Las Mecias is a small farm perched on the Alpujarran mountains overlooking the Contraviesa winemaking region. We (Nina & Laura) bought the house and 2,6Ha property in June and live here with our very loving and energetic 5 month old puppy, Tony. So far we have spent most of our time finalising our plans whilst familiarising ourselves with rural life and the amazing surroundings.
As it stands now, 8000m2 is planted with mature lavender bushes but as they are around 15 years old they are reaching the end of their life. In their place we will be planting upwards of 100 trees and shrubs to provide food but also shade and protection from the wind. In the long term we would love to create a lush food forest, inviting life back into the sun baked soil.
The previous owners had a decent sized veggie garden with chicken coop but over the years they have started to dry up and fall apart. Its not all bad though ;) We also have quite a few mature fruit trees in the garden and the small orchard that produce many tasty snacks! Mulberry, apple, pear, cherry, apricot, quince, madroño, pomegranate, kaki and about 25 fig trees 20 almond trees and 15 olives spread out over the property.
Our water comes from the springs of Trevelez, a beautiful area just north of us and is stored in a large communal alberca (reservoir). We are 100% solar powered and can do just about anything on the current system, just not all at the same time. All our toilets are dry composting and the grey water is re-used to irrigate the orchard and veggie garden. Because of this we, and anybody visiting us, can only use natural soaps and detergents and the least amount possible. We have a solar boiler for hot water which is backed up by a gas system so even if it gets cold in the winter, the shower will be hot! There is no central heating but the fireplace should keep the ground floor comfortably toasty.
Because of our remote location we play host to the occasional family of wild boars, foxes, mountain goats, grouse, rabbits and a wide variety of creepy crawlers and flying insects as well as the occasional snake and scorpion. They mostly mind their own business so not anything to worry about but please be mindful of this if you do have any known allergies. We always have an epi-pen of adrenalin on hand for emergencies but would rather not have to use it :) The closest clinic is half an hour away and if hospital care is required you will have to be flown out in a helicopter.
We both had careers in professional fine dining kitchens before moving out here but when balancing tiny leaves on tiny dishes for 15 hours a day got a bit old, we decided to ditch our chef whites and go follow our mutual dream of a permaculture farm in Spain. The love and passion for food has not changed, just the way we approach it. Food will always be an integral part of our lives and we are more than happy to share the knowledge. We pickle, ferment, bake, brew, forage and otherwise tinker a lot so feel free to join in and enjoy!
Our diet is mostly vegetarian and dairy free but occasionally we will indulge in some local cheese and a bit of fish. We eat lots of fruit and vegetables and also forage for wild food on site and in the area when we can. We pop open a bottle of local natural wine or a few beers from time to time but its definitely not a daily thing.
We can cater to most dietary needs or preferences so just let us know beforehand.
We learn new things every day and hope to keep doing so forever!
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
We hope to give back as much as you contribute. Before working in kitchens, we both ventured down many different paths. From journalism and yoga instructing to stage building, event production and hotel management, we've done a lot, collected a fair few skills and made enough mistakes to know we don't know everything and you can't do it all alone. We can teach you all we know and would love to learn from you and hear your story over a nice meal and share ours with you.
At the moment, we are in the middle of renovating the guesthouse and will start on some foundation work in the main house soon. In the mean time we are keeping busy with building a new chicken coop and re-doing the tool shed as well as some repairs and maintenance work in the garden/orchard, boar-proofing and fence building. Some building experience would go a long way but we can also teach you a lot.
We will also be building furniture for the guesthouse as well as the main house. For this work we would love to have an extra pair of hands with carpentry experience.
After the winter it's on to the vegetable garden and the food forest which will eventually number around 130+ trees.
We work around 5 hours a day, 5 days a week and take Wednesdays and Sundays off. Days off are negotiable if necessary. In the summer we start early (around 7AM) to beat the heat but in the winter we will be rising with the sun.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
We have an ensuite guest room in the main house that can comfortably sleep someone on their own or a couple. Once the guest house renovation is done we will have 2 more ensuite bedrooms connected to a living room and kitchen.
There is not much in the way of entertainment in the area but there is a nice little bar in Lobras that opens on the weekends. Cadiar is a 25 minute drive away and has a few shops, bars and all the essentials. It's a quiet life here and there is lots of time and space for hiking, yoga, foraging, lounging by / swimming in the pool, tinkering and playing with the pizza oven.
The neighbours down the hill keep horses and are happy teach you about natural and holistic horse rearing.
In terms of public transport, there are local buses with a notoriously Spanish-style (somewhat spontaneous) schedule. If you're coming from afar, we might be able to arrange a pickup for a small fee (to cover petrol} or you can easily get the bus from Malaga or Granada to Órgiva, where we can pick you up. Renting a car is also an option and very affordable, yet we discourage this for solo travellers for environmental reasons.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have a 30Mb internet connection that mostly works fine for most things including Zoom calls. In reality its more a 10 to 15 down and 1 to 3 up connection but again, most things work.
If you prefer to park up your camper, we have enough space and you can use the facilities in the house. There is not much in the way of shaded parking though so be mindful of that if you are coming in summer.
We love all animals and they are very welcome as long as they get along with ours. We have a young puppy and 3 kittens at the moment and will be adding chickens, goats and a donkey to the mix around spring 2022.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week