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In this time of the year we check emails and pc just once a week, be patient please!!
IMPORTANT NOTE OF THE MOMENT:
We do feel concerned like most people on the planet about how the Pandemy of Covid took away many lives, directly or indirectly. Among the big changes it brought we see an increasing violence and separation and violation of many of the basic liberties stated in the state's and international civil laws and human rights. We don't support obligatory medicalization and vaccination or whatever colour PASS that limits the freedom to travel and expand out knowledge and experience. If you don't agree rather than having discussions we prefer to avoid it in advance.
Beside farming and nature lovers we also appreciate VOLUNTEERS WITH SKILLS ON PHOTOGRAPHY, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING, WEB DESIGN..of course we'll be also picking grapes and olives and working in the veg garden!
IMPORTANT: PLEASE read ALL our profile, if you like the kind of work we are likely to be doing, if you're ok with contributing to the community's expenses and so on..JUST THEN CONTACT US!
ESPECIALLY WELCOMED VOLUNTEERS THAT HAVE PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE IN FARMING AND LIVING IN COMMUNITIES AND THAT CAN STAY MID-LONG TERM FROM 3 MONTHS TO 9 MONTHS
MINIMUM STAY IS 3 WEEKS, except in summer which is 2 weeks.. We will anyway give preference to those staying for longer periods.
IMPORTANT: IF YOU'RE SEEKING A PLACE WITH RESIDENCE PERMITS FOR YOUR ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP PROCESS WE CANNOT HELP AND CANNOT HOST ANYWAY YOU IF YOU ARE NOT WITH A REGULAR VISA OR DOCUMENTS TO STAY IN ITALY ALL TROUGH YOUR STAY.
Those that can stay longer periods will be preferred due to simplify organization and deepen the experience. Of course we All have to feel comfortable between each other!
BRING YOUR SLEEPING BAG FROM OCTOBER TO APRIL! WE HAVE BLANKETS BUT YOU'LL APPRECIATE YOUR EXTRA WARMTH!
We are a farming community and not an Ecovillage but we're mostly between 4 and 12 at the table!
Our general working programs during the year are:
-managing our market bio-intensive veg garden (when it's not muddy around the garden!)
-general maintenance of the project, structures, lanes, water systems, swales, ponds
-building wood houses when we find the right people to help building!
-find out new stuff to experiment!
Our base jobs are:
- pruning and grafting Citrus in MAY-JUNE and SEPTEMBER
-pruning other fruits between JANUARY and February
-picking Olives in OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
-picking Lemons from end of OCTOBER to MAY
-picking Blood ORANGES from mid JANUARY to MARCH
-spreading manure and compost fertilyzers in WINTER and SPRING time
Veg gardens work is all year long in our climate, there's always smtg to plant, sow or harvest!
Our ideal guest knows something OF THOSE THINGS:
-previous experience in farming, outdoorlife and food producing and processing (cooking!!)
-feels good when with plants, animals, and in a natural environment
-being sociable and happy to share
-BUILDING WITH WOOD OR OTHER MATERIALS
AND MORE THAN EVERYTHING....WORK IN GROUP RESPECTING THE OTHERS AROUND, THE OTHER VOLUNTEERS AS MUCH AS THE RESIDENTS, CARING FOR THE tidiness of the SPACE THAT HOSTS everyone AND RESPECTING THE EFFORT THAT WE all make TO MAKE ALL THIS wonderful living experience POSSIBLE..
SELFISH, NOT SHARING, PARTY ANIMALS AND LAZY CHEAP ACCOMMODATION SEEKERS BE AWARE! We take our life seriously and it's really a effort to be open and nice with all the different people that arrive here, we all have to make the effort otherwise this way of travelling and farming doesn't really suit you...
we also prefer people which are not obsessed by things like:
-sugar / chocolate
-butter / fat
-deep fried stuff
if you want to buy those items you can do it on your free days and keep it for yourself.
We cook in turns, we clean all the space once a week together and everyone is responsible of his/her own space and things!
Other random things we plan to do in the next period are:
-building new chicken coop
-building lanes around the property with gravel and natural cements to avoid winter muddyness
- dig ditches swales and ponds
-clean from weeds the veg garden
and so on...
-there's no public transportation on Sunday and limited on Saturday and we can't come to pick you at the airport or in Catania town center so please check the dates before booking your flights/trains and so on...
Once you confirm your stay we send u a pdf file with the directions to the farm, from the town we will come to pick you at the nearest station don't worry!
-We don't have WIFI, but nowadays it's cheap and easy to buy a sim card in town for your phone
And now let's talk about our project..is one of the main HUBS of the Sicilian Permaculture Network, and the main HUB in the area of CATANIA, and is well known as a model for being one of the most productive and farm oriented projects, obtaining yields and still being a center of active learning and non-formal education for volunteers and other farmers approaching this method of farming and living..
The original Arab channel used for irrigation gives the name to our project, it carries water and gives life with it, from it's presence and from it's sound comes out our aim.
For us it's a conscious choice of life.
Blessed by the welcoming presence of the river and by the changing colours of nature.
A choice of sharing places and elements.
A tiny group of people that looking outside and inside of themselves, choose the land as a space for confrontation.
A place for experimentation between new and old techniques of Permaculture and natural/organic farming.
There are moments of hard work, of quietness, heavy summer sweat, soft music and long sleeps.
We need Help and we give Help in our everyday life teaching and learning, harvesting and sharing, farming and living.
Accommodation is provided in the "Hosts trailer" where you might be alone or sharing the space with other guests depending on the moment.
Food is vegetarian mostly from our gardens.
Our products are 100% natural/organic but we buy some products that we cannot produce from local market and local producers.
Must remind that our project started in June 2011 from an abandoned orange orchard and we're slowly changing it into our little organic paradise..but since we are not a big farm and we basically don't make enough profit out of our work to sustain all the people that come and go and in Italy we have quite a good amount of taxes to pay..we have a shared money box from which we pay the food we cannot produce (cereals, beans, coffee, sugar, cheese and so on..), electricity and gas bills and so on, so that a small contribution to the common expenses (about 3euro per day/ 20 euro per week per person) is asked.
At the moment living here is :
SALVO (almost here all the year) , linguist, social worker and permaculturist farmer, fond on meditation and reggaeton, he bought the land and works permanently here;
CLAUDIO a friend from Firenze that decided to set up in our project his Spirulina Production and live here a part of the year here during the Spirulina season from March to October and travel in the cold months when the algae sleep in the aquarium tank!
NURI, Salvo's 7yrs old son, that spends here a part of the week or some longer periods depending on school and holidays!
A number of volunteers that is already here between 1 and 4 depending on the moment (we cannot update this data every week!)
Our guests as we said previously will sleep in our nice (heated in winter )caravans where we as well have been living for 3 years and some of us still live in, you'll also have a space to chill out or eat on your own if you wish or with the other guests called the "Casetta", our first experiment of natural building in bamboo, wood and cob.
PLEASE make also sure to mention in your mail WHEN you want to come (as specific as possible) and for HOW LONG you would like to stay, and how much you like babies and animals.
When you write us, PLEASE don’t send us non specific host group/bulk mails, but take a little time to introduce yourself, who you are, why you would like to come and WHAT YOU CAN SHARE with us with regards to volunteer work but also with regards to skills and knowledge, and what you can bring to the community and what personal projects you would like to bring-share.
PLEASE, only write to us if you really want to come here and you know you CAN come.
Once you commit we expect you to come.
Please don't commit and then don't show or postpone.
The running of the project relies on people coming when they say they do! It causes us a lot of difficulties when we do not have the right amount of people. I know things change in the life of a traveler, but please do not commit to us if you can't stick to the date.
We are not a hostel and 'see how it goes' timing unfortunately does not work for us.
Please honour this.
Hope to meet you soon!
It's all about water and leaves.
Other than humans, we live with 3 cats, chickens, ducks.. so be careful if you have allergies or terrible fears of those above! there might also be mice, little snakes (not poisonous), gekkos, lots of frogs and toads!
Especially welcomed experts in building with wood and other natural materials, good cooks, pruning experts and so on.
Please bring seeds of your local vegetables and trees, willow and poplar cuttings if you can to increase the bio-diversity of our place!ESPECIALLY AVOCADO SEEDS FOR A NEW PROJECT that we carry on a different land more near to the sea...
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
in our project you will learn:
-what Permaculture is and how to live out of farming
-learning the tecniques of Market Gardening - bio-intensive faming
-how to grow your own food
-how to grow and use Spirulina
-how to cook the food that you produce and how to store it and preserve it
-how it is like to be living in a small farming community
-how to harvest, prune and care of fruit trees and vegetables
-how to elaborate good quality compost and fertilizers
-how to feed the soil in order to feed humanity
-how to swim in a pond
-how sweet blood oranges can be!
The volunteers will help us in our everyday tasks, learning what we know, and teaching what we don't!
The ideal volounteers would be mature, open-minded, self-motivated, don't mind spending time alone or with few people, want to experience the life on a farm, self-sufficient, truly interested in learning about farming, not opposed to give a helping hand now and then if needed.
Our hosts will sleep in our nice (heated)caravans where we've been living for 3 years and have a space to chill out with the other guests called the "Casetta", a good experiment of natural building in wood and cob. you might be alone in your van or sharing the space with other guests depending on the moment(don't worry it's nice and charming!) or choose in theHot season to stay in tents wherever they like to put it in our 1.6 hectars piece of land..among the orange trees or down under the sun, or by the river..it's up to you!
keep in mind there no public transportation on Sunday and limited on Saturday and we can't come to pick you at the airport or in catania town center so please check the dates before booking your flights/trains and so on...
Please be very carefull when you book your flight to arrive to "Catania Fontanarossa Airport" and not "Comiso Airport" which is really far and poorly connected to Catania.
Also be sure, if you want to reach us straight and not be stuck in Catania because of the lack of public trains and buses, to arrive to Catania from Monday to Friday and between early morning and early afternoon (4.30/5 p.m.) otherwise you might risk not to find a way to reach us on that day..
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host can provide space for campervans.
More than two
depends on the task! max 25 hours, 5 days a week
In developing countries (Where most hosts are involved in charity work or community development) some of our hosts may ask for a small donation to help the host family or charity (often less then 5 dollars per day) Workaway will allow this listing when the donation goes directly to the family or charity and is just to cover the cost of the volunteer‘s stay. (This will be clearly marked on the host listing).
We will strictly not allow listings posted by agents, “middle men” or projects who we feel are looking to profit from a volunteers stay.
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