I am now well into the second year of an exciting project in the mountains in Tuscany. I have taken on an extremely neglected and rundown farmhouse and surrounding land. I need truly genuinely enthusiastic people to come and work with me. This is a not a place to Holiday Away I really do need volunteers to work away with me towards a wish to become ‘self-sufficient-ish’.
This is not an existing farm and the work is still to be done, this is why I need volunteers.
DIY and building projects
You will have your time off/free time to explore enjoy the surrounding area and improve Italian and English. This is a rural area and there is only a bar in the village so you may wish to venture further away on your days off. Or head to the river just down the road for swimming and relaxing.
I am English and can help you with the English language and culture and I am able to tell you of my experiences in life and here in Italy.
While I share my experiences and knowledge I do hope to be able to learn from you too.
What used to be a beautiful farm has been badly neglected and rundown for over 30 years. As a result most everything needs attention.
Most of the tasks and daily chores anyone with some experience and genuine enthusiasm can do.
Although you don’t need to be a professional, experience is most definitely an advantage.
It can be hard and sometimes dirty work as some of the buildings haven’t been used for a long while.
The next task is with reroofing chicken pens in preparation for Winter. I also hope to begin a breeding program with some rare breeds.
We will be working on a music room and soundproofing the walls is just one of the tasks involved.
We are planning to build a rustic, dog agility course and would love some help with this fun project. But we cannot accept your pets as my chickens are free range.
As you may imagine the work is generally seasonal and varied. It really depends on which month you will be here but with a lengthy list there is literally always something needs to be done.
Some decorating/painting within the house, fruit trees to prune, a vegetable patch plus herb garden to be weeded, maintained and expanded. Stone walls to be repointed, several streams to be cleared, brambles cut back, grass cut, strimming, Lavender plants and fruit bushes to be planted as well as fencing to be put up.
During the next couple of weeks we will be picking apples and pears for storage and also for cooking and freezing.
I have goats, a horse who I ride as often as my free time allows, chickens, roosters,chicks and couple of young cats who all enjoy my attention and are very much part of my family.
Having people helping here with me allows more time to be spent with the animals. Of course you can help me with them should you wish and have at least some experience. Please do make it known you wish to help otherwise I will assume you don’t.
It’s better to stay at least a week if you hope to learn something new as well as giving you more time for exploring this beautiful region.
Days off are always Saturday and Sunday as this ensures I get some downtime too. That said I still have chores to do and will gladly accept your help in preference to you watching me work ;-)
My sincere hope is that you will help with something you enjoy doing while you stay here. You will never be asked to do something you would prefer not to and obviously it will be easier for us both if you have at some previous experience. Unfortunately I just don’t have adequate time to teach people who have never spent time outdoors.
I really will expect that you help out with general household chores in your own time. Cleaning your own space, shared space and yes even the toilet! I will ask that you do not sit on my sofa whilst wearing dirty work clothes or walk into the house with muddy boots and if that appears “arrogant“ then that’s ok.
I am more than happy to teach what I know while we work and I am very specific in my requests. To the point of being called “pedantic” by a previous volunteer. The idea is that my workload is reduced and not increased. There has been significant damage caused in the past by volunteers and this is why I make very sure that you understand precisely what I would like for you to do. It is entirely your responsibility to confirm your understanding or ask for the explanation again and even again. If you tell me that “yes” I understand then I will assume you do. If you mess up I will tell you and perhaps even ask you to do something again. Please be aware that it may, in fact probably will be hard and physical at times and you mostly likely will get aches and a few bruises - but we can (and do) also have a lot of fun if that’s what you wish! Please only contact me if you are genuinely looking for an experience and not just a place to stay - I can tell the difference ;-).
This place is my home and my animals (do NOT under any circumstances hit any of my animals) are very dear to my heart.
Please do ensure you bring appropriate clothing. For example Winter clothing for Winter to keep you warm and cool but protective clothes for Summer. Strong boots are essential to protect your feet. I will provide you with gloves to protect your hands. If we loan you clothes be sure to leave them here at the end of your stay.
My farm is in the mountains and weather is naturally changeable it is also a very beautiful part of the World.
The accommodation may be shared but this depends on how many volunteers are here.
I naturally expect that household chores are done by everyone as a courtesy and not as part of your hours. This includes sweeping and mopping floors, emptying the rubbish bins, cleaning the bathroom after yourself, washing dishes properly and putting the dishes etc away. Probably I forgot something...
I regret I am unable to accept your pets for very obvious reasons.
On help days I will provide you with 3 meals a day. I am vegetarian But am very flexible in the meals I provide. I prefer not to cook meat myself and not in the kitchen but we have a BBQ where you can prepare the meat that would be provided for you.
There is a fabulous pizza/bread oven that I hope to make excellent use of during this year.
Have a look online and see all about The Garfagnana Tuscany.
It’s a fabulous region for being outdoors. I can arrange for you to go horse riding (not my mare) and tell you all about the area.
Transport is easily reached as a bus stop is a few metres away and the train station just a 2 km away. So 30-40 min walk. Cinque Terre, Pisa, Lucca and Florence are all easily accessible from here by train. It is rural here as the farm is situated on the outskirts of a tiny village where there is only a bar and a post office - no shops at all.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
A lot of the work here can be done early morning this would leave plenty of online time. The internet connection is generally excellent but uploading is not something I need so is very slow as I don’t have that facility.
There are plenty of spots for a van and even a tent if you wish. But not your own pets please.
More than two
Maximum 5hrs per day 5 days a week
These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.
Accuracy of profile: