Gardening in an eco-friendly stone house in Ticino, Switzerland

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Switzerland

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    6  

  • last activity

    Last activity

    06/03/2021

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  2021 

 Min stay requested: at least a week

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  • Description

    Description

    march until april 2021
    After more than three years of work, my house in the Onsernone valley is as good as finished. But nothing has been done in the garden yet! In the last five years blackberries, hazelnuts and other pioneers have taken possession of the terrain. That's why I'm planning a big collective action for spring 2021 to reclaim the garden. In a larger group of workawayers we will pull out blackberries, cut down hazelnuts, cut back existing plants (vine, figs, kiwis), build pergolas and sow new plants. I have no experience as a gardener, but many friends in the valley are doing permaculture and will advise us whenever necessary. Welcome are all who want to help in the garden (the weather in April can be very springlike but also very wet and so unpleasant)! People with experience in gardening, in the forest, with organic farming, with permaculture, with dry stone walls are of course especially welcome!

    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 in my attempt to live CO2-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 three 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 ends in winter 2020. Now it's time to take care of the nature!

    Besides the work we eat together and go - whenever possible - to the river or 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 Italian and Swiss 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 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. At the moment there is a limitation to five people in Ticino. But I hope that the strict regulations will be relaxed again by spring 2021.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    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 very 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.

  • Help

    Help

    Gardeners, landscape gardeners, landscape architects, foresters and other skilled craftsmen and allrounders ...

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Italian: Fluent
    Czech: Intermediate
    Spanish: Intermediate

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    The house is large enough to accommodate 6 to 10 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.

    * 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 and small scorpions. Fortunately, there are surprisingly few mosiktos.
    * 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.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    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. 6 buses per day). Italy is close. There are fast trains to Zurich. Rumours say that there will be a new bus service at night time from Locarno to Loco. 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.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    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.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 662929136987