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We need all kinds of help at our off-grid place in the National Park of Sierra Nevada, Andalucia, Spain.
Now is walnut harvest time.
We are at 2000m of altitude in the National Park of Sierra Nevada, full South facing, sea views available, even Africa on the right day. Half an hour forestry/mountain track and then 15 minutes to the nearest village by car.
Mountain farm, mainly walnuts (160+), with other fruit trees having been planted, and more to plant over the coming years...
We have 5 horses, 4 dogs, 3 cats, a donkey and chickens.
The Community also acquired 33ha in the previous valley, with some ruins. A lot of rehabilitation to be done.
We moved here in 2011, with the farm having been dormant for the last 15 years. The farm is now up to comfortable all year living standards, completely off the grid. We have our own water supply from several springs that never dry up and use solar and wood for energy.
We are a couple, speaking half a dozen languages as we are Spanish, Swiss and British, having retired here to La Alpujarra after a rather active life around the world.
Our two boys are grown up and live in different countries.
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
The place is very quiet, and would definitely please those who wish to take time to read, walk, spend a relaxing time on their own within a pristine nature environment.
We do not provide social entertainments, but obviously share our experiences with those interested.
Isa is happy to assist people in practising or learning Spanish.
Yoga and meditation are practised daily.
There is a large water tank that can be used as swimming pool by those courageous enough to brave mountain water at it's freshest. (In summer, it's really great!)
There are also two mountain-bikes available, and the access forestry track is easily managed, running at an average 2000m altitude with tremendous vista and various wildlife.
We have two big dogs and four cats with us.
We have chickens and five horses.
We wish to receive people who can offer around 4-5 hours a day, six days a week of all kind of help managing the farm. Hours to be flexible, due to the local weather conditions along the year and farm necessities. Obviously this implies house chores shared by all, including ourselves.
We strongly suggest that people with respiratory issues do not apply during the summer season as there are a lot of pollens and dry grass.
Following some unfortunate experience we now ask volunteers not to smoke during their stay, indoors and outdoors. If this is not possible, then please do not come here, it will save us all some hard feelings. Also as we use septic tanks, no strong antibiotics should be used.
Obviously seasons will dictate the work. We feel that 4 to 6 weeks for a stay is a good amount of time, depending on the work needed to be carried out. Shorter is not practical, and longer stays could be negotiated once we know each other better.
We request a minimum stay of at least four weeks, as any trip down the valley is a 100km round trip.
We offer comfortable accommodation, (a communal mezzanine of 20sqm for volunteers, or outside tent), with own kitchen, wood stove/oven, heating and shower room. Food will be provided and cooked according to everyone's needs. Isa cooks the main lunch, breakfast and supper are prepared by the volunteers for themselves from the provided food. We tend to bake our own organic bread and cakes, and benefit from the exceptional freshness and quality of the local fruits and vegetables down in the valley. We try to go down at least every ten days for provisions.
For internet, volunteers need to have their own dongle or 4G enabled mobile. We have limited satellite access that can be used for emergencies.
We wish to stress that electricity comes from batteries, and needs to be used efficiently during cloudy days.
MOST IMPORTANT: as we know by experience, volunteers tend to write to many hosts at the same time and often do not answer positive offers they receive, so, until CONFIRMED you are coming, we can accept other offers, that could cancel our offer to you.
Those who wish to join us have to be prepared for weather changes and bring appropriate clothing and footwear. We are at 2000m, and do experience some weather flukes, but rare. Insurance wise we request that you are fully insured as Spain is rather protective with their Social Security system. EU nationals can request the blue card from their own NHS. There is no transport available besides ourselves, and any round trip will take around three hours. So our travels have to be time and costs effective.
We therefore strongly advise people to consider if they can manage living in remote conditions and deal with that for the duration they wish to be with us. Also during the summer months, allergic to pollen or other hay fever triggers and insects (bees, wasps, spiders, flies etc...) should not visit us.
We are a mountain farm, so it is imperative that you understand that some physical work is required from you, with a little initiative for the various tasks. But nothing extenuating.
Finally, until a volunteer confirms his or her commitment to come here, we could accept other offers and cannot guarantee a place.
According to all that visit here, the place is really exceptional. Obviously as we have chosen to live here, we tend to agree.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
The farm is just under 4ha, so there is space for parking.
We have 2 mastifs, 6 cats, 7 chickens, 5 horses. The two mastifs are over 7 years old, two females, a bit territorial. So depends on the nature of the pet. Three mastifs just born.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 6 days a week
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