We have a beautiful, working olive tree farm in the Ligurian mountains where we grow perfumed roses, golden helichrysum and aromatic herbs, which offers stunning and unspoilt views all around. We are looking for people ideally with experience of gardening and a love of plants to help us with this big project, including repairing some dry stone walls if possible.
We are 15 minutes drive from the picturesque village of Dolceacqua and 10 minutes from the natural swimming rock pools of Rocchetta (usually a bit cold for swimming after October). We are also only half an hour to beaches either here in Italy or across the border into France- the Cote d'Azure coastline of Menton and a bit further on, Monaco and Villefranche. We are one hour from Nice airport and half an hour from Ventimiglia station.
We are in the process of creating a small psycho-spiritual and trauma healing centre using the land and roses as a resource for this and have plans in the next years to complete the vision if funds become available and depending on what is happening globally.
We are Sofia and Ardhan, living with older female little dog called Chammy and a new bouncy male Spinone puppy, in a small, open plan house with three cats who live outside in the organic gardens. We are preparing a space for 4-6 chickens and have a fun vision of two lamas joining our family soon if at all possible.
I moved here eleven years ago on a soul's journey and Ardhan was inspired by my vision and joined me as a co-creative partner, eight years ago. We are passionate about dietary health, physical, mental and emotional well-being, shadow work, spiritual ecology, mysticism, metaphysics and the role of the Sacred feminine in evolutionary consciousness.
Whoever comes will experience more than just the physical aspect of working and seeing the area, they will come away with many personal gifts and inner growth. Nature and the wild animals and insects are part of this but particularly the pets who can be amazing mirrors and teach us so much. We would like volunteers who have a shared vision to us and are interested in their own personal and spiritual growth as well having a love of nature/animals and the sacred spaces we are creating here, what’s happening in the world and their connection to it, as it's fun to share this together and be in resonance.
Whilst we hope to be a healing centre in the future, for now we need help and aren't in a position to offer any kind of therapy or paid work during your stay, as we are looking for reliable, stable and practical help on the land to help us managing and weeding all areas of the land.
We are truthers standing for body sovereignty and freedom of choice ..... so this piece of heaven, is a mask free zone in every meaning of the word. We hope that people who come, trust their own immune systems and Mother Nature to take care of themselves, even during these difficult times and this sovereign stance ensures a level of resonance with our own way of thinking.
So if you love being immersed in nature and quiet, this place is stunning but it's no good for you if you are not used to land based living, are not practical or are going through a personal crisis. Fundamentally we need people who are physically fit (the land is steeped and terraced) because this is outside land work and requires that you have good health and stamina plus love being outside as we do. If all this feels like you, then we welcome you applying.
Land and buildings maintenance
Dry stone walling (a wonderful bonus if you have a natural talent as Ardhan does!)
Rose, helichrysum, oregano and lavender harvest May, June and July for home distillation
Olive Harvest (likely November/December though weather can be unstable- usually we do alone)
Strimming the land, clearing ivy on terraces
General gardening and vegetable gardening
Teaching us Italian would be great too
I.T. help is always great as well (with Apple computers)
Occasional dog walking or sharing in house duties- cooking/cleaning ie when raining (not priority)
In exchange for 20 - 25 hours of work per week with two 2 days off, you will get to live here with us in one of our fully furnished cosy yurts or one of the caravans. We provide all food but we cook only once a day for lunch. On days off you are asked to cook for yourself having taken what you need the night before or obviously if you go out to sort a packed lunch etc. We prefer a break from cooking responsibilities in the evenings and on rest days as we have other commitments to deal with, though this isn't a hard and fast rule.
Guests will make their own dinner (we give you food and you can pick fresh herbs/salads) and we will prepare lunch each day for a shared meal - breakfast you do yourselves. You have an outside kitchen with fridge and gas that you can use up on the land and near the yurts. We provide vegetarian food usually fresh from our garden and/or from local organic shops and markets. Let us know if you have any special dietary needs so we can talk this through with you when we speak during an interview.
There are outdoor cooking and washing up facilities at various places on the land, as well as natural compost toilets and hot water showers. This is rural living and although mostly sunny, be prepared for the occasional and rare possibility of rain and mud as we are in the hills. Equally in the hotter months of July and August, mosquitos can be bad when working outside at dawn and dusk so come prepared. During winter and cold/dark months we would negotiate over cooking in the house and of course you can have occasional use of our downstairs bathroom but we rarely entertain volunteers during this time.
In very hot weather like in June and July, we have found it better to start early at 6.30am or 7am, finish around noon, share a lunch together and rest in the afternoons (ie 4-5 hours work each morning). This is particularly so with the rose picking as the petals need to be harvested before the sun gets hot and they lose their oil content. For going out in the afternoons and days off, the nearest bus stop is 1.5 miles away, and whilst it is possible to walk to the rock pools it is three miles away and uphill on the way back. We do have our personal electric bikes that might be possible to use to go to Rochetta for example occasionally. Buses don't run in the evenings and it's hard to find a local taxi.
Helpers must be nature and animal lovers, non-smokers, and have personal travel insurance. We are up a winding road which is beautifully quiet, so this peace needs to be something you enjoy and especially if you come alone. The majority of the help we need is outside on the land so you need to be agile and fit. Cleaning/cooking/dog walking is on the bottom of our priority list. If you are coming as a couple which works really well here because we are more isolated and yet it's a romantic setting! Ideally we need the combined skills of manual labour and some gardening experience, willingness and ability to bend down and plant when we collect the roses. Also not to be squeamish about insects as they are everywhere pollinating or eating the roses in particular.
We also have a plan to restore an old rustico hidden in the woods to make it into a special little chapel so if you are creative and interested, this might be a possibility in the near future.
Days off, we ask that you are happy to chill out in your yurt or up in our beautiful group room space which has stunning views….or pending spare time, we can sometimes drop you to the rock pools or Dolceacqua. It's all very chilled and easy. There is an infra red sauna as well for occasional use.
We do have internet in the house but we use cables to avoid WiFi. We can also plug in to get Wifi and this works in the caravans, the top group room and seemingly in the yurts as well.
We are English, I speak intermediate Italian, Ardhan basic. Both of us basic French only.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Sofia and Ardhan
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We (Sofia and Ardhan) are in the process of creating a sanctuary for psycho-spiritual healing. We want in due course to restore a small rustico into a chapel so help might be required for this too.......! We are passionate about dietary health, physical, mental and emotional well-being, shadow work, spiritual ecology, animals as healers, dream work, mysticism, metaphysics and the role of the sacred feminine (and therefore the sacred marriage of healthy masculine/feminine together), in evolutionary consciousness.
Ardhan is fabulous with wood so if you have woodworking skills, you could help him with this with creating or maintaining simple structures like wood stores, shelving and compost toilets.
Whoever comes will experience more than just the physical aspect of working and seeing the area which is stunning, they will come away with many personal gifts and inner growth. We have a beautiful group room where you can do you yoga in peace each day or just to relax, meditate and chill. There is an infra red sauna room for two people as well which can help after strenuous work and to de-tox generally that can be used occasionally.
We would like volunteers who have a shared vision to us and are interested in their own personal and spiritual growth, what’s happening in the world and their connection to it. Love of the land is important as we are in a beautiful spot for walking and enjoying the peace and stars at night. However, despite our spiritual and psychological interests, we fundamentally need people who are physically fit because this is outside land work and requires that you are practical and enjoy being outside immersed in nature and have good health and stamina. We have taken on a big project and really need support to bring it into fruition this year in particular! Can you help us do that please?!
In exchange for 20 - 25 hours of work per week with two 2 days off, you will get to live here with us in one of our fully furnished cosy yurts which have a fire, fridge and an air conditioning unit or in a caravan. We provide all food (only lunch is cooked for you) but on days off you are asked to cook for yourself having taken what you need the night before or obviously if you go out to sort a packed lunch etc. We prefer a break from cooking responsibilities on rest days as we have other commitments and health issues to deal with.
In the summer months, guests will mostly make their own dinner (we give you food and you can pick fresh herbs/greens/salads) and we will prepare lunch each day for a shared meal - breakfast you do yourselves. You have an outside kitchen with fridge and gas that you can use on the land. We provide vegetarian food usually fresh from our garden and/or from local organic shops and markets.
Helpers must be animal lovers, non-smokers and have personal travel insurance. We are up a winding road which is beautifully quiet, so this peace needs to be something you enjoy and especially if you come alone. The majority of the help we need is outside on the land so you need to be agile and fit. We would also love to learn more Italian if you are Italian and up for this and even better if you have Apple computer skills to help us oldies improve as we have recently had to upgrade with the usual complications to sort.
Cleaning/cooking/dog walking is on the bottom of our priority list. If you are coming as a couple which works really well here, we ideally need the combined skills of manual labour and some gardening experience but equally we will need some time this year to re-paint the railings so this is simple and straightforward for anyone. Some of the work requires strength like streaming the grass on the land in the summer, moving stones for repairing dry stone walls and digging so please be prepared.
We are above 60 years old and whilst fit and working outside, we have to take care having an auto-immune condition. For the rose harvest, the petals need picking earlier in the morning before the sun rises to keep maximum oil content.
For the olive harvest periods which we usually do on our own, we ideally do things differently as the olives need to be picked quickly at one time so we will do 2-3 full days i.e. 8-6pm and then rest for more days to balance the hours. We will have a hearty meal at about 1pm hopefully in the warm sun. If it rains we can't do the olive harvest for obvious reasons.
This host offers a language exchange
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You will get to live here with us in one of our fully furnished cosy yurts or caravans. There are compost toilets and hot showers on the land nearby as well as two outside kitchens but if the weather is cold or wet, you are welcome to use our inside bathroom and can occasionally cook inside. Internet is available in the caravans and top group room but not in the yurts.
Days off, we ask that you are happy to chill out in your yurt or up in our beautiful group room space which has stunning views….walk, read, write, do yoga or pending spare time, we can also drop you on some days, not always, to the rock pools at Rocchetta or down to Dolceacqua village. It's all very chilled and easy but it is a long walk down to town and back. We do have two electric bikes that we might lend to you as well. There are buses from there to Ventimiglia and trains from there to Menton in France but they don't run after 7pm in the evening so this needs coordinating so we aren't playing taxi every day. Hence why it's good if you are also happy to chill and enjoy nature and you aren't expecting to go out touring daily as even though it's only 15 minutes down to Dolceacqua, if we have to drive you down especially, it's half hour round trip, twice ie an hour taxi journey each time. If we are going anyway, it's easy but still we will have to collect you when you return so this needs to be thought about if you want to come and enjoy a stay here.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We do have space for smaller campervans as the road up to us is quite narrow but ok.
We've had couples with a dog before which worked well. If you have a dog please enquire, there is no set policy on it bu with three cats and a more timid dog we need to be sure how this would work.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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