Hi! We are Nenad and Marija, a middle-aged and open-minded, nature-loving couple.
After we both spent years working abroad, we have decided to start a self-sustainable place here in the countryside where we can practice permaculture gardening, eat fresh healthy food (our diet is mostly whole food plant-based and we avoid processed food). , and enjoy the simple life in a rural landscape. We've also really enjoyed the like-minded, life loving people who have already spent time here, lent us helping hands and brought a touch of their culture. Our property is located in a small village, near Zagreb. We have one spoiled cat and two dogs (13 and 2 years old) who need to be cared for.
Since we live and work in Zagreb, most of the time you would be living there alone or with the other volunteers. We would still come as often as we can (usually a few times a week) and are always just a phone call away. In terms of work, there is always a lot to be done and based on your individual capabilities/interests we will discuss what needs to be done beforehand.
We welcome people from all walks of life and like to work as a team with an open exchange of ideas/strengths, sharing meals and creating a warm "family style" atmosphere.
In the past 3 years, we have been quite busy completing the renovation of an existing home, building a new wood house on the property and have planted 3000 Aronia berry bushes!
There are also several very old fruit (apple and plum) trees that were in very bad condition when we purchased the property, we have given them first aid... those apples have tasted sooo sweet.... and we would love that those trees survive! More work and care is needed for this to happen.
There is still a lot to be done ... removing weed around the Aronia bushes, organizing/making use of materials we already have for projects in the near and distant future i.e. fences, trellises, produce drying racks, finish work in the house and around. We really love the idea of having more sustainable projects going as talent, experience and time permits i.e. rocket stove :), outdoor shower, compost toilet...
While there is always work, we really enjoy our "off-time" as well. There are so many beautiful trails in the forests nearby to explore by bike or foot (sometimes even come back with a basket of mushrooms:) You are most welcome to use our bikes, or enjoy long walks in quiet, peaceful and untouched surrounding. Local people are very kind and friendly but not many speak english;)
In ours and many other guests' opinions, the sunrises and sunsets are the most amazing... what colours!...and a night sky full of stars..... you'll just have to see for yourself.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
This is untouched rural part of Croatia with no tourists. You can escape from the busy city lives; walk in the forests, relax or cycle on empty roads end enjoy scenery.
This would fit you if you don't mind being independent, working and living alone/ or with fellow workawayers. Taking self initiative would be greatly appreciated.
It would be great if you have experience in permaculture gardening as we are trying to make the most of it and we are more than willing to share our knowledge with you.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We are looking for people who have a strong work ethic, who take the initiative and clean up after themselves.
We need help with the everyday activities on the farm which vary according to the time of year. Typical tasks include taking care of our animals (such as walking the dogs, feeding dogs and cat), tending the garden, weeding, watering and harvesting. Other seasonal activities include preparation of the garden beds, application of compost and manure, watering, fruit picking, preservation of produce, cutting and stacking firewood.
We expect volunteers to contribute 5 hours per day, 5 days a week. Hours are up to the individual but, generally, the cool hours of the morning or evening are more pleasant to work in. During the hot hours of the day we usually rest or work indoors. We try to suit the job to the person, according to his/her age, strength and stamina. There is usually a variety of jobs to be done every day so that boredom is never an issue.
At the moment our need for help involves mainly grass cutting/mowing, gardening and in-house help. You would help us five hours per day with 2 days off for every 5 worked + community input around meals/clear up. We accept our helpers as part of the family and treat them that way. And we expect our helpers, in the normal cleaning of the house is a must, to tackle independently and without prompting as we all share house and it should be kept clean.
One of future projects we are looking forward is to build the rocket stove in green house and later in old house. Someone with knowledge in this area would be greatly appreciated.
Above, we have listed other ideas that we have but mostly we welcome all people who don't mind rolling up their sleeves, getting a little dirty and working with us in a common direction.
Early risers and animal lovers are appreciated!
Since we don't live on the property, either individuals who don't mind alone time or those that travel with a friend/significant other are the best fit.
We offer you a bedroom in a renovated old wooden house (new windows, doors, bathroom; kitchen and living area are in use but not completely finished as we have to lay new ceramic tiles to be completed).
If you travel solo, there is a possibility that you might share the bedroom with other volunteer.
Also, if you prefer to stay in your tent or camper van, you are most welcome to do so.
When you arrive your bedroom/ sleeping area will be clean and tidy, and prepared for you. Bed linen and towels will be provided. Toiletries (shampoo, bathing gel, conditioner, tooth paste) are to be provided by you.
When using the water (taking a shower, washing the dishes...), please keep in mind that water is limited to some extent, as we use water from the draw-well.
Electricity (lights) is to be used only when needed (meaning that there is no need to have light on in room when nobody is in that room), as we try to keep electrical bills low as possible. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
There is no internet on property but we go to caffe bar which is 5 minutes away by bicycle, when we need it.
We are located just outside the small town called Dubrava, which has a local bus station from where you can take the bus to the city of Vrbovec, where is the closest mainline train station.
Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is a 30 minutes train ride away. The ticket costs under 4 euros and departs approximately every hour..... Plus, if you like to roam, there are various other places to go and explore for the day or overnight trip, on your days off.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host can provide space for campervans.
5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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