We are looking for some help chestnut harvesting, Umbria Italy



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    We live on a hillside with a view down a valley & woods all around. We follow the seasons, planting and tending the veg patch in spring, growing vegetables, harvesting, olives and chestnuts, keeping chickens and Bees. Life here for us is a mixture af nature and creativity, art, ceramics and architectural making projects. We need helping hands throughout the year as the cicle of life turns.. It may be preparing ground, planting tomatoes, collecting chestnuts or olives, making preserves, bringing in wood, building, cleaning the house or much more.

    In the Autum we are looking for help for the chestnut season. In late Summer with the upkeep of the garden, vegetable harvest, and jarring the tomatoes or chutney and other general garden and outside work. Now, and Spring I am finishing constructing a Loggia / stone porch, doing some finishing work in a small apartment when it is cooler. I also wish to do some heavy work clearing rocks from a ruin and stabilising the remaining walls but this is not the main project. I like to balance work and mix it up so that we chip away at the heavy stuff and feel inspired with the more creative. Who needs a gym when one can put energy to good use in beautiful outdoors?!

    Our project to create an Artist Retreat started in 2008. We have nearly finished with the restoration but are constantly developing new elements and projects. We have had much help over the years and shared many experiences and made many friends and connections through workaway. Some 40 plus workawayer have stayed with us over the years.

    We are, Marcus an Architect, Lucy an Artist (in our mid 40's), Lola a joyful little soul who is 8, a cat called Berty who arrived out the woods, two younger cats, a duck, and 5 chickens and a Cockerel.

    We are 10km away from a town of any size, we go in 2-3 times a week, including most Saturdays, which is the main market day, but we try to avoid too many car journeys (one car). So you need to be the kind of people that are happy being in nature, walking/cycling, reading, making art and just being or baking! There are bikes, if you want to explore the hillside or visit a village about 5km away that has a shop, a small bar and some things to see.

    Food wise, we are not vegetarian but do not eat much meat. We are taking life back to first principles, producing as much of our own food as we can or source it from our the local market.

    Life here is a mix, low tech hands on working the ground and having fun being creative .

    We hope to hear from you

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Babysitting / child care
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    As a helper here you have the chance to get involved in a homestead, semi self sufficient, semi off grid way of life.

    What you will be involved in here at any time of the year are things that are happening across much of rural Italy at the same time. Whether that be planting or preserving tomatoes, harvesting chestnuts or olives, or preparing the garden and house for winter. making bread or you can ask for a lesson in pasta making and if we are many, and you are a real foody and experienced cook you can take over the kitchen duties. So you will find genuine Italian experiences that you cannot buy as a tourist, you can only truly experience them by living, working and doing them.

    We are developing and improving our system all the time and like to share our knowledge and experience with, and learn from our visitors. We believe in reciprocity, being resourceful, environmental, working with the seasons, nature's diversity and beauty, peace and tranquillity.

    There is also the potential ART lessons between harvesting or jobs.

    We are both very technically capable in practical making and have skills, building, sustainability, architecture, back to basics as they say- Cooking, a very creative life.
    We are on the doorstep of Leonardo Da Vinci and Pierro Della Francesca.

  • Help


    In 2020 we need ta hand to build a roof for the loggia. It is a small shelter or porch made of stone and wood, and Marcus has done quite a bit already but it is the last thing we need to do to our house and we just need a hand as incentive to get this done. Help makes all the difference. We have all the raw materials and skills but a hand to get it done would be great. People with experience in building is ideal, some muscles necessary. We will be constructing the small roof with wood and terracotta surced locally and pointing the stone work eventually. That is done very rustically and can be done in a day or two easily.
    We need help with the chestnut harvest then Olives starting around October and into November, chestnuts lasts a month maximum. You need warm clothes , layers, hardy shoes, as chestnuts are prickly. Even gloves if you have them! There are beautiful views and tasty food guaranteed! Walking outdoors picking chestnuts, competing who can find the biggest one! and then philosophical debates as we sort them! Good coffee, good house, healthy work! Environmentally sound.
    Our working day is flexible with a mix of the primary projects and smaller fill in things. There are painting jobs or gardening, take your pick. We generally get going after a cup of coffee and a morning chat at 8.30 - 9 although it can be earlier depends on the heat of the day. ...and occasionally we need house sitters for Summer trips away or Easter.

    We like people that are flexible and go with the flow rather than trying to be rigid with a program. Sometimes we do work things at the weekend but then sometime we take a weekday to go out and about on a trip.

    We welcome visitors into the house as friends not hired help. In that exchange , we ask that you muck in with food preparation and tidying up (we do have a dishwasher and quite a few mod cons to help)
    We also ask that you respect our home and tidy up after your selves and kept it as you found it, or tidier!
    Otherwise in giving help you create new work for us.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, and Italian quite well

  • Accommodation


    Rustic farmhouse, with lovely country views of Umbrian woodland hills, with walks all around.
    It is a blend of traditional with modern quirky creative interior.
    Wi-Fi in most of house, NO Television.
    Good showers, clean comfy beds
    Dish washer and washing machine.
    The water is heater by sola panels or a Wood burning boiler, so sometimes in winter autumn, if the sun is not out or I have forgot ton to light the boiler at the right time there can be a delay.

    For the summer months you can also camp in tents in the terraces for a beautiful view and more 'closer to nature' experience, you can't beat the sounds of nightingale, swallows and deer on your doorstep in the morning!- frogs and fire flies, wild boar, and porcupines and wolves at night if you are lucky!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The best way to contact us first is Email, WhatsApp or text. During travel and meeting up use Texts to mobile phone which is often better than calling due to poor reception at the house itself. There is a place we put our phone that we regularly check when we are expecting news.
    Getting here:
    Plane to Perugia Airport; Pretty easy to pick you up from there. OR
    Plane to Pisa airport or Rome; take Train to Arezzo Station or Perugia Ponte S. Giovanni ; either we pick you up, 40min drive for us or... From Perugia Ponte S. Giovanni you take a train/bus to Citta di Castello. From Arezzo if we are busy to pick you up there is a bus opposite the train station to hop on, destination San Sepulcro or Citta di Castello. you get off at Le Ville or Monterchi (be careful not to miss the stop!) and we can pick you up from there; a 10 min drive for us.

    Picking you up from Arezzo- Depends how far you have come how late you arrive, what day it is and how tired you are! (an Ice cream or coffee stop on arrival at Arezzo train station always a must for a tired traveller.)

    From Pisa Airport there is a train to Arezzo with one change at Florence MSN.
    (check Trenitalia.com for train times, and best to print out your journey to make it a lot easier when you are travelling)

    Citta Di Castello is our nearest town, we are 1km from the Tuscan border near Monterchi next to a little hamlet called Prato. See our website for all this and more details.
    Change of clothes useful for mucky work, sturdy shoes. Wet in November.

    General; water in Italy is in shortage in the Summer so you have to use it mindfully, we also heat water and get electricity from the sun so we understand it's worth and also use it with care. We are a pretty resourceful family!
    Hope to see you soon!
    Time off: Walking, films, chats, reading, painting or cycling in time off. Weekly trip into town sometimes more if shopping needed. Visits from friends and neighbours. (No bus into town.)
    It is important you communicate your needs and ask lots of questions by email before you come (and during your visit if you are in need of anything), so you are clear about what to expect and so do ask any and as many questions or clear any worries away that you may have. We also tend to keep it quite open so people are freer to leave if they feel like it. But sometimes people ended up staying much longer than they intended!
    We tend to fill the day working and eating and chatting, also making time for you to go for walks or have some free time, also the weekends are for you to do as you wish.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Flexible 5 hrs 5 days a week

We also have 2 double rooms, this is the bunkhouse
Look at the beatle!
chicken house next to veg patch 1 early Spring
garden view
View from window early morning Autumn

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Host ref number: 349435264241