Located in Morawaka, Southern Province of Sri Lanka and a 3.5h drive from Colombo, our 35 acre property is unlike any other. It is certified organic (converted into organic farming in 2002 and certified by recognized experts in 2012) and maintains a biodiversity that is rarely seen. Over the years we have reintroduced hundreds of indigenous species to grow amongst and alongside our crops, which include tea, pepper, cloves, coconuts, cinnamon, fruits, ayurvedic medicinal plants, and a variety of nutritious greens and food for the kitchen. The beautiful grounds provide a unique experience to anyone interested in agroforestry, organic farming, and permaculture.
The wildlife that surrounds us has a vital role in our own ecosystem and includes monkeys, snakes, a great amount of bird species, monitor lizards, mongoose, squirrels, rabbits as well as our three loved dogs, hens and ducks.
Our villa, which lodges small amounts of guests, was built in a traditional Sri Lankan style about 100 years ago and has been in the family for three generations. We are also in the process of converting a house at the entrance of the estate into an organic shop/Café where we will offer our own home-grown seasonal fruit and vegetables, spices, tea and coffee, as well as a place for the local community to gather, show artwork, and engage in meaningful discussion. Simultaneously, we are working on a project in the village to educate and motivate the community to separate waste and dispose of it in a systematic way.
Our vision is to use locally and regionally available resources to demonstrate the viability of living an organic lifestyle which supports the health of our special ecosystems, and our rural communities. By growing nutritional and medicinal indigenous plants to feed our communities, and distributing value added products abroad, we feel we can provide the example for others in our area to achieve food and financial security. This vision is a continuous work in progress.
We believe that sharing this passion of ours can develop into making Sri Lanka fully organic.
If our cause resonates within you, you are most welcome to join us. Please message us addressing the following topics:
- Tell us about you and your passions
- Why would you like to join us
- What skills can you offer that can make our project grow
- What are you expecting to learn from us
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
The benefits of staying with us are many. Learn about:
- Organic growing practices and permaculture farming by working in our grounds.
- Growing and harvesting tea.
- Edible, medicinal, and practical uses of Sri Lankan plants.
- Opportunity to learn about the ayurvedic plants we grow.
- Buddhism and Hinduism by immersing yourselves in our lifestyle or visiting the local temples.
- Local wildlife by spending time at the estate or visiting the rain forest.
- Treacle tapping done by our workers on our kithul trees if it is in season.
At this stage of the project we are seeking dedicated, passionate, and self driven volunteers to move three important aspects of our project forward, please let us know which of these you are interested in:
1. Organic Shop
We are preparing to open an organic shop on the property near the roadway where we will sell our own fruit, juice, tea, coffee, and milkshakes. We are seeking help to conceptualize, organize, and get the shop up and running. Once open the shop will be managed by a local employee.
This task will include duties such as:
- generating a plan of action to attract the relevant customer base, marketing etc.
- determining specific products to sell, and profit/loss concepts
- harvesting and processing fruit and other organic produce from the estate
2. Organic Crop Gardener
Our small garden is an invaluable asset to our workers and guests, and we are striving to grow as much food for our operations as we can, with some extra to sell in the shop. We are seeking native food crop seeds which have fallen from popularity (but are in many cases much more nutritional than the common carrots, cabbage etc) to fill our garden beds and our kitchen, and to share this knowledge with the community.
This task will include:
- helping to source native crop seeds from throughout the island
- managing the crop production from seed to harvest
Gardening/farming experience is necessary.
3. Indigenous Plant Library
After many years of this land in conventional tea production, we have been replanting a forest of native trees and under-story for 25 years, and are continuing to source important native species to regenerate the soil, and establish a living library of Sri Lanka's indigenous ecosystem to preserve these species through rampant construction and deforestation of the rain forests.
Duties will include:
- identifying and documenting existing plants in our forest
- sourcing and acquiring additional species throughout Sri Lanka
- interacting with local plant experts through the university and outside resources
- continuing to expand our forest ecosystem on the property
Organization and excitement about plants will be required.
Other Ongoing Projects -
- Online marketing:
Someone to help us make our cause more visible online, promote our products and keep our online profiles updated.
- Handiwork / Carpentry needed:
We have stockpiled some beautiful branches, dead trees, and lumber, and would like someone with a vision to craft them into elements which accentuate our nature-centered ethos, i.e. archways, furniture, sculpture etc.
We are looking for people who are passionate about preserving nature and genuinely interested in our project. We are only willing to take volunteers that will proactively engage in our daily tasks but we can assure that the exchange will be worthwhile.
We have one room in a separate little house next to our villa and in front of our beautiful garden. The room has two single beds with mosquito nets and a fan, a private bathroom with a shower. Another room will soon be available to house additional volunteers
Food includes three traditional Sri Lankan meals a day or occasional western breakfast, using whatever available organic produce grown on site, with two tea breaks during the day.
Other domestic responsibilities:
- Cleaning of the own accommodation is your responsibility
- Clearing up after your meals is required
- Clothes washing: a basin will be provided for self-use
- Recycling: We separate all our waste and make our own compost
- Shoes: We ask all guests to leave their shoes outdoors
- Alcohol and drug consumption: best if avoided
Places to enjoy inside the estate’s premises:
- Vast garden and plantation (you can go for a walk, a jog, a tree-hugging session…)
Morawaka is a wet zone bordering the Singharaja Rainforest. Its rainy seasons are between May and June and October and November. However, due to climate change this can vary and we have even had droughts. The rest of the year is a combination of sun and rain. Temperatures vary from 20 to 30 degrees. The main income source in the area is from agriculture (tea, paddy fields, cinnamon, spices, herbs, toddy and treacle).
Places to visit close to the estate:
- Singharaja Rainforest (20 km drive): A world heritage site which features waterfalls with nice bathing spots.
Tours can be arranged.
- Getabaruwa buddhist Temple: One of the most important places of worship in the Southern Province.
- Paddy fields: Witness rice farming techniques.
- Waterfalls and streams to bathe in.
- Udawalawe National Park and Southern beaches are a 2-3 hour drive away.
- Getting around: by bicycle (which we can provide) / local bus / car.
- Local buses: frequently available from and to Deniyaya, Galle, Matara and Colombo.
- Morawaka bus stop: departures are in front of our gate / arrivals are 250 metres walk from our gate.
Specific things to pack:
- Sports clothes to work outdoors
- A raincoat
- Mosquito repellent
- Gardening gloves if possible
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Work hours vary with projects.
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