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Important: we are just looking for persons who are really, really interested in helping and learning about goats, farming or construction. We ask volunteers to stay at least a month. The reason is that is a lot of work (and time) for us to explain all farming procceses and daily routine, and also for you to adapt to daily routine.
But of course if you are a proffesional independent helper that wants to give a hand in any aspect of the farm (cheese maker, constructer, farmer ...) then is not a problem to stay a shorter time. And of course, volunteers that want to stay longer than a month in order to get more knowledge are very much wellcomed. We are also open for visits as long as they are independent and we dont get extrawork.
Buenos dias we are Juan (1975), Paz (1977) and our children Clara (2015) and Mario (2017). Juan is a shepherd who studied Forest technical engineer and Philosophy. But he made all kinds of works during his life. Paz studied Architecture, but she has been all her life working with medicinal plants, destillation, perfums and garden healing. We began our project on March 2012 when we found a piece of land to plant our seeds and raise our animals. The place that choosed us is full of ancient culture, but the last 50 years abandoned. Since we came we've been reconstructing most of the ruins into stables, houses, restoring all fertil places as terraces (the place is similar to machu pichu :-) and cleaning the old chessnuts forest that is above our houses.
We came here to recover and expand the native forest and the fertility of the land, using traditional ways of working with animals, plants and constructions, having the biggest respect with the nature and LEAVING BEHIND US A FUTURE MORE FERTIL AND SEEDED THAN CONSUMED. Our philosophy is that the trees we plant now are going to feed the next generations and so on. So we have already planted over 500 fruit trees, over 1000 for reforesting the mountains around. Plus many medicinal-aromatic plantations. We work on ethnobotanic giving a meaning to all the plants that grow around us.
Respect for the earth is our fundament, and the best reward we get is to see fertil places grow. We dont consider ourselves an ecologic farm, WE FEEL OUR SELVES ONLY LOGIC, because we do what is been done since always, but now people call ecologic.
We are also not a profesional farm! We dont make money out of this, we just have animals because is the reason to close the bio-cycle in the area we are renewing.
At the moment we have over 40 animals donkey, goats, sheeps, mainly. Our main income cames from teaching in schools and villages, and some markets.
In our farm we are completing a bio cycle with water, plants and animals. We water the Fields (grass-hay) where will grow the biodiversity plants (medicine) that provide health to the forest (our food and wood) and the animals (poo or food of plants in the garden...our food also)...the animals shit all around fertilizing the Fields again. This circular system increases the fertlity every year to the land and give the best quality and flavour to the milk and the cheese. Giving health away give us health inside in return.
The farm is very much up in the mountains, 3.5 km from the village, in a wild place. Our houses have very long views at the front that is south (we see Portugal!). At the back of the houses the mountain protect us from the north winds, surrounded by many streams, waterfalls and a native forest. The place is like a little paradise!!
Many streams are borned in the valleys sourrounding the house, so all water is much pure and suitable for drinking.
*January 2020: a fire burned the house of volunteers...so we have been all year working on reconstruction and now is finished and improved
They eat outside everyday cleaning and recovering the old ways that nobody used for a long time. They will eat the best food an animal could eat...fresh plants from the clean mountain. They will bring back all the precious compost. Necesary for our gardens.
We are also now in a experimental program from the government to study the impact of goats on the vegetation to avoid fires.
The other places
We also have an old house in the village next to the farm (10km) and several separated lands around the village where we grow other kinds of fruit trees that dont grow well in the mountain clima. So we can be from time to time working and/or sleeping in the village if you like to join. During the week Paz and the children stay more at the village (workshop of Paz and school) and Juan is everyday up and down. Normaly thursdays till sunday we came all the family up to the mountain to work together
In the farm we produce Solar energy at 12v, just as the cars (the plugs are like the ones for the cars) Also solar hot water shower (sunnydays) or night bath tub between fire and stars (see photo)
Best wishes and thanks to all of you helpers of the nature, helpers of the world.
...and may the goats follow us
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We like to work with people, teaching and learning, showing and explaining everything what we do. So we all learn from each other and the work has a meaning, samething to be enjoyed. Our farm is a rural life school, everyday we work different disciplines that involve the land life. Our goal is that if you came to learn at least one month, you get an idea of what a basic family farming could be.
Herding goats is normaly a slow process learning, takes time until you conect with goats. And of course needs first to know the place around (orientation) to have information (to make strategic ) and to feel the animals (goats are very empathyc). If you are interested to learn we will give you support, but you need patience.
Also milking and cheese process can be learned when you REALLY show interest in this fields and of course, when the goats have milk.
To make the cheese I dont need help, but if you are very interested i can invest my time teaching you, while you invest your time learning and practising.
I dont mind to show how i make a cheese, but if you want to put your hands on making cheese (your old fine cheese, and not just one fresh ) thats not going to work if you dont invest time on this, apart from the help agreed.
Medicinal plants, trees, plants are around, waiting to be learned.
We can help with spanish language, if you want to and show enough interest and effort(study)
We can also teach cooking as Juan was cook over ten years
any other thing you might be interested to learn we will try to help you
Theres a situation that is happening sametimes and i would like to explain carefully. When sameone says is interested to learn all what we do, or miliking, making cheese, garden or any aspect from the farm, is fine for us, but first we need our time of help around the farm. Because happens that same people complain because they say they are making extrahours. Well, is very frustrating for us to be giving so much time to people that may dissappear in one week, going without real knowledge, and dont even know what brought them to be between goats.
I want to transmite this feeling, but also transmit that we love to teach, explain and exchange. But the help we need still the same, so you will be spending more of the 5 hours agreed, to learn same processes that need maybe more than 5 hours to be learned. And then happens that same people complain. So i will write it here again and therefore should not be anymore a confusion. The necesary tasks of a farm have to be done and this takes between 3 to 5 hours a day (rainydays 1 hour!!!) The rest is up to you, if you want to walk, sleep, do it, but if you want to make a soap, cheese, plant a tree, or give a hand in a goat birth, please dont count it as working hours
One hand in the farm is a time we can use to work and progress other projects we are on.
As we are normaly travelling from the farm to the village (10km) we loose much time and car use. So the real help we find when we save the time/energy of making the daily rutine in the farm and put it into other developed projects.
Thats for us a time exchange.
So the daily tasks are from morning to evening: open same doors for animals after you wake. And put them back in and feed them before gets dark. Check, communicate, I need around 3-4 hours a day to do this, 1 hour car included. THESE ARE THE 5 HOURS OF HELP WE ASK. Could be more, if you are slow.
During the day, you can herd the goats if you want. We dont need help in this aspect, as we normaly put goats alone in the mountains, and bring them back down in the evening.
*Also help with construction is wellcomed. We are high experienced in many types of constructions. We dont need only people who knows, we are here to teach. Only need people who are really motivated to learn and work hard. For hard works (moving heavy material, or intensive working) we make ALLWAYS less hours or we pay people.
*Farming: includes Orchard, Gardens, Greenhouse, Stables...hay making, preparing beds for the animals with wild plants, preparation of manure .... that means Hoe working, wheel barrel, hand work, team work.
*Orchard: always needs hands. Preparing the earth, leveling land with water canals, use different systems of growing, seeding-planting, weeding, harvesting, processing, conserves, dry fruits...
*babysitting or creative play. Our children are supersocial and love to play, paint, construct. We understand that this can be also a hard work if you spend hours being active playing with children. And 3 active hours a day with our children (always with us together) f.e.while helping in the garden, could make the 5 hours agreed. Thats why we wellcome people who have a child inside and also like to play. But please dont consider a simple talk or a small/quick game with a children like you were spending time with the children
This host offers a language exchange
We can help with spanish language as long as we see theres an effort from the pupil
Basic stone house with 2 rooms. 1 has 3 high beds and the other is the livingroom with kitchen. This one is heated by fire. You will have to provide your own wood, but i can the chainsaw and axe. The room beside can get cold at night when fire is out, so bring a good sleepingbag. We have 4G internet and a SIM card avaible for you
Electricity works 12v just as the one we use in the cars.
Theres a place to wash clothes (pile wash) and dry latrine.
Theres a solar shower inside a cabin, only hot when sunny. And a bath tub is heated making a good fire under, in 30min. Is warm
The place is very wild up in the mountains and surrounded by different kind of forests, cliffs and rivers. The little way to get here is narrow and difficult access for wide cars.
Our life is really basic, but enough for us.
Samedays you may only talk sith goats and animals, but the normal thing is that we host more than one person. We are just finishing a second house for hosting more people because the best from learning samething properly is that then you can transmit it to another person. Always with all our support to those who really want to live our our lives, even if is just for one month.
We dont mind people who want to be more independent. When we are at the farm normaly we cook. But probably you will have to cook many days for your self. And if you cannot cook at all we can leave dishes for you when we are not here
Freedays we agree in the week. The preference is to take goats out when is not rainy.
What you may need:
Good boots!! Wellingtons when is rainy
We can provide you of manythings as well.
There are lots of places to go on free days. This mountains are perfect for hiking. We live near the highest point. In 1.30 hours you get to the Top where you can see portugal, very special views. There are also many naturalwater swimingpools+ waterfalls everywhere in any path you take to go for a walk. This place has lot of history and stories. Our house is sourronded by a big lost roman road, theres also an abandoned convent in the middle of the forest!! Of course all is abandoned and can be visited. Celtic culture is all around
The summer is not too hot (around 30*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️) and the winter not cold (rarely freezes)
We habe also a blog with more photos you can request from us.
To get to our place is better to go to plasencia or navalmoral from there you take a bus at 12.50 from monday to friday to coria. Change bus and take the 14.00bus to our village. You arrive at 15.30 and then i can pick you up in the bus stop. The bus Madrid-plasencia-navalmoral is at 8.00 mon to friday
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
aprox. 5 hours, 5 days
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