order let us know. We need an assistant for helping the family tasks. Our parents need help for some house cleaning tasks, clothes washing, cooking etc. If you can help us, we are willing to teach you some Japanese vocabulary and Japanese cuisine. You need to enjoy cooking 5 times a week and keeping things clean.
If you are a professional Vegan/Vegetarian Chef you should apply and teach us new recipes (at least one new recipe per week for a shared meal). We'll ask you to take the lead and prepare something with seasonal vegetables. We cook with herbs or spices that are not ordinary including Japanese traditional ingredients, many of those growing here at home. Please send us pictures of your favorite recipes & bring some 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 Facebook page. At the moment, we need an update of the wordpress/woocommerce website, app design related skills, content marketing creators, server set-up, experts of crowdfunding & Kawaii character designers particularly.
If you don't have any of these skills but a genuine motivation plus the will to serve a cause bigger than any of us then: You can apply to help in the garden and the house, make things go faster and smoother until we have a working local food bio-machine! Please enjoy the given tasks, enjoy our delicious homegrown food, and do your best!
Chinese (Mandarin): Intermediate
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
!! IMPORTANT, NO ARRIVAL ON FRIDAY OR SATURDAY !! Please plan ahead and do your best 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.
We are having breakfast and lunches together on helping days, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. At least 3 times per week you'll be asked to help cook in a tandem volunteer team. For the other meals, we provide rice we bought from a neighbor, some cooking oil and garden herbs. If the volunteers want some other special food they should sort their groceries and cooking by themselves. There is an affordable supermarket just 5min from our house with our bicycles (if they are not used by the family guests,) 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. We also like to cook classic Japanese or fusion style food. The food we prepare is various, we like to eat good food.
If the workawayer is an epicurean like us and that he/she wants to share wines and/or European cheeses, please consider participating to the costs.
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, just tell us in advance so we can organise the grocery and cooking accordingly.
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, waste precious working time 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.
When we are in the garden: Give energy and do your best to archive the missions at a reasonable speed. We don't want to constantly monitor you to make sure you apply the instructions correctly and at a good pace. This volunteering is a great occasion for workholidays in a privileged place (300 years historical Japanese manor) so please don't take one of our very few gardening positions from someone much more focused and motivated.
Also, don't take it personally if you are given a task that doesn't fit your main competencies and go for it enthusiastically. Tasks vary and program can change according to the weather or the moon but there is always some weeding or cleaning to do at some point. 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 (passport) so that we can make sure who you are, plus a copy of your personal insurance.
Personal insurance is mandatory. It can either be provided by your credit card or a traveler type insurance. Finally, we are not an employer 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 may need to contact you for a short phone interview or at least make a simple connection a few days before you arrive here.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Super high speed, limitless wifi internet access + one desk available. (Doesn't mean you should mobilize the whole bandwidth 24/7... We share the line with the other members of the family and the other volunteers, especially at night... thank you for moderating your dls especially if it is from free sharing platforms)
Plenty of space to park your camping car just outside the main door.
More than two
~5 hours a day (sometimes 5.30h), 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
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