Welcome to Hosszúhetény! This picturesque village lies in the south of Hungary, in the Mecsek hills.
We are Tamás and Zsanett, two perma-partners who share the same vision of creating a way of life using natural resources as much as possible, incorporating the principles of permaculture. We run a farm where we live, work and experiment. We learn through doing, we like to try anything new, and aren't afraid of going the less simple way.
Tamás started the farm back in 2008, when he bought the first plot of land. Presently operating on appr. 4,5 hektares, the farm has since its “birth” been home to nature-friendly, pesticide-free, non-invasive agricultural techniques and solutions. Tamás set out with the vision of a farm with a living ecosystem, many trees, healthy soil and biodiversity.
The journey towards this vision hasn’t been the easiest: the farm lies on the southern slopes of the mountain, with difficult clay soils that had been drained of much of their lives by the intensive vineyard practices that used to be typical to this area. Another challenge is the saving and keeping of the rainwater on the slopes.
The farm consists of different plots and functions: an elm-based forest garden with fruit tress, presently in the process of natural forestation; an elm-based forest garden using the chop&drop method, which serves as the initiating phase for a walnut orchard; an elderberry plantation; a fig plantation; various mixed fruit plots including pear, grape, apricot, apple, cherry, sour cherry, hazelnut, almond, quince, raspberry; some grazing plots with mixed pasture for our animals. We also have vegetable gardens. We keep animals, allowing them to live as freely as possible. At the moment we have horses, a donkey, rabbits, poultry.
The whole farm is completely free of pesticides and fertilizers. The methods and techniques used are inspired by various alternative agriculture attitudes and solutions, including permaculture, regenerative agriculture, agroforestry.
Our mission is two-fold: producing organic and clean food for the market, and providing education and training opportunities in the subject of clean and natural agricultural techniques and self-sustainability.
We eat a local and seasonal diet. We are meat-eaters within the limits of sustainable meat production. We also eat dairy and eggs and we use lard or butter for cooking and baking. Based on our experiences so far, we have decided to choose volunteers who are willing to eat animal products, if not meat itself. We can do vegetarian, but cooking completely vegan has proven to be just too much.
Our farm lies at the foot of the Zengő mountain, the 682-meter peak of the Mecsek mountain. You will find a beautiful panoramic views, forest, space and fresh air, peace and quiet. But on the days that you feel like getting into the thick of it, you can easily reach the city of Pécs (population 150 000), just 17 km's away.
You'll have a good time at our place if you:
- like to work outside in a variety of settings,
- can work independently,
- like to have fun just for the fun of it,
- enjoy living in a simple way.
We're looking forward to meeting you!
Babysitting / child care
Help with Eco project
You can learn about non-invasive agricultural techniques, permaculture solutions, off-grid living, farming and gardening (mowing with a scythe), rainwater-harvesting, maintenance and construction using natural materials (i.e. basket-weaving, mud plastering, etc.), producing local food, sustainable animal husbandry, herbs, wild plants, etc., living in a system of conscious resource-usage. Learn about horse-friendly communication.
You can learn about and enjoy the Hungarian language, culture and cuisine.
Help required includes:
the chores you can help with always varies with the seasons and our ongoing projects. Examples include:
- grafting of fruit trees
- chop and drop mulching in the forest garden
- creating more small-scale swales (30 cm deep, 50 m long) for rainwater harvesting
- work in the veggie gardens
- making a hotbed for seedlings
- helping with our animals: setting up electric fences, moving the herd in-between pastures, etc.
- planting fruit trees
- harvesting herbs, fruit and making these ready for the winter
- mowing grass (with scythe) and making hay
- building work, reconstruction
- chopping firewood
- playing & doing projects with our children
We expect you to work appr. 5 hours/day, Monday through Friday. The weekends are off. We are flexible about saving up free time for longer getaways.
Volunteers are provided with accommodation and three meals on the days of work. You will have internet access at your accommodation.
Hungarian, English, Dutch
Our volunteer accommodation is a small partly off-grid house with a double bedroom, a simple kitchen with a gas stove, composting toilet. Rainwater for washing, drinking water from cans. There's electricity, with very basic machinery.
There are lots of possibilities for outdoor activities: hiking, biking, horse-riding, etc. Hosszúhetény is famous for its natural scenery, with many footpaths leading through the forests and up to the peaks. There are thermal baths in the region, e.g. Magyarhertelend, Siklós. In Pécs, you can find various cultural possibilities, from concerts to theater. As a university city, there's always something going on in terms of festivals and street-life.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week