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We live in Aragon in rural Spain on a finca producing almonds olives and grapes. We are members of the local cooperativa where we sell our olives, we produce our own wine with our grapes and sell our almonds locally. We enjoy life in the peace of our finca but we also get involved with the local community. Our son goes to the local secondary school and my husband works for a Spanish company in IT. We moved here over 6 years ago and run a 10 hectare farm using natural methods.
At harvest times we can accept up to 4 workawayers in 2 separate rooms. One has a double bed and a single, the other a double bed setee.
We live in an area where there are not many foreigners and Spanish and a Catalan dialect are the main languages. It's a chance to see the real Spain in a rural location. There is plenty of opportunity to practice Spanish if that is what a workawayer wants. We tend to speak English in our home because that is our native language. Conrad goes to a local school so his level of Spanish is high. He is quite happy to chat in Spanish or English!
We try to make our "footprint" as small as possible. Our electricity is from solar panels, (backed up by a propane generator), our water is from the local balsa(which is supplied from the mains) and our heating is by a wood burner from wood from our trees.
Workawayers will experience a slower pace of life in stunning surroundings. We have plenty of wildlife to see, such as hoopoos, polecats, eagles and foxes. In June we hear nightingales! There are many local fiestas which if you want you can get involved with too!
We can accommodate 2 workawayers to provide general help on our finca. At harvest times we can increase this to 4 or 5 if needed. We are continuing the irrigation of our land in order to improve our harvests. At the moment one hectare is irrigated.
We farm organically as much as we can and we are hoping to get the accreditation for our olives at least. At the moment we don't sell our grapes but once we have irrigation this may change!
The almond and grape harvests happen in Sept/October and the olive harvest around December to early January normally so we would especially appreciate help around these times. At other times of the year we prune our trees and collect the wood to burn in our stove and heater.
As far as food is concerned, we normally take breakfast in the morning, usually cereal and or toast and a cup of tea or coffee before we start work.
If we are doing harvesting we normally stop for a short break mid morning and then have our main meal around 2 or 3 and our son gets back from school at 16:30. Our evening cena we normally have about 8 or 8:30. However if a workawayer wants a different routine, we are flexible.
In the summer the heat means we don't work in the middle of the day. There is just general maintenance work to do at this time.
Almond harvesting takes place from September onwards depending on the help we have and how big the crop is! We have 1,000 almond trees so sometimes we have to call in a tractor with a shaker to at least get the almonds off the trees.
For the olive harvest in mid December we aim to make the most of daylight hours, which at that time of year are 8:30 until about 17:30. We do not expect our workawayers to work these hours though! We can agree exact hours when you arrive. But the more help we have, the easier the task is! In an average year the olive harvest takes 2 weeks. Harvesting is not unduly physical. For the olives we have a vibrating machine which "tickles" the olives off the tree onto large mats which we place under each tree. These are emptied as necessary into our trailer. Once we have a full trailer we take it to the Cooperativa to empty. We always aim to make it fun. If it rains we don't harvest. The weather in December can be very cold at night but by 10:00 it is usually about 10-12 degrees and by midday you are in tee shirt and jeans harvesting in the beautiful Aragonese sunshine under clear blue skies. Certainly an experience you won't get in many places.
When there are not harvests to do, we prune and care for the trees and vines. The wood from the pruning we use in our house for heating and our aga stove.
In future years we are looking to build a car shade to keep our car cool in the summer and to continue irrigating our land to increase the crop yield.
English, intermediate/ advanced Spanish.
You will have your own room in our house. We have all facilities including Wifi. In fact the only thing we lack is a consistent mobile signal
We have 2 dogs a cat and a 15 year old boy.
Our village has limited public transport links. We can collect from Calaciete which is served by a good bus service. See for details. The nearest train station is Caspe(see )
This area is rich in historical monuments from the time of the Iberos. We are 120km from Zaragoza. Buses go regularly from Maella and Alcaniz if you want to explore more and from these 2 towns onto the rest of Spain. Public transport is cheap as it's heavily subsidized.
We live a fairly relaxed life though we do enjoy meeting people and hearing about their experiences. In the UK we hosted Erasmus students.
We ask that if volunteers have particular likes/dislikes with food or any allergies/intolerance they advise us before arriving so that we can be prepared. Our nearest large supermarket is an hour away and we prefer not to make a supermarket trip our Workawayers first experience of Aragon.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week