We are a couple who live in a patch of south west facing Mediterranean woodland, of oaks, ash, poplar, willow, cherry, mulberry and wild plum, amongst other trees. We are trying to create a sustainable ecofriendly Permaculture biodiverse farm within the forest edge, and are presently micro farming with guinea pigs and poultry, soon to include some lambs and pigeons. Its quite high elevation here, at almost 1300 metres, and so when the sun isn't shining from November to April, it can be very chilly, but mostly the skies are blue and clear, and when the sun is out, it can be very warm, even in winter. Summers are generally very hot and dry, although there is often a respite in the evenings due to the presence of cool water and the altitude. There are many impressive rock formations and we are surrounded by a stream with a small waterfall at one end. There are ample wild herbs and birds, and several ancient walking paths to enjoy nearby. We presently have Muscovy ducks, a mixed flock of chickens and guinea pigs. We have 2 small dogs, an old dog and a puppy, hopefully soon to be rat-catcher extraordinaire. There are many frogs in the pond, and we have goldfish also and there are lizards and ghekkos as well as the wild mammals; boar, ibex, pine martins, weasels, and also the birds; vultures, song birds, golden orioles, and eagles etc.. .. There are also water voles and tree rats, but we hope our puppy will discourage these as they eat all our fruits, nuts and vegetables! We don't want to get a cat because of the damage they cause to the bird, amphibian and reptile population.
We make our own compost and have several different vermiculture bins, with the aim to make more. We use the liquid as a fertilizer and the worms also help make the compost for use in the garden.
We have made a solar hot water collector for the house that works well, and we are mostly off grid, living with electricity from solar panels. We heat our home with wood from the land, and this heats the water from a back boiler around the stove. We are constantly upgrading our homestead with small improvements, and the same goes for the animal sheds, so this is also something that we could use help with.
We have also made a solar drier which we can use to dry fruits and vegetables when we have a glut, or when we buy foods especially for drying. We are considering making a small smoke house for curing meat, fish and cheese.
The nearest village is a 5 minute drive away. There is a bar which sells coffee, alcohol, icecreams and basic meals; toast with tomato, chips, meat in sauce etc. And also provides simple, free 'tapas' with beer and wine, a unique benefit of this area in Spain. There is a bank which opens once a week (it has an atm outside), a pharmacy and small shop in the village. There's also a swimming pool that opens in the summer between July and August. It's a very rural area which is famous for its white washed Mountain Villages, and the ancient Moorish irrigation channels which still serve the villages to this day. Many villages have a little local museum, and bird watchers, rock climbers, star gazers and walkers will enjoy the area a great deal. Most of the surrounding villages are half empty and there is a large farming community. Many villages usually have a food and clothing market twice a month.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Anyone who is interested in forestry work, minimal till organic gardening, tree and plant propagation, grafting fruit trees, and in living in a balanced way within the great wilderness, living simply and sustainably with a small carbon footprint would gain a valuable experience. We both have a fair amount of knowledge to share. I am experienced in painting and drawing, wine making, preserving foods, basic carpentry, silviculture, some horticulture and basic botany. I have taught English in the past and can help with improving your Spanish. My partner has all manner of useful and creative skills including wood working, welding, construction, plumbing, electric solar systems, eco buidling, forest management and water-colour painting. I can play guitar and mandolin and am up for jam sessions.
We need strong, balanced, energetic and enthusiastic people to help us with general forestry management. Every year we must clear a lot of brambles and broom from along the water channels and on the terrace banks. This is a fire prevention strategy to reduce combustible materials as much as possible, and also to allow the under story to receive much coveted sunlight. The land is in a very rural location and had been abandoned for many years, so we are still establishing some order within the wilderness chaos. We are trying to clear the stream of all the fallen debris and sticks, so we can actually observe the flow of water, rather than just fallen branches, and so this is a good job all year round but especially in the summer as its cool near the water. We are always clearing some over grown area to allow us more access and light, and this is an on going chore. In the winter we have the odd bonfire to very carefully burn the piles of brambles, broom and prunings we have created. We burn the smaller stuff, and keep the rest for firewood. This is done only ever on a calm windless day and with water nearby. We take great care to do this safetly because there have been wild fires very close by, even in winter, so its of utmost importance to us to remain safe and sensible. We will also be laying a new irrigation pipe and digging water channels and swales to irrigate newly planted trees. There may be some old and young brooms and brambles to dig up to make some space for planting new saplings. We need help to erect a fence around the field where the trees are planted and at the back of the paddock where we want to introduce the lambs. There is always the job of strengthening of fences and upgrading them, as they tend to need it. We also have a half finished dovecote and a half finished replacement duck house that we need to finish soon, as a friend is giving me her pigeons in a few weeks and the present duck house is in a shameful state of disrepair and means we cannot raise ducklings safely or properly clean it, so that is a matter of urgency. Once we have finished the new duck house, we will tear down the old one, putting anything useful aside for upcycling, and we will be relining the little duck pond. There will also be some general chores like feeding the animals occasionally and collecting firewood from around the place and putting it in the woodstore, and removing ivy from the trees is another constant task that we need assistance with. Anyone who is confident with a chainsaw may want to attack the piles of uncut fire wood about the place, but we do not want anyone cutting the trees with a chainsaw! Anyone who comes here must have at least one set of robust working clothes, ie. A set that they can get mucky and do not care if they get dirty and torn... We have a needle and thread if they need repairing, I can help show you how... You will also need practical footware like hiking or work boots. If the weather is sunny we can help wash your clothes but we don't have a drier, and the machine has no spin-cycle and is used with solar power, so can only do this when warm and sunny. We will provide working gloves and tools, and any first aid and plasters for bramble scratches! We also have the laborious task of finishing the grouting on our terrace, and any help with that would be appreciated. We have various art projects that we would like to focus on, but we always have so many more pressing needs, that the art always seems to go to the back of the queue. There`s always so much to do, and it`s a lot for just 2 people.
This host offers a language exchange
I would like Danish people to come and help me with my Danish, especially conversation. I can help with Spanish and English.
Small private Caravan in the shade of an oak tree, with 1 single bed and 1 double bed or sofa, a working sink, gas heater and hobs and oven for cooking. There is no fridge. Gas is provided for the cooker and heater. There is a hose with drinkable spring water near to the caravan. We are in the process of creating a separate simple reed screened private wash basin, solar heated shower and compost toilet under the tree behind the caravan. For the meantime, there is a compost vermiculture loo outside the house for everyone to use, and a shower or bath available in the house in the evenings. There is a small solar system providing light and charging of smart phones and small smart devices. There is a Yurt for sleeping in when its warmer at night, but this gets too hot in the summer during daytime late morning till sundown. It has 2 single beds for use, and a desk. There is a small basin for hand washing outside. There is no wifi access, so we suggest buying a local sim card and with a prepaid plan, there are some very good cheap ones available, i can advise you. An evening shower or hot bath will be available in our home while we are cooking dinner, usually between 6:30 - 8:30pm. After dinner, if everyone is in the mood, we like to watch a movie or play cards. Sometimes we may have a late breakfast or brunch, and other times we might have an early dinner... it really depends on the days activities and what supplies we have at the house. We do not tend to have a timetable for when and what we eat and we hope that our guests can be a little flexible.
We prefer non-smokers but will tolerate it if you’re respectful with the detritus left over from smoking. Living in a dry environment one has to be very careful about where one smokes and disposing of butts in an ashtray safely. The same goes for the gas heater in the caravan. People must be safe and sensible: only using the heater when you’re in the space, and turning it off properly before you go to sleep. There is a wood stove in the yurt, but because there is virtually no insulation, we prefer that people sleep in the caravan when its cold. This is because, in our experience, people take for granted the amount of time and labour involved in collecting, cutting, storing and seasoning firewood, and they burn through our supplies all too readily. These are our private wood stores which we rely on for cooking and heating throughout the year, and we cannot waste it in the uninsulated yurt, So the yurt is for use only during the warmer months. However, as the cooking facilities are in the caravan, it may be that you prefer to sleep in the yurt and use the caravan for preparing food etc. Ofcourse this is also dependent on whether there are other guests, and we hope people can come to agreements regards sharing the spaces and resources. We are happy for people to choose for themselves if they prefer to sleep in the caravan or the yurt, so long as we don’t have guests already in one of the spaces, they are both open for use.
We will go to the shops at least once a week and you can come with us and choose what breakfast food you want to buy for yourself. We will not provide breakfasts, but we do have homemade organic wheat flour bread, fresh organic free range eggs and delicious organic homemade jams and chutneys for sale. You will have the kitchen in the caravan for food prep. And pans, cutlery, cups and plates will be provided. There is a working sink inside the caravan and tap with spring water very near to the caravan to clean the dishes, your face and teeth, or to get drinking water. We will provide an evening meal during the week and will try to accommodate special dietary requirements. You will have to sort yourself out on weekends so we can have a rest from the cooking and cleaning. If we are enjoying a mid morning or afternoon tea and biscuit, we will ofcourse include you. If we make cake, there will always be a slice to share. We strongly encourage independence when it comes to breakfasts, lunches and snacks only because Its difficult to cater to everybody's specific needs, and some people eat a LOT of food, and we are very busy too, so if you’re one of those people who eat a lot, it would be good for you to stock up on extra snacks so that you do not suffer, but we will definitely provide a substantial evening meal each evening as stated before. Perhaps you are a good cook and feel tired one day? Then maybe you will be doing the cooking and cleaning whilst we work on other things. We are flexible but expect people to want to help us on whichever job is most required in that moment. Thanks very much.
There are many old walking paths to enjoy and lots of bird watching to be had. Star gazers will enjoy the clear pollution-free nights. There is a swimming pool in the nearby village open only in the summer (not sure about this year with Covid19 restrictions?) and many local fiestas with free local cuisine (again, who knows with Covid this year?). There is a bus service twice a day between the villages to the city of Granada. We have bicycles to share. General freedom from modern impositions in a great natural landscape.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Cannot accommodate massive vehicles, but generally for campervan sized vehicles there is parking and access to drinking water, toilet and showering facilities.
15 hours/week- no food, 25 hours/week- food