Would you like to help in the midst of the most beautiful, wildest nature, to restore an ancient Ticino stone house and its beautiful garden? Would you like to participate an attempt to live carbon-neutral? Do you feel like helping me to develop a dreamlike terraced landscape? Do you want to spend an unforgettable time in one of the most beautiful valleys of the Swiss Alps and at the same time not miss out on the 'good life'? Then you could be right with me!
On a clearing in the middle of wild nature lies an old stone house from the 19th century, a classic Ticino rustico in which a large family used to live together with their animals. Me, Peter, an artist living in Zurich, took over the house five years ago in a depressing state: for 50 years the owners had filled the beautiful stone house with the most terrible materials and objects imaginable. Anyhow, overwhelmed by the beauty of the terraced nature surrounding the house, and by the magic of the spot, I decided to buy the house and renovate it. In the summer of 2018, together with friends, I disposed of all the scrap from the past 50 years. Since the beginning of July 2019 I have been working with my family (my girlfriend, my daughter and our very lovable Collie-Mix Django) ,friends, professional workers from the valley and Workawayers to redesign the house from scratch. The construction of the house is almost finished. Some finishing work still needs to be done. A lot of work is waiting in the garden!
Besides the work we eat together and go - whenever possible - to the river or to other beautiful walks. And in the evening I cook for my guests. Good cuisine is an essential part of 'good life' (I usually cook a plant based mixture of Swiss, Italian and International cuisine with regional, organic ingredients – meet and diary product eaters are welcome too). At the end of the day you sleep very deeply and well in the tranquility of the beautiful Onsernonetal.
I take ecological issues very seriously. It makes no sense for me to work on a CO2-neutral house and fly people in by plane. So, please do not apply if you plan to come here by plane!
PS: As far as the coronavirus is concerned, I follow the instructions of the Swiss authorities.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
If you decide to spend some time with us you will come into contact with many different cultures and languages. Here in the valley people speak an almost cryptic dialect of Italian but also pure Italian. Many people in the valley also come from German-speaking Switzerland or Germany. My circle of friends is extremely multicultural and multilingual and so it can be that one day German is spoken, the next day Swiss German, the next day English, the next day Italian and the next day French. Many different people come to visit me here and in the nearby village there are friends with different cultural backgrounds as well. Working together on a common goal and living together in a small space automatically brings us together and inevitably brings us into a constant exchange of ideas. The heart of the exchange, however, is certainly the communal meals and the associated discussions. And if someone should get bored anyway, he can always explore Switzerland or Italy in his free time.
I am planning a big garden action with around four helpers: cutting back plants, pulling out blackberries by hand, planting bushes and trees, repairing paths and dry stone walls, cutting down trees and making wood, etc ... Workawayers with great love (and skills) for nature, landscape and garden work are needed. The weather in April can be gorgeous or abominable (last year it even snowed!). Be ready to work outside despite bad weather.
Gardeners, landscape gardeners, landscape architects or foresters are of course especially welcomed, but everyone else, is welcomed too!
The house is large enough to accommodate 6 people. However, one should not expect too much privacy. You can sleep in the small room in the basement, in the big main room or on the sleeping gallery in the same room. Or on the beautiful roofed terrace outside. Whichever place you choose, we live in a small space and there is only one bathroom / WC, so, not too much privacy for all of us and especially for couples (normally couples can get the small room with the a double bed in the basement).
* there is no WLAN. The telephone connection is excellent, so you can easily connect to the Internet via your cell phone. But you can also walk up to the nearby village and use the WLAN in the local café.
* numerous animals live in the forest around the house. You have to be prepared to meet deer, squirrels, foxes, dormice, chamois but also (non-toxic) snakes. Fortunately, there have been surprisingly few mosiktos so far.
* the house is situated very close to the sewage treatment plant of the village. In some weather conditions we are exposed to unpleasant smells from there. But they never last longer than a few minutes a day.
* there is running warm water, there is electricity, there is an outdoor and an indoor kitchen a sauna and a dry toilet.
The small, romantic village of Loco is only a ten-minute walk away. There is a bank, a post office, a café and restaurant (with WLAN) a small museum and a small grocery shop. The village is easily accessible by public transport from Locarno (approx. 10 buses per day, until late). Italy is close. There are fast trains to Zurich. There are wonderful walks and hikes in the area. There is unlimited nature! You can spend lovely days with some food and a good book down by the river. You can collect mushrooms or chestnuts. There are so many things to be done in your time off. Most of all it's an amazing spot in the midst of wild nature. And spring hits one month earlier than elsewhere in northern Europe.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
I have a gentle dog myself. So it all depends on what pets and how they will be with my dog. But in general all animals are welcome.
More than two
max. 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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