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COVID-19 UPDATE: CAN YOU TRAVEL TO CYPRUS FROM WHERE YOU ARE NOW? YOU CAN DO A QUICK CHECK ON THE CYPRUSFLIGHTPASS WEBSITE. We are continuing with our volunteering programme and would prefer long stay volunteers as this makes it safer for everyone.
NB: THIS VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE IS NOT FOR EVERYONE SO PLEASE READ OUR PROFILE THOROUGHLY BEFORE YOU SEND US A HOSTING REQUEST.
WE WELCOME VOLUNTEERS WHO WOULD LIKE TO HELP US WITH NON-COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS ON OUR FARMSTEAD. POST COVID-19 LOCKDOWN WE ARE COMING TO TERMS WITH THE LOSSES WE HAVE SUFFERED AS A RESULT OF BEING FORCED TO SHUT DOWN OPERATIONS. TIMES ARE GOING TO BE TOUGH THIS YEAR SO WE WELCOME VOLUNTEERS WHO CAN LIVE ON A TIGHT BUDGET, ARE NOT WASTEFUL, HAVE A 'CAN-DO' ATTITUDE, GET ALONG WELL WITH OTHER VOLUNTEERS, ARE GOOD COMMUNICATORS AND HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR.
We look forward to welcoming you to our micro-farm in Paphos. Cyprus is a popular holiday destination and Paphos is one of the main tourist resorts. Travellers come here to enjoy the weather, the sea, the sun and nature. It is also not part of the Schengen zone so travellers come here to get out of the Schengen area until they are allowed to go back again. We have rented a small piece of land in an agricultural area so the feel is very rural but we are just 10 - 15 minutes walk from a village and a bus ride away from the airport and the main tourist areas of Paphos. Unfortunately the bus does not stop at the farm but it is only about 7 minutes walk to the nearest bus stop. Some beautiful beaches are about 15 - 20 minutes walk from the farm. Our sunsets are legendary and there's nothing as beautiful as watching it set over the sea.
About Us: We are a middle-aged expat couple who live with two rescue dogs (a crazy, young German shepherd cross and a cute little lapdog of unknown parentage which we rescued from the municipal dog pound). There is also the neighbour's cat who prefers our place to theirs, and we have two ponies (a rescue and a young gelding which we are in the process of starting). We don't have much free time but when we do, we are interested in community work and learning more about permaculture and working towards more sustainable living. We have moved the farm from another village and we are still working on getting the infrastructure established. There is no house on the land so we are renovating a rustic informal structure, which was previously used as a social space for a club, and turning it into a home. We would like to start working on a permaculture design for the property. We have started establishing gardens where we can grow food for our kitchen and we also grow salads and herbs for the kitchen in wicking beds and containers.
We are vegetarians and love to eat healthy seasonal food and lots of fresh microgreens. We are happy to accommodate vegans if they are happy to help with cooking and sometimes preparing an alternative vegan dish for themselves if we have prepared a non-vegan dish as a main course. We have to keep everyone happy with the meals and as many of our volunteers are omnivores, we include dairy and eggs in their meals from time to time.
WE HAVE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR DRUGS AND DRUNKENNESS. In the past we have allowed people to consume alcohol in moderation at the farm but unfortunately we've had one too many situation where guests have consumed too much alcohol on or off the premises and we've had to deal with everything from aggressive, threatening and argumentative behaviour to dangerous behavour like setting the place on fire while trying to fry food on the gas while drunk. So we will not allow alcohol on the premises in future and anyone returning to the farm intoxicated after drinking too much elsewhere will be asked to leave the farm - no second chances.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We are not Cypriot so to experience Cypriot culture you need to venture off the farm. There are many traditional shops, crafts, eateries and activities in our local village. From time to time our municipality arranges cultural activities and concerts in our village square. In terms of learning new skills, my husband can do almost anything that needs doing by hand from welding to building to electrics. You will also have the opportunity to learn about growing specialized produce, home grown vegetables and many other plants. We use some innovative gardening techniques and containers to grow healthy organic food. We are also into healthy living and like to do our own canning, fermenting (e.g. Sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha etc.) and do our best to practice other healthy ways to improve our immune systems and let food be our medicine although these are often subject to time and financial constraints so we always appreciate help with keeping up our healthy habits.
We are in the process of erecting greenhouses and low tunnels. We need to put up some fencing and establish new planting beds to grow food for our kitchen as we aim to be as self-sufficient as possible in feeding ourselves and our volunteers. We need to do a lot of hot composting (we use the manure and spoiled hay from our ponies and weeds from the gardens) and mulching and there is a mountain of organic matter that needs to be processed. We need help with harvesting produce from our kitchen gardens, sowing seeds and pricking out seedlings. We always need help with planting, weeding and trimming and there is usually potting up to do. The gardens and greenhouses also need watering daily. We also have some wicking beds and containers that we have planted up with herbs and salads for the kitchen that need maintaining.
The whole structure which we are living in, affectionately known as ‘the clubhouse', needs a lot of work so carpenters, joiners, plumbers and electricians are especially welcomed. In fact, at this stage, anyone with strong building and other D.I.Y. skills would be most helpful to us. We also need to complete a packing room and would love to convert a 20 foot shipping container into a walk-in cooler and sheltered work space.
When I’m not teaching I prefer to be hands-on at the farm so it's very helpful when we have someone who can help with cooking and take on the role of 'housekeeper' to help with keeping the clubhouse neat and clean and also help with the laundry.
There is an abandoned boat on the farm which is no longer seaworthy We'd like to renovate it and use it for accommodation. If you're into boats, perhaps you'd like to start on this project.
Various odd chores need doing around the house and yard. There is always something that needs fixing or moving or cleaning. Some volunteers have done their own little projects up-cycling or renovating old furniture and shipping pallets to create furniture and decking and to create social spaces. A lot of volunteers enjoy doing yoga so we are thinking of making some kind of sheltered structure in the back yard with an open floor space where people can chill and practice yoga. There are also plans for an outdoor shower for summer use, an outdoor composting toilet and an outdoor sink and cooking area for the convenience of the volunteers. We are making storage boxes for storing firewood for our wood stove and making a bicycle shed and bicycle stand for the volunteer bicycles. Other projects we are looking for help with are a motorized trommel for sifting soil and compost and a biodigester that can produce natural gas for cooking and heating water. We would like to install a grease trap and grey water system to utilize the water from the kitchen sink. We also need to make stronger fences and gates for the horses so this would be an opportunity for someone who would like to learn welding.
Animal care: We have 2 dogs and 2 horses. The horses, especially, require a lot of work so we need help with poo picking, stuffing hay nets, composting the horse poo and spoiled hay and general help with keeping the animals clean, and comfortable. If you are experienced with horses and if you are willing to accept the risks of working with these majestic but sometimes unpredictable creatures, then you could help with grooming, washing, picking their hooves etc. We are in the process of starting our 4 year old pony and re-starting our rescue pony using natural horsemanship methods so if you have experience with working with horses at liberty or with methods such as, for instance, those used by Parelli or Caroline Beste, you could assist with this work provided you can establish a good relationship with them and are willing to defer to my wishes on how I would like my horses handled and worked. If you are old school and stuck in your ways we are not going see eye to eye on this so best not to get involved.
Due to the fact that some tasks have a learning curve and to help with continuity, we ask that volunteers commit to at least a two-week stay. We also find it takes at least two weeks for volunteers to become fully integrated into our family. We enjoy building up longer term relationships with our volunteers and have a high rate of volunteers who return to stay with us a second time or more. However, we are usually very open-ended and if your stay is not working out for us both, you are welcome to move on and if you love it and we find you're making a valuable contribution there is the possibility to extend your stay subject to the availability of accommodation. We have volunteers staying for up to three months.
Our accommodation is very basic and more suited to seasoned travelers and those that enjoy camping as I can best describe our accommodation as very rustic and at times sleeping in 'the clubhouse' is a bit like indoor camping. 'The clubhouse' is a makeshift building which we are slowly trying to turn into a home. As the property is still being developed, there is a lot of work that needs doing so we have been taking on a few volunteers at a time and we have created a hostel style dorm setup at one end of the main living room of the clubhouse. We have found that most volunteers enjoy the comradery of the shared living space and have made lasting friendship while working and living with the other volunteers. We have also insulated two of our pergola style gazebos and turned them into cabanas for accommodation (two volunteers to a 3m x 3m cabana) and a small, single cabana. This accommodation is usually reserved for long term volunteers and preference is given to older volunteers when allocating it. There is also the option to camp under the trees which is the coolest area in summer and most protected in the winter. We have two large tents with double mattresses and one with two single mattresses. The tents are on a large wooden deck under a large marquee like structure that has been entirely enclosed in plastic to protect the tents from sun, wind and rain so effectively you'll be sleeping in a tent within a larger tent which gives you some privacy. There is electricity available in each tent for a light and to charge your devices. There are two outside toilets and a rustic shower (with warm water) attached to the clubhouse.
We appreciate flexibility from our volunteers and try to be flexible from our side too. What we lack in amenities we hope to make up for in community spirit and welcoming you like you are family. You will be working hard in the morning and the volunteers generally create an atmosphere of comradery and fun in the off time, exploring the area or going to the beach together and passing the evenings with food and music and board games or tales around the fire. Bring your instrument if you play one. We have two battered guitars and a couple of djembes available. The atmosphere in the house depends very much on who is staying at the time. Sometimes there is a lot of laughing and joking and bantering and sometimes it is just mellow and quiet. Because we are all living together we try to screen our volunteers carefully to ensure the best chance of everyone having a mutually good experience. We enjoy hosting cheerful, positive people who get along well with other volunteers and communicate any problems and/or frustrations with us rather than discussing them with other volunteers and building resentment. Most of our volunteers have a good experience while here and we usually have a good experience with them.
Meals and arrangements on days off:
Three meals are provided on weekdays. PLEASE LET US KNOW BEFOREHAND IF YOU HAVE SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS OR PREFERENCES OR IF THERE ARE THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY DON'T EAT. WE HAVE HAD PEOPLE COME WHO HAVE NOT NOTED THIS ON THEIR PROFILE AND THEN SPRING IT ON US ONCE THEY ARE HERE. WE ARE ON A TIGHT BUDGET AND HAVE A TIGHT SCHEDULE SO WE CAN'T ACCOMMODATE SPECIAL DIETS THAT ARE GOING TO PUT A STRAIN ON EITHER.
Breakfast is coffee/tea, bread, butter, jam and seasonal fruit. We also provide oats for those who prefer porridge for breakfast. if you like fancy breakfast cereals you will have to buy your own. Milk is provided for making coffee and tea. We do not provide plant based milks and milk for drinking, cereals and making beverages that are milk based like shakes, lattes, frappes etc. If you enjoy these you can buy your own milk and keep it in the volunteer fridge which is provided for this purpose. You can also keep other personal food items in the volunteer fridge. Labels are provided so that you can put your name on your items as well as the date opened so that we can be sure that we aren't growing nasty experiments in the fridge.
Monday to Friday we provide a full cooked meal at least once per day for lunch or dinner. The second meal may be a lighter meal such as soup with bread or wraps with fillings or burgers or spuds with toppings. My husband and I usually work on weekends so on your off days we won't feel obliged to stop our work to specially cook for you. For lunch on weekends you can make yourself a sandwich or help yourself to leftovers. We usually cook for dinner and appreciate any help with preparing meals. Volunteers wash and dry their own dishes after meals and take turns washing up the cooking utensils, tidying up and putting away leftovers after meals. This is done on a rota.
Traveling to Paphos: It is always easiest if you can get a flight to Paphos airport as it is just 15 minutes drive from the farm. However, if the best deals are to Larnaca airport please check cyprusbybus.com for the availability of buses to Paphos at the time of your arrival. If you can't get reasonably priced tickets to Paphos or Larnaca another option is to check for flights going to Ercan Airport which is in the North (Turkish occupied area). It is not a problem to get a bus from Ercan Airport to the North side of Nicosia. From there you walk through the checkpoint to the South side of the City. Just continue down Ledra street until you get to the end of the road. Turn right and you will find the main bus station a little further along on your left. From there you can get a bus to Paphos.
An important note to travelers who are not from the EU: If you have entered Cyprus in the South i.e. Paphos or Larnaca airports, you should depart from the South as well. If you leave through the North, the immigration authorities will not have a record of your leaving and according to their records you will have overstayed your visa. In this case, you may not be allowed to enter Cyprus again in the future. Please contact us with regards to more information about immigration policies for non-EU visitors if you wish to visit us.
Time off and getting around: Paphos has a rich cultural heritage, was the Cultural Capital for 2017 and also has a wealth of archaeological sites. From Paphos you can also explore the rest of the island by bus on your weekends. We are within walking distance of some beautiful beaches and the main tourist areas but we are also near the bus stops for 3 different bus routes for those who would prefer to ride. We have six bicycles but maintaining them has proven a struggle as volunteers do not always use them responsibly and, besides some damages, and a stolen bicycle (it was left unlocked in town) we seem to be dealing with a lot of punctures so we cannot always guarantee a good bicycle is available. If you are good with fixing bicycles and punctures the other volunteers will love you.
Things to pack: The Cypriot sun can be quite harsh (even in winter) so if you have fair skin or are not used to the sun it is advisable to wear light long trousers and a light long shirt even in hot weather. Sunblock and a protective hat that will cover your neck are a must. Some people also get skin rashes from contact with certain plants and weeds so it's good to protect your arms and legs from those too. Pack a water bottle and sturdy shoes with good soles to protect your feet from thorns, sharp stones, rusty nails etc. We will provide you with work gloves if required. Mosquito repellent is also good as sometimes there are mosquitoes around.
Please make sure that your travel insurance is up to date and will cover you in the event of unforeseen medical emergencies here in Cyprus. We are not part of the Schengen Zone so if you are travelling on a Schengen visa you may not be covered when you leave the Schengen Zone. Check the terms and conditions on your insurance policy to be sure.
FAQ: Yes we provide all bedding. Yes, we have internet. Yes, we have a washing machine to wash your clothes and we provide washing powder. Yes, there will be other volunteers here during your stay. Yes, we will fetch you from Paphos Airport. No, we can't fetch you from Larnaca airport.
We enjoy hosting Workaway volunteers and we try our best to give you a good time.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have a reasonably good wifi connection.
This host can provide space for campervans.
We can accept dogs if they will be able to get along with our dogs. Dogs will not be allowed in the house. Your dog should be well trained and socialized and get along with other people. Be aware that not all volunteers enjoy being around dogs so you should respect their right to not have your dog in their space. Your dog will sleep with you and you are responsible for cleaning up after your dog.
More than two
5 hours a day, usually 8:00 - 10:30 then 11.00 - 1.30 (starting 7:00 or earlier in summer heat), 5 days a week
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