We are renovating a farmhouse in beautiful Asturias on the north coast of Spain. We are trying to create a retreat centre where visitors can enjoy the peace and tranquility of this area and join us in a simple way of life. We use solar power, have our own well, grow our own food and are off grid apart from the Internet.
We want a lifestyle which is sustainable, and is a part of the local community. As much as possible, we are working with what already exists, reclaiming and renovating rather than building new. So far, we have put in solar power, a bathroom with a solar shower and flushing toilet, and a basic kitchen. We have done a lot of work on part of the house and put in a woodburner so life here is fairly comfortable, particularly in the summer.
We are also working on the land. This is our second year cultivating our vegetable garden. Last year we grew a lot of our own food and are expanding into soft fruit etc. We intend to have chickens this year.
We are retired teachers, we have lived in Asturias for 4 years and we love the relaxed, healthy life here. We are still learning Spanish, but know enough to join in life in our local community. We are Christians, Sunday is a special day which includes going to our local church. We also have daily prayers and you would be welcome to join us if you wanted.
Help with Eco project
Everyone is very friendly, you will get plenty of opportunities to practice your Spanish if you want to. The local monthly exchange market is a very good place to meet a lot of like-minded people from the surrounding area.
The building work we are doing is based on sympathetic renovation of what exists, using recycled and eco-friendly materials. We work with lime mortar rather than cement where possible.
We need help with the buildings and the land. Nobody had lived in the the house for at least 40 years when we bought it so there is lots to do there. Outside we are working on drainage, pathways and fencing. As always, there is lots to do on the huerta: planting, harvesting, strimming and weeding - and, of course, there is always fetching, cutting and stacking firewood.
We are interested in a variety of helpers. Do you have knowledge or interest in traditional building techniques, particularly carpentry, or roofing? Are you more interested in seeing organic food growing and being preserved? Or are you happy to just be the muscles moving big wooden beams, trundling wheelbarrows and digging?
We need help working on the next part of the house - originally animal housing cut in to the hill. So rebuilding and repointing the stone walls and digging out the earth floor are the current concerns. When we have a new floor we need to make and install the stairs. We also need to rescue the beautiful original house which still has a roof but is going to fall down in the next few years if it doesn’t receive some attention soon.
English, Spanish, Welsh
As part of the project you would become part of the family for your stay. We have a stationary motorcaravan available for visitors. There is also a room in the house which is currently a storeroom, but will be available eventually. We will provide food ...
We live about half an hour drive from the cities of Gijon and Oviedo and also from the lovely beach of Rodiles. We are surrounded by trees and hills so its very quiet and tranquil here. The nearest village is only 2km and has two bars with a small shop attached, a bank and a pharmacy.
You are welcome to borrow a bicycle to go to the village or explore the area. The bus service is limited from here but frequent buses and the feve railway go from Infiesto or Villaviciosa, each about 10 kilometers away. We would usually be happy to give you a lift. There is plenty to do in Asturias, surfing, horse riding, walking. The Camino de Santiago passes through Villaviciosa on its way to Santiago de Compostella in Galicia.
In Asturias you are surrounded by nature. The mountains, forests and beaches are beautiful and unspoilt. Many people come to live here because they are seeking a simpler way of life. The Asturian people are proud of their area and heritage. They are also friendly, quick to laugh and party and also very patient with the foreigners who have come to live here and are struggling to learn to speak Spanish.
We share our house with our black Labrador cross, Dora. She is 18 months old, very friendly and mostly well behaved. From the house you can walk for miles through woods and fields and she will be very happy to go with you.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
4-5 hours per day, 5 days per week