Come to live and work with our off-grid community in the forest, at the foot of the Italian Alps

Country

Italy

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    16/08/2019

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  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    Hi there,

    for the rest of this summer and autumn, we are looking for people who would be interested or even passionate about being part of the rebuild of Karina and Michaels house. Furthermore, we are restauring and adding to an old spring and cheese house, finishing our communal yurt, and renovating a guest accomodation.

    We'd prefer it if people were willing to stay at least three weeks, since getting used to the altitude, the off-grid life and the lay of the land takes some time.


    Check us out:

    Our community consists of several homesteads on neighboring lots of land situated at 800m of altitude at the foot of the Alpes, in the middle of beautiful forests consisting mainly of chestnuts and birch trees. We are 6 adults (age 24 to 51) and three children (age 6 to 11). Out of abandoned moutain farms, we are creating a place of beauty and community where people will be able to reconnect with themselves and nature.
    We are in the process of chartering our project as a non-profit organization under German law.

    We have started 5 years ago, working at creating communal infrastructure and further renovating the old stone mountain farms which 40-50 years ago were abandoned, when cattle farming on the mountains stopped being profitable.

    Our water comes from springs and mountain streams, we heat and cook with wood, and our electricity comes from solar panels. We renovate our buildings using eco-friendly materials as well as traditional building materials and methods. We garden according to ecological principles, even producing and using terra prêta as fertilizer.

    Current projects waiting for your creativity and contribution include the finishing touches on our communal yurte, turning an old spring house into a tiny house for guests, building a children‘s house, and renovating parts of the living quarters.

    Ongoing work that you would also be able to join in includes gathering or making wood, tending the gardens, cooking/ cleanup, shopping, spending time with and/or teaching the children, harvesting chestnuts, cooking preserves, and much more.

    We eat mainly vegetarian dishes, with the occasional meat, fresh fish or sausage. We use dairy products. A strict vegan diet is possible. We can accomodate gluten-free diet if we know if it beforehand.

    We grow a variety of vegetables in our gardens, and shop with local producers for most of our fruit and the rest of the vegetables. At the moment, we try to reduce the amount of food we buy in the supermarket in order to reduce plastic waste even more.

    We are a drug-free community and do not allow smoking on our land, however, visitors are free to smoke beyond our borders - meaning you get to take a short walk when you go for a smoke... ;-)

    We have three dogs, cats and chickens, therefore we prefer workawayers without animals.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Farmstay
    Other
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Help with Computers / internet
    Teaching

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will spend your stay in a beautiful natural environment, with a lot of quiet, pure air, clean water, amazing sunrises and sunsets, lots of sun (though sometimes we have longer rainy periods). There are many animals to be observed, birds, butterflies, bugs, deer, sometimes even snakes or boars. Around us, there is the beautiful Piedmont, with its people and culture.

    You will be integrated into our community, experiencing our culture of honest, caring communication and relationships. This means you will be able to attend our meetings where we share not only about organizational matters, but about what we feel. Sometimes we do talking-stick circles, sharings, intensive days for relationship building, and rituals, like for Solstice. You may be invited to join us if there are birthdays to be celebrated, when we have friends over, or go for a pizza at the nearest village. There may be evenings at the fire with singing and making music, walks in the forest, laughter, lively conversations about the meaning of life and lots of other things...

    Our members are all German, so if you are looking for a chance to freshen up or practice your German, learning can happen as part of the shared, everyday activities - we will not be able to give you language lessons. However, we are fluent in English, so we do not expect you to speak German. You should be able to express yourself fairly well in English. We also speak some Italian.

    By being a member of our community for the time of your stay, you may enjoy a level of true contact a lot of our visitors tell us they miss in their everyday lives. You'll experience a life where most of your activities are immediately meaningful to yourself and to your fellow-community members - first chop wood, then cook your food with it... You might get new insights about yourself, about satisfying relationships and what makes them work (in our experience and cultural context).

  • Help

    Help

    Our rural forest life on the mountain slope offers a great variety of tasks, and that's part of what we love about it!

    4-5 hours of help on five days per week is a great support for us. All of us work on rather flexible schedules, so when your help is needed is flexible, too, and we try to make it work for all of our needs, yours as well as ours. Your days off may not always be on the weekends, but this is something we will discuss, either prior to your arrival or when you are here.

    We could use your help with building, as we are finishing our communal yurt, building guest accomodations, and continue renovating two old stone houses.

    This means supporting work like
    - carrying building materials
    - light demolition work
    - some digging
    - basic woodwork like sanding, painting...
    - help with cob work

    In the area of maintenance work, there is:
    - cooking, food preparation, clean-up, other house work
    - chopping and collecting wood
    - repairing stuff, smaller projects like making a mailbox, a storage box for our garbage, creating a protective cover for our water tank...

    Garden work:
    - digging, watering, weeding, sowing, fertilizing, harvesting, maintenance of tools...

    Depending on your passion, interst and skills, there may also be the possibility of you helping us with some online activities like updating a website, posting pictures or videos, blogging etc. Another possible help would be, if you enjoy it, teaching our children something you are knowledgeable about.

    You will either work together with one or some of us, or be shown what to do and then entrusted responsibility for certain tasks. It depends on what you enjoy and what needs doing.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    German, English, Italian, some Dutch, French, Spanish

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    We will usually try to house you in a way that will allow you a personal space of your own. At this time, we have several options for your lodging, depending on the season or the amount of visitors we have. In the cold season, heating is by wood stove.

    The showers and toilets are located in little huts outside. Our showers are solar and gas showers, the water comes from the streams running across our properties. Our toilets are compost toilets (like the outdoor loos of old, cute little sheds), which for some people takes some getting used to.

    - 3-bed caravan with gas heating/ cooking and washing facility, possibly to be shared with one other person
    - tent sized for 2-3 people (May - October depending on the weather) for your personal use,
    - simple room with bed and wood stove for your personal use.

    We will provide three meals a day. In general, we will ask you to prepare breakfast yourself, since usually, all of us like to have the morning hours to ourselves. However, that is also flexible, depending on the work to do or on the other visitors present.

    We try to have one hot meal per day together, either as families or with the community as a whole.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Fun things to do in the area include:
    - hiking (our land borders on a national park and we are right at the foot of the Alpes, with closer peaks at 2400 m),
    - mountaineering,
    - sight seeing (you will need a car for that, as the closest town is at a distance of about 10km. There are the surrounding towns of Castellamonte, Ivrea, Rivarolo, the great cities of Turin and Milan are at 1.5 and 2hrs driving distance respectively, and our region is famous for its villages with many pottery workshops, and not far from us is the spiritual community of Damanhur with its amazing Temples of Humanity),
    - bathing in some of the cleanest mountain rivers Italy has to offer,
    - shopping at the local weekly markets or flea markets,
    - picking berries or mushrooms,
    - bird watching
    - sitting at the fire in the evening,
    - star-gazing,
    ...

    The nearest airports are Turino Caselle, Milano Bergamo and Milano Malpensa. The nearest train stations are Ivrea and Rivarolo. The nearest bus stop is at about 7km from our place. If you want to be mobile, we advise you to check out rental car offers in the area, which often offer astonishing deals. For a fee, we offer a shuttle service to Turin Caselle Airport and Ivrea train station.

    We ask visitors to agree to our rules and to read our Common Ground (this is only for your information, no need to subscribe to it!) before coming. Most visitors find this very easy and even inspiring.

    One of the things important to us is a careful and conscious use of media devices (tablets, smartphones, laptops). We ask any visitors to use them as little as possible in public. This is because although the digital reality is certainly most useful, we want our children to grow up focused mainly on the real world and people around them, not on the virtual reality available through social media and media devices.

    If you have any serious medical or psychological issues, please let us know about these so that we can assess whether this is something we can support.

  • 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

South side of Casagrande, the main house, as seen from below.
Casagrande, or Main House, in summer.
Solar shower at Casagrande.
The view from Casagrande or Main House down into the Turin plain, southwards.
'Jyoti', meaning 'light' in sanskrit - our communal yurt.
This view is accesible by a 10 minute walk from us.
Our kids are yearning for their own place, and so, we help them build it. Maybe you'd like to help, too?
The 'yome', a cross in construction of both dome and yurt, one of our small dwellings. The snow never stays for long: Too much sun.
Casa ruscello or River House, where the community meals are cooked and eaten.
The caravan, w/comfortable space for 2, has its own kitchenette, and heating.
Casa del bosco or Wood House, where there is a room for Workaway guests. Also a place we plan to do some roof work this year.
Guest space at Casa del bosco.
Another yurt we built at Casa del bosco.
A family home we're renovating this year.



Host ref number: 277738465172