Magical retreat in the mountains. Help create food stability and self-sufficiency in Cervantes, Spain




Favourited 111 times

  • rating

    Host rating

  • feedbacks



  • last activity

    Last activity


  • Last email replied

    Reply rate

    88.0 %

  • Last email replied

    Average reply time:

    within 4 days

  • Badges

    Super Host

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    I am a 44 year old man from the Netherlands and moved to a spectacular spot in (L)Os Ancares, in the mountains of Lugo, Galicia in the summer of 2019. My plan is to transform 20 beautiful mountain hectares into a (Holzer) permaculture site while using Biodynamic and Korean Natural Farming principles as well.
    About me: I have a background in training & development and therapy. Now working as a full-time account manager in the Ed-Tech industry. I work from home, working Nothern-European working hours with occasional travel commitments.

    The project will take a few years to complete and I have just started! It will take place in several phases, the first being creating terraces on the fields directly surrounding the house and transform these from grassland into Food Forests.
    For this phase of the project, I am looking for help with planting (fruit)trees, seeding, watering, mulching and other gardening tasks (please see the updated info).

    The objectives of the Holzer permaculture project are:
    1) Create food stability and self-sufficiency,
    2) Create a forest fire buffer,
    3) Create a beautiful natural garden that teems with life!

    Animals on the farm: I started out with 5 geese and they have been very fertile! At them moment, there are 25 geese running around and a bunch of chickens too! I have 2 livestock guardian dogs and a little but noisy lapdog.

    IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to huge delays in the permitting process, we won't be making the terraces until somewhere in 2022. Because of that, the focus of the work here now is very much on construction types of work. I am grateful for any help with restoring dry stone walls, lime mortaring the walls inside the house and some general renovation work that needs to be done.
    Planting will take place mostly after the terraces have been made.

    The deal:
    I offer free accommodation and 3 meals a day. In return, I ask for between 20 - 25 hours from you per week (depends on the weather). It is up to you to decide when you will work those hours: Any time during the day, in the weekends or during the week. Just let me know what you prefer and if you change your mind during the day, no problem.
    With past work-awayers staying, I have learnt that not everybody can handle the freedom to set his/her own hours and some individuals need more structure. If you need more direction from me to feel more secure, just let me know and we will find a way that works for the both of us.
    Remember, I work Monday-Friday from about 08:30 till 17:30-18:00. If you prefer to work with me, we are limited to the weekends and evenings.
    If you are ok with working on your own (or with other work-awayers), you are free to choose when you will work but make sure you coordinate with your fellow work-awayers.

    The rest of the time you are off and free to spend your time the way you want.
    During our time together, I will teach you Biodynamics, (Holzer) permaculture, Korean Natural Farming and Holistic Management.

    Regarding meals: I usually skip breakfast but I have sympathy for breakfast eaters and your morning food of choice will be provided for as much as I can. For lunch, we always cook something delicious but I won't always be able to cook it for you (because of the day job) so we use a rotating lunch-cooking-schedule. If you cook lunch for everyone, that will be part of your work-away hours.

    Some rules:
    -Smokers are allowed but only outdoors. You must be very fire conscious as the building is mostly wood and in summer forest fires can ignite within seconds
    -No hard drugs on the farm. Party the way you want but not on the farm. A Coruna (2 hours drive) has great nightclubs to let your party-heart out ;)
    -I am flexible as anything but I need to be able to plan it. Give me notice and we can plan around whatever it is you would like to do or not do.
    -You must respect my neighbours - and this is a deal breaker - as they are an extremely important resource for me. You do not need to become friends, that is up to you but you must treat them with respect and they will respect you as well.
    -Enjoy the local area. It is great for hikes, bike rides, horse riding or just strolling through the forests and mountains.

    That's the most important information.

    I always meet with applicants through a video call first before deciding on the next steps.
    Looking forward to meet with you!


  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    If you want to spend time in nature, away from everything and everyone, while helping to restore a very old farm and improving it, this is your spot! The local culture and history is fascinating and only 15 minutes from my house, you can find iron age houses that have been partly restored. These are remnants from the Castro Culture and there are many Roman left overs as well.

    The life in the Ancares is quite special. People are mostly self-sufficient. Everybody has at least a handful of cows, chickens and a pig or two and has a veggie plot near the house. This area has been isolated until the early 1980-ties and this can still be felt and seen.
    If you are looking for fabulous restaurants and on-the-edge nightclubs, you will be sorely disappointed here. If you have a fascination for or enjoyment of nature, this might just be your place to spend some time at.

  • Help


    At this moment, the focus is on (permaculture & Biodynamic) gardening help. If you like to work with plants, we need you! (Update: a huge delay in the permitting process means I won't be able to create the terraces until 2021. Because there is not much point creating a vegetable garden after having it run through with excavators, there won't be much vegetable growing until after the creating of the terraces).
    If you like building houses and other construction tasks, you are also more than welcome!

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    Spanish: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    There are bedrooms in the main house. You will share a kitchen and bathroom with me. In the near future, I hope to restore a small house on the property with its own services. If you have construction skills, you can help me set that up :)
    Food is part of the deal. I provide 3 meals a day. When it comes to cooking, I usually suggest that is something we share. Sometimes I cook, sometimes you cook, sometimes we go out for lunch or dinner.
    Vegetarian can be accommodated for. Vegan is a bit more difficult as the local cuisine and available foods are very much animal based. Then again, nothing is impossible!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    The kitchen is a nice place to work.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    I can accommodate a van/motorhome up to 7 meters long. Longer than that and you won't be able to make the curves in the road.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    There are animals on the farm now so especially dogs need to be farm-animal friendly. I really don't like animals to penned or tied down but if there is no other way, we will have to do that if the animal is endangering the farm animals. For dogs, I have a gentle training method that is very successful and lasts for 10-15 minutes, ensuring they will not come near any of the farm animals.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

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

These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.

Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 897932235885