We are Jack (40) from England and Maria (32) from Italy. We met on a musical and cycling trip around New Zealand 6 years ago. Now we are living in Maria’s homeland – the wonderful Cilento National Park – where she works as an architect and Jack works as a writer and musician.
Maria designed and built our house and now we have to make the garden as equally beautiful. We have already planted some fruit trees, flowers, shrubs and annual vegetables, but are very enthused with the principles of permaculture and wish to create a self-sustaining garden that doesn’t require annual planting at all.
The fundamental part of that is creating the right soil, rich in humus. At the moment it is very clay so we need to add a lot of humus and mulch. And then plant the right fruit and vegetables. This is our priority and will amount to 20% of the work, but will give 80% of the results.
We are fermenting beer, country wines, saukraut and other vegetables. We are very close to kilometer zero lifestyle. We buy milk from a lady who keeps goats nearby. Meat from the local farmer. Wine and olive oil from friends who produce it. (Although we are not vegetarians, we don’t eat a lot of meat and cook a lot of vegetarian meals. Vegans and vegetarians are welcome.). We can gather wild plants to eat in the forest nearby, such as hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, horse chestnut, wild edible vegetables such as chicory etc. And collect our drinking water from a spring up in the mountain.
Jack has trained as an Ayurvedic practitioner and knows many lifestyle tips, such as daily yoga and meditation which you are welcome to join in with. Maria has a sailing boat and you can join her on the ocean. While Jack is a racing cyclist and goes on long climbs up into the mountains.
NOTE: If you wish to stay in the area after the placement with us, then that is possible. September and October are wine and olive harvesting periods. We have friends who need help with this and can possibly provide accommodation. Or we could even help you rent an apartment for as low as €200 a month (exclusive) and find work helping other farmers with the harvest.
We are looking for two people, ideally a couple, to come and help us in our garden for one or two weeks in September/October.
This is an opportunity for you to learn life skills from your workaway placements, as well as experience an old style of living in the stunning Cilento National Park, opposite the Amalfi coast.
Our goal is: To create a highly productive garden that is not a time suck,
and do this by preparing the base for soil and planting perennial fruit and vegetables in it.
To achieve this we need to:
• Prepare seedlings of perennial vegetables
• Plan the layout of the garden with design, zoning, wind breaks, watering system
• Make some raised paths and raised beds. Rotate some areas of soil. Create a small lawn area. Build an area for chickens.
• Collect a large amount of leaves and manure from nearby farm and forest
• Plant seedlings and saplings
• Plus any other ideas and suggestions you have
We would work together on the garden in the morning and afterwards you’d be free to go and explore. But as we are living together it would be more like a shared communal experience where we make food together, visit friends and explore. So we are ideally looking for an open-minded couple of similar ages who we can learn as much from as we can teach.
English, Dutch, French, Italian
We have a large spare bedroom downstairs in the house with its own bathroom. You can have the use of a tandem bicycle of scooter to go out and about and visit local towns and sights.
The Cilento national park is a very interesting area. If you’re the outdoor type then it has everything you could imagine. Whether it’s hiking, biking, rock climbing, swimming, exploring, the area has everything. Just Google ‘Cilento’.
The Mediterranean diet originated just down the coast and when you are with us we can share tips for a sustainable lifestyle. The garden is already producing food.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
5 hours per day 5 days a week