Help me start a homestead in the rural area of Transylvania, Romania



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Hello, my name is Bianca. I am 35 years old and I have just made my dream come true by buying a house in a rural area of Transylvania, for my dog, Kira, a 6 years old Great Dane. I have spent half of my life in Sibiu, my hometown and the other half in Bucharest, where I studied Economy and Communication. My summer holidays as a child, however were spent in the countryside, with my grandparents, in a village called Slimnic. It is there that I chose to move 4 years ago, with a strong wish to start living in the countryside and to begin my downshifting journey.

    I am part of a peasant association fighting for the peasants rights to land, seeds and market opportunities, based in Cluj-Napoca. In my free time I volunteer in an after-school project based in Sibiu, that helps children coming from disadvantaged families stay in school. I have started being a migrant worker in agriculture, 3 years ago. I work in a vineyard during the winter, somewhere in the south of France. I love my work and the people I work with.

    The idea of buying a house of my own started two years ago. I have saved up for this reason and looked for a house that would allow me to be far from the city, in a community of people that still cherish human relationships above all. I have found it in 2018, in August, in the village of Craciunelu de Sus. The village is a bit remote, with no asphalt road, no sewer system and beautiful vineyards and forests surrounding it.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I am a curious type of person and love learning new things. I have a high level of energy, most of the days. I wake up early and go to bed early. I have traveled a bit through Europe, visited the US and Canada as a student and love learning languages. I travel in my self-converted VW Sharan nowadays, together with Kira, the Great Dane.

    I like to bake, knit and read. I have some knowledge about homesteading, cooking, preserve making, fermenting, soap making, I would like to learn more about using (power) tools, construction, mushroom picking, beer making, gardening and permaculture, nonviolent communication and conflict management, music.

    I wish to start this journey in good company and make real connections to people that will come and visit as the years pass by. I would like to keep my habit of making friends and sharing the joy of life. I need a bit of push to go out and explore the surroundings of the village more. I love the forest and hope to get to know the one nearby much better.
    I am a patient teacher and have some experience in practicing languages. I would be happy to share my knowledge and time.

  • Help


    The household I found has two houses, a big barn, a wood shed, a well and, most importantly, a 2000 square meter garden. One of the houses needs some attention and restoration – specially for the main room facing the street. And the garden needs planting and caring. For this reason I will be here for the summer and autumn, working on the house and the garden.

    I would appreciate some good company and some help, when needed. I have a little bit of experience with the restoration of a house, using traditional materials. I have a bit of experience with gardening, compost making and preserve making. I am passionate about agroecology and I want to try some ‘no-dig gardening’ and respect some permaculture principles that I have found out about.

    The ‘let’s not make a plan but try to accomplish’ for 2019 is:
    - Putting the water pipes into the ground and installing a water pump that will bring water from the well, inside the house. My father has some experience and he will help with the technical part of it.
    - Checking and replacing the electrical system of the two houses, as to make it reliable. I will have a specialist who will assess the situation and advise.
    - Planting a test-garden using the principles of ‘no-dig’ and permaculture
    - Cleaning and maintaining the rest of the garden surface: grass cutting, trees pruning and general design.
    - Fixing and patching the roof of the barn: it is a traditional tiled roof that needs some replacing (broken tiles and the edges of the wood structure underneath).
    - Clearing the old hay from the barn in order to use it as covering material for the compost pile
    - Building the main compost toilet and a solar shower.

    Whether you master some specific skill or have work experience is not really important as long as you have a willingness to adapt and learn the homesteading ways.
    I believe that any person can be useful and any skill can bring contribution to the life we live together.
    We just have to take the time to communicate our needs and understand each other.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    Romanian, English, French, a little Spanish, a little Polish

  • Accommodation


    The small house of the household is hosting me and Kira, the Great Dane, at the moment.

    The big house of the homestead has one room ready to receive guests this summer. It has a double bed.

    There is plenty of space to put hammocks in the barn and enough green grass to set tents in the garden behind the barn.

    In the future, I plan to clean the stable, in the barn, and transform it into a hosting space as well.

    There will be a compost toilet and a solar shower available. No washing machine, unfortunately, until 2020.

    We can cook and share meals, learn about each other’s favorite meals, keep is simple and nutritious.
    There is limited (Orange network only) mobile phone signal in the village.

    The homestead has no available internet yet, except for my personal phone pre-payed card that allows me to read mails and see messages on whatsapp, facebook messanger or instagram.

    As this is the first year that I will be a host, there are no set 'rules' yet.
    However, here is some general information on our habits:
    - I am having a vegetarian (towards vegan) diet and Kira, the Great Dane, has a very strict (only kibble) diet, due to her allergy.
    - I am stupidly and highly allergic to cats and get asthma attacks when exposed to cat hair, dust and some more.
    - I am a bit crazy about keeping things in order. I clean as I go and keep all spaces as clean as possible, without dedicating special moments for cleaning. I try to exercise tolerance and empathy, any occasion given.
    - Kira, the Great Dane, is not really great with other dogs (not at all with other female dogs) but she too tries to exercise tolerance, any occasion given.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The village is set in the very heart of Transylvania, in an old and well-known wine region.
    The nearby village, Cetatea de Balta prides itself with the newly restored Jidvei Castle.

    The closest town where you can find a big supermarket is Medias, a tiny medieval town, perfect for short walks and second-hand shopping.
    My hometown, Sibiu is less than 70 km away and so is the famous medieval citadel, Sighisoara.

    As I have one available car, at all times, we can organize ourselves and make trips upon request.
    Hitch-hiking is also a good option for such small distances, in the area. However, read more about hitchhiking in Romania, before you decide to try it.
    Public transport is not great, to say the least. Buses are rather scarce.
    The closest train station is Valea Lungă. However, Mediaș and Blaj might have better connections both by train and bus. I can pick you up from there upon my availability.
    Nearest airport is in Sibiu.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 874333483343