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Hello! This is Emanuela and Roberto, we are a couple living among the beautiful hills of Sabina. Our first priorities are to keep living a mellow countryside life and provide for our own nutritional needs, while managing all the "must dos". We have a secluded vegetable garden, some fruit and olive trees, and aromatic plants for the bees to enjoy! We call it "our orderly growing food forest". There are also 4 amazing dogs, 3 cats and 2 sheep, all very cuddly.
Types of help and learning opportunitiesHelp with Eco ProjectsGardeningDIY and building projectsAnimal CareFarmstay helpHelp around the houseGeneral Maintenance
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
Emanuela will share her Permaculture knowledge, although she could be pedantic (this is Emanuela writing!) due to her past as a teacher. She is a Waldorf Teacher and teacher trainer now taking some time off - she gets passionate while talking about pedagogy! She organized PDC and courses in organic and regenerative agriculture for about 10 years; she helps Roberto with the management of the agriturismo (working from home). She cooks and bakes. Also, she will share some tricks, like using coffee grounds to clean oily dishes and how to fit hundreds of plants in a small vegetable garden, and she could tell you about edibles. She would rather speak English, so she's not the best host if you want to learn Italian, unless you already have a good level and just want to improve it. Gardening and cooking are a sort of meditation for her, she will talk if people are around but she prefers to work quietly so that she can better connect with what she is doing and creating. Observe her, that's the best way to learn from her. But don't just stand there, make yourself useful ;)
While Emanuela is talkative but requires some time to actually open up (and for you to get to know her best qualities), Roberto is (a lot) more quiet and easygoing. He mainly takes care of the farmhouse, which is a family business. He studied environmental science and biology for many years, then decided for a more proactive contribution and became a farmer. So he met and matched with Emanuela's saying "You are what you do, not what you say". Roberto could teach you juggling and how to slackline, and essential quotes from Neapolitan filmography. You could also try to persuade him to give you piano lessons.
We are seeking help with general maintenance, some gardening and weeding, fruits/vegetables picking to make preserve or to dry (depending on the season), household duties (cleaning) and animal care (they need lots of brushing in the winter and cuddling all year long!). Some knowledge of woodworking and DIY might come in handy. Carpenters are more than welcome! There's always something to renovate - a soon to do job is re-varnishing of our wooden shed. We also need to build a small storage unit (with concrete), make a pond, outdoor toys and sandpit for Emanuela's educational (distant) future project: a Waldorf outdoor kindergarten!
We had a great time last year hosting many workawayers and we are deeply grateful for all their help. This year, also due to Emanuela's health issues, we won't put much effort in the vegetable garden but we hope to focus on some bigger projects, like rainwater harvesting for which we will hire a specialist. There's always some gardening and weeding to do, but help with the housework is also appreciated.
> Starting in June, Emanuela will work part-time in a farmhouse close to home while Roberto works at his own farmhouse and doesn't always come back home. Therefore, we are looking for independent workawayers that we can entrust with some daily chores (weeding/mowing, house cleaning, some painting, sewing, small DIY projects) and cooking (experience with vegan cooking is preferable) that are willing to chip in for grocery shopping as they are going to have a lot of free time. Although all our past workawayers mostly worked independently, Emanuela would always cook, we would have pleasant conversations and even hike together. It's going to be a whole new experience! But we won't have much work to offer this summer and we think this is the only way we will be able to host. Please make sure to share your skills and expectations :)
>>OCT We wouldl like to make swales on our steep olive grove to plant fruit trees. Please get in touch if you have done it in the past and would like to put your skills into our project :)
To ensure a better experience, please take note of the following seasonal overview
***It would be nice to know your skills and what you'd like to help with.***
SUMMER. When the heat starts to hit, we wake up early and usually work in the garden for a couple of hours before 9 as Emanuela can't really stand the heat. We then have breakfast, tidy up, rest/study or spend productive time in the kitchen. We prepare lunch all together. After lunch we enjoy a "pennichella" and then we study and/or work some more. Of course it may vary depending on weather condition. This is to say that while you are requested to wake up early you will also have a lot of free time! Or if you don't mind the heat and like to work independently you can manage your own hours :)
AUTUMN. Finally we get to sleep a bit more! We really like going with the seasons and Fall means there's still a lot to do but there are less hours to get things done. Each of us has a job assigned and we ask our workawayers to be flexible as work varies with the weather. Please, share your expectations so that we can try to plan accordingly.
WINTER. As nature slow down and everything becomes quite, so does our life. We concentrate on ourselves and our relationship. We make a sort of recap and start imagining the future. We prefer not to host during this time.
SPRING. It is impossible to foreseen all that there's going to be to do! Surely it's time to work in the garden, so if you wish to learn more about it from early March to May/June it is the best time. Also for hiking! We prefer not to host first time workawayer during this period though, especially because we would like to delegate some of the work.
Last but not least, please note that we don't have a tight schedule.
LONG TERM PROJECTS
If you wish to stay for a long period we'll be happy to sort out a project. It could be the construction of a greenhouse made with old windows or the entire renovation of our kitchen. Or maybe you come up with a great idea and we'll be happy to hear it!
This host offers a language exchange
We don't feel like we are the best host to teach Italian as we are both fluent in English; Roberto is also fluent in Spanish, Emanuela learned it viajando por Argentina and she would like to practice more. Emanuela would also like to start learning Finnish!
You will stay in our spare room with private bathroom (on different floors). You are expected to keep them clean and contribute to house cleaning. The room is furnished with a double bed, closet and desk. We used to rent it out. It is silent and it overlooks the mountain. From the outside, you might hear cows' bells, eagles' callings and horses' clop. You will hear the church bells chiming the hour, the marching band and some music coming from the village. There's no need for AC as the house is insulated.
Emanuela is vegan and very creative in the kitchen, uses spices and flavour that aren't usual for an Italian. She also bakes sourdough bread. Roberto cooks more traditional and he makes a tasty vegan tiramisú! Although he is not vegan and Emanuela doesn't mind, we both eat the same. We provide all meals (except on your free days) but don't expect to be served or for us to clean after you. If you want to eat eggs or dairies (which you will have to buy yourself) there's a designated pan but please be reminded that you shall be clean and responsible of your own garbage, included food waste that doesn't go in the compost. Every now and then you might have to fix your own dinner.
Please use water with parsimony, this is not the place for you if you need to shower constantly. Our guest bathroom doesn't have a window, so it would be best if you could take a shower during the day and not in the evening in order to be able to turn off the fan at night.
What else ...
We prefer to host 2 workawayers (friends or couple) at a time, especially if they're skilled or very creative. We feel they could better enjoy their free time and work independently.
Our house is in the countryside, in a suggestive medieval town. You could hike to explore the surrounding. Public transport isn't unfortunately available; but if you come by train there's a bus going from the station to Toffia.
We are both 37 y.o. and quite simple. We like to hike and to spend our free time idly, playing board games (usually when the days get shorter) and cards (please come if you are a burraco player and beat Emanuela!), or even watching movies (preferably during a rainy afternoon). We go to sleep early, except when we meet up with friends, all nice and interesting people that will be happy to meet you!
We do NOT host smokers, sorry!
Feel free to ask us questions.
A little more information
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Can host digital nomads
We think our place is more suitable for those who enjoy nature and have a flexible schedule but we too have some work/study to do at the computer and therefore are happy to welcome digital nomads.
Space for parking camper vans
This host can provide space for campervans.
How many Workawayers can stay?
5 hours a day, 5 days a week (flexible)
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Accuracy of profile:
and after having spent a few weeks in quite crowded houses with workaway, I was really happy to spend some time in a resourceful environment like this one.
My days consisted mainly of working in the garden the morning,
I started my work with building little leaders out of branches for the watermelons to provide shadow, continued by
I mostly worked in the vegetable garden and helped making apricot juice and conserving