Hi! We are Andy and Lluïsa. We live in an old farm house in the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees, north of Barcelona. We are lucky to live in the middle of nowhere, our nearest neighbour being 1km away! We live in a forest of red pine, oak and beech trees, with lots of wild life (boar, deer, foxes, many different birds and butterflies). There are thousands of hiking and BTT paths and a river with lovely swimming holes in the property (great refreshing break in summer). The place blossoms with wild flowers in Spring and with fruit in Autumn.
Andy is an Irish stonemason by trade, who loves working with wood and metal. He grew up in an organic farm and has a strong connection to animals (for now we only have hen, rabbits and sheep). He is a strong hard worker with a great sense of humour. He is into natural building, permaculture and making things (anything really!).
Lluïsa is Catalan and has been working in cultural development, and got into herbalism. She has studied antoposophy/ Waldorf education, works as a yoga teacher in the local village and loves cooking healthy meals for family and friends. She spends most of her time with her two young children (3yo and 2mo) discovering the wild wonders of the property and foraging food and medicine.
We met few years ago travelling the world. We worked in many different countries with very different people. 3 years ago we decided to settle down in North Catalonia to restore an old family building with the intention to become self-sufficient. What we miss the most about travelling is meeting people from diverse backgrounds and learning from different cultures. We would now love to keep travelling from home through our volunteers and visitors.
Our project is not small but will slowly but surely come along. We are restoring the old farm house with natural materials mainly from the area (stone, clay, lime, wood, hemp...). We are claiming back the old terraces to grow organic vegetables and medicinal herbs, following biodynamic principles. We plan to have different buildings inspired by cultures from around the world, made with natural materials so we can host people who would like to be back in tune with nature away from electromagnetic radiation.
Help with Eco project
Help with Computers / internet
You will have the opportunity to work with a very skilled stone mason and carpenter, with long experience in natural building and organic farming. You can discover the rural environment and its sustainability, learn about medicinal herbs in the area and local traditional uses. You could practice your English with Andy and learn Catalan or Spanish with Lluïsa and practice it in the local village. *️️️PLEASE NOTE WE ARE IN RURAL CATALONIA, WHERE PEOPLE CAN SPEAK SPANISH BUT IT IS NOT THEIR MOTHERTONGUE*️️️
You could also participate actively in a program organised by our local cultural association to bring the crafts from different culture to the local community, with a screening of a documentary or movie from the selected culture and a workshop to learn about their traditional crafts. Would you like to share your skills with them and be an active part of the community?
Even tough we have a glass of wine or beer here and there, IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A PARTY PLACE OR TO BE HOOKED ON THE SOCIAL MEDIA, please keep looking elsewhere. If you enjoy the outdoors, want to connect with nature and are willing to help and to share your skills with likeminded people, you will be very welcome :-)
In this collaborative project, we are looking for skilled people to help us build different structures from scratch. That involves clearing the area and setting the grounds, building the structures, installing electricity, heating and plumbing, and finishing touches. People interested in carpentry, solar energy, masonry, forestry, organic farming, herbalism... will be very welcome: Experience is important for us but specially the right will and motivation. We would love to get you completely involved in the project, to leave your mark and add your bit to the place.
*️️️UPDATE: RIGHT NOW WE ARE FENCING THE FARM AND WORKING IN THE GARDEN. NEXT: BUILDING ENTRANCE AND KITCHEN. PLENTY OF GARDENING, FORAGING AND PRESERVING IN THE SUMMER MONTHS. *️️️
You will be involved in the following projects (depending on the timing of your stay):
Putting up a 7m diameter original american tipi as a permanent structure from start.
Building a 10m diameter pole round house with slate roof as a multidisciplinary space for farm volunteers.
Putting up compost toilets and outdoor showers.
Building a wood fired hot tub and sauna.
Cob building -outdoor kitchen for the volunteers
Clearing old terraces for organic farming.
Clearing hiking paths and collecting firewood.
Working in our herbal and veggie garden, foraging food from the area and helping in the processing if you like.
We could also do some help with web and graphic design if you are into that :-)
English, Irish, Catalan, Spanish, French
Depending on the weather and availability, you could be sleeping in the double bedroom in the main house, in a trailer tent or a big Canadian tent with bedrooms. UPDATE: RIGHT NOW WE CAN ONLY HOST PEOPLE WITH THEIR OWN ACCOMMODATION. We provide with basic vegetarian food for 3 meals during working days, which can be cooked by us or the volunteers if anyone is keen. We have fresh organic produce in the land and we source locally what we don't have here. We expect people to clean after themselves and to cooperate in the running of the household. We are busy enough looking after our own children :-)
There are lots of outdoors activities to do in the area. The mountains are full of hiking and BTT trails. There is a reservoir nearby where you could do some water activities such as kayaking. And also some great rock climbing sites with routes for all levels! And you could join any of Lluïsa’s yoga classes. The swimming holes are the best break in summer, just a 5 minute walk away!!!
You can fly to Barcelona or Girona Airport and take a train to Ripoll, where we could pick you up. We are only 1 hour south of France and Andorra, if you come from that way. If you have a car much better since there are lots of hidden places to discover!!!
We have internet but no mobile reception. We like to have a safe and free radiation place and we'd like to keep it like that. Whenever you need your phone, you could get reception in the village.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week