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-- in 2020 , we're not hosting anybody at Vrede Rust --
Hey, it's us, Lin and Alef. Ah, and let's not forget our two kids Indi and Jona (6 and 4 years old). For the past 4 years we have set up a homestead just 10 kilometers east of Amsterdam. We baked bread, set up large veggie patches, made cider from our apples and pears and generally turned an old abandoned farm into a paradise for people, animals and plants.
Our old wooden farm house is located in Muiden, a tiny town just 10 kilometers East of Amsterdam. Apart from the house itself, there is a big barn, a nice and cozy workshop and two accommodations that we regularly rent out to paying guests. The field in the back of the property faces a 12th century castle, a national monument that we frequently visit. We use the pasture for our sheep and our horses and if it's windy to fly a kite with the kids.
It all started 6 years ago when we were still living life in the fast lane. Myself, I'm a typical example of a college dropout turned entrepreneur and my wonderful wife Lin was a scientist (infectious diseases) and compensates for me with her double MSc. and Phd. degrees. We took a temporary sabbatical and had our first baby.
After some traveling we decided that we really liked the simpler lifestyle and being able to spend time with the kids so when we got back to the Netherlands we settled down on the farm we're at right now. It's supported us and our family for so long and in such a good way.
Winter 2019 marks the end of an era. Due to various reasons we're moving to France early 2020. We'll likely set up a new project there so keep an eye out for any updates.
In the meantime, we're cooking up a plan to have Vrede Rust continue as a community-supported heaven for people, animals and plants. This will also include opportunities for Workaway stays, although it's still unclear in what shape or form.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Well, we really like sharing the Dutch way of living and very much welcome all cultures from all over the world at the breakfast/lunch/dinner table. For us, it's like we're travelling ourselves a little bit ;-).
The area we're in is very typical for Holland: polders, flat lands and (occasionally) lots of wind.
We speak Dutch, English and Italian, so if your idea is to improve either one of those languages, that's also something you'll take away.
We've ran a vegetable garden for quite a number of years now, so we know what we're doing. But then again, if you have tips and tricks or are a master gardener, you're more than welcome to share your knowledge! Other than that we bake about 10-20 loaves of bread on a weekly basis (all sourdough with local flours), totally by hand, which is something I'd gladly teach you as well.
Last but not least, if time permits, we'll take you out to some of the sites around the area that are not very well-known to tourists.
Sharing the local and simple life, that's what we've been up to here at Vrede Rust.
There's always farm chores going on such as weeding, baking bread, caring for the animals, harvesting, processing, et cetera. And on top of that there's a big list of projects we've been up to in the past few years.
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ We've recently built a mobile chicken coop
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ We've built two cabins for guests mostly from scrap wood
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ We've created a hop patch and planted it
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ Some 300sqm vegetable garden has been created over the course of 3 years
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ There's a publicly accessible terrace including vending area we've built
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ We've completely renovated the outside of the main house
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ A rainwater collection system and pump was installed in 2017
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ Renovation of the greenhouse was done in 2016
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ Built a solar dehydrator
There are three accommodations. If the cabins are in use, you'll sleep in the big bedroom in the downstairs area near the kitchen. But, if that's not the case you'll be in one of the two cabins. One is in the barn and one if outside in the orchard. We rent them out on AirBnB normally and they both get 5-star reviews, so you'll sleep like a king ;-). You'll be totally immersed in the family, so you have access to all areas in the house as well.
We try to live a healthy life, spent lots of time in the kitchen, bake our own (sourdough) bread, cook from scratch, using fresh ingredients where possible from our own garden. If in season there's fresh fruit directly from the orchard. It'd be great if you can add to our healthy lifestyle and bring your own recipes, tips and tricks!
In terms of surroundings, Muiden can't be beat. We're just 10 kilometers east of Amsterdam. By car it takes about 15 minutes to get there. The train leaves from Weesp (a 10 minute bike ride) and takes 20 minutes. The bus stop (with departures every 5 minutes) is situated just on the other side of town and brings you to Amsterdam in about 30 minutes. You can also take one of our bikes to cycle to Amsterdam (which will take you anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes depending on how fast you go ;-).
The small village of Muiden is very historic (it's older than Amsterdam) and right in our backyard we have Muiderslot, one of the most famous castles in The Netherlands (built in the 12th century). There are also several cozy bars and restaurants in town and a small variety of shops.
We're 5 minutes away (walking) from the center of the Muiden and we're in a polder with plenty of birds, cows and sheep around. The polder is (as much of the Western part of Holland) below sea level and protected by a dike. Beyond the dike (offering a nice walking trail) there's a large lake called the Markermeer. If you like water sports you can take out our kitesurfing gear and cycle to the local (small) beach (10 minutes) to get turn some kite loops (by the way, only for people that have proven experience with kite boarding ;-).
Last but not least, if you're inclined to get in touch with us please mind the following:
1. On diet; while we have a very health diet, I have to mention that we are NOT a gluten-free household (the freshly baked sourdough bread has lots). Breakfast is porridge with some added fruits, lunch is typical Dutch with sandwiches with cheese, jam, peanut butter and when available some salad or tomatoes. We do try to eat as local as possible, so there's no avocados every day ;-). Do let us know if there's any dietary considerations, that way we can accommodate.
2. We take on people for a period to 10 days to 3 weeks. We feel this works best for us and alternate having people over with relatively quite periods in between.
3. If you're interested in staying at out place, we do a Skype call to get to know each other a little bit and only then confirm a stay. We feel this makes all the difference in making the right decision, not just for us, but also for you.
4. Amsterdam is near and having lived right in the red light district with its numerous coffee shops (that don't sell coffee) we understand the city has a certain number of attractions you won't be able to find anywhere else. We understand you will want to go into the city, but don't expect us to party on with you (we have kids you know ;-) and... we have an absolute zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drug use on the property. Also, we are a non-smoking household and cannot host smokers.
5. We will ask you to leave a copy of your passport upon arrival (we have a printer so can make one for you). We like to have some info on hand in case of an emergency.
6. We have two kids almost 4 and almost 6 and there's usually more visiting throughout the week. 80% of the time kids are happy and smiling but occasionally things are not moving along smoothly for an hour or so. Kids cry occasionally. We just want to let you know that our kids do too :-).
7. We will welcome you as part of our family and we expect you to act like that too. This means we try to share meals as much as possible but if you're out for the weekend or evening, that's of course fine.
8. On cellphones; we try to limit cellphone use in the house as much as possible. No cellphones and screens are used in the entire house, except for one small area in the side kitchen and of course the private quarters. Why? Well, we can talk about that when you're here.
9. We have spent time on presenting ourselves in as much detail as we can on workaway.info. We expect you to do the same, so if you consider getting in touch with us please make sure you have a complete profile that tells about yourself, your interests and your motivation to do what you're doing. Also tell us why you want to volunteer at our place specifically. We very much appreciate a personal message.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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