The finca, named La Vina Marques, is situated at the upper part of the Cerro Negro heights, approx. 5 km from Orgiva, in the Alpujarra Mountains in Southern Spain, an area where the locals are mixed with people from many countries of whom many have come to settle for a sustainable lifestyle.
The mountains are dotted with small, white villages and many farms, where a great variety of crops are cultivated on the stone supported terraced slopes, originally created by the moors. The geographic settings, with Sierra Nevada to the north and Sierra de Lujar and La Traviesa in South provides a special micro-climate. There is still plenty of water for irrigation. It´s a very popular region for visitors of all kinds and nationalities, and there are many backpackers and volunteers. The old mule paths provide a lot of possibilities for walks. And it´s a region frequented by people searching peace and quiet.
The finca was purchased in 2000 , buildings in ruins, the land in a mess, - totally dry, only olive trees, weeds and shrubs had survived. It had been abandoned for more that 10 years. The main house is renovated now. Also the last part of the ruin, the stables, which will be my little space, is now almost ready for moving in.
The whole estate is run by solar: electricity, hot water and also the heating except 2 wood burning stoves which serve as back-up systems.
There is still a lot to be done, on terraces and areas around the buildings. An outdoor stage is in the making, and an indoor stage is planned. And maintenance is always on the list of tasks.
The land: Five hectars of sloping land, divided in terraces, providing probably the best views in the area. There is a small wood of pine trees and many small fruit trees. Around a hundred olive trees. Two vegetable gardens, and a vineyard. All crops organic. A big water tank on the top of the land feeds into automatic drip feed systems.
I´m Danish, female, mid-sixties, teacher of profession, with music, English and Danish language as main subjects. I worked 13 years with younger children and teenagers in Denmark. In 1992 I moved to Costa del Sol in Spain and formed part of a company dealing with heating, cooling and solar energy. I write and speak Spanish fluently, and like to teach it as well, when time allows. Apart from Danish and English I also understand German and speak some.
Up here, in The Alpujarra Mountains, a new door opens to Real Spain. With my long experience in this country and my interest in language, litterature and history I think, that I´m a sort of bridge-builder between cultures and nationalities. Other things: I have been practicing yoga for many years. I love singing, reading. And to walk in the mountains. The local surroundings are ideal for that.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Solar energy and sustainable construction
Spanish culture and history.
Lots of music events in the area, (organized or spotaneous), theatre, dance camps. exibitions, excursions, open gardens etc. etc. Via "Alpujarrahoy" many of the events are announced.
Exchange of language/culture via other volunteers at Cerro Negro.
The Thursday-market in Orgiva offers connection with all sorts of people
Singing and playing together here for those who are interested.
Volunteers can join in for a yoga session before breakfast
You can practice your Spanish, or pick up the basics during you stay (or your English!)
There are many, and very different tasks pendant:
Preparing the soil, removing stones, weeding, sowing and planting in the vegetable garden
Preparing the soil in two smaller herb gardens, sowing and planting
Removing bigger weeds in the clover fields
Clearing around the fruit trees, and molching with manure, shredded olive branches, cardboard etc
Firewood: cutting, moving, piling.
Rendering the stone walls with cal and fine sand inside the "new" apartment. Whitewashing in- and outside,
Treating of beams, windows and loftbeds with wood protection (resin-based)
Feeding the hens
Cooking and washing the dishes
Sorting out and reorganizing some of the tools and some building materials.
All task will of course be chosen/adapted according to the amount of helpers available at any time and of their capabilities.
The main house, with outdoor, roofed terrace, big salon with a wood burning stove, bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom.
Tents, when the weather allows. Matrasses, eiderdowns, sheets etc. are available.
Transport and communication facilities:
Pick-up in Orgiva on arrival.
Walking to Orgiva is downhill. Takes approx. 1 hours and 15 minutes. Very kind and helpful neighbours. When walking down to Orgiva you can often get a lift.
From Orgiva to Cerro Negro you can take a bus up towards Pampaneira, get off before that, and walk downwards (!) to the finca. (approx. 20-25 min)
Wi-Fi will be connected in a certain time slot every day, and mobile phones can be charged.
We have breakfast together at 9 and a hot meal (mainly vegetarian, meat only occasionally) at 3, with a snack in between
Rest of meals are for each person to prepare. Food will be provided.
Some old clothes are available (overalls, shirts, t-shirts, sweaters, no footwear) can be borrowed during the stay
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host can provide space for campervans.
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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