Help an ecological farm in transition to permaculture on land next to Natural Park Sierra de las Nieves, Spain



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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    ######### Spanish below ##########

    We are a couple, with dog, cats, chickens, ducks and rabbits, who came to live Summer 2016 in a land next to Natural Park Sierra de las Nieves. It is a beautiful nature reserve known for its many endemic species, like Pinsapo and Quejijo trees. In the fall the area is a paradise for mushroom pickers, the winters are cold with snow in the highest peaks, the springs an explosion of flowers and the summers hot and dry, golden colors. The farm is an olive orchard which has not been taken care for several years. So there is plenty of work to do to bring the olives back to production.

    Besides that, there are many empty spots where we would like to plant a wide variety of trees. We are implementing swales and ponds in order to harvest rain water on the land, for passive irrigation of the trees. The plot has a great variety of native vegetation, which we would like to nurture. There are as well many possibilities for creating microclimates, as the terrain and possitioning of the farm allows for that. We would like to create a beautiful little paradise of edible plants and trees, as well as supporting vegetation and animals.

    There is a caravan and a house with an extra room for guests/volunteers, who would be sharing the common spaces with us. We are working on the energy efficiency of the house. We have finished the insulation of ceiling and clay plaster on walls; in the coming months we will be finishing the floor. We are also working on a rocket stove and would like to re-build it, so it works as water heater, oven and cooking stove as well.

    We eat mainly (but not strictly) vegetarian. As it gets cold, we enjoy more cooked food in the winter, and more fresh vegetables and fruits in the summer, depending on the availability of the products and the harvest. We were practicing macrobiotic for several years. We have been as well cooking for the public in several events/retreats, etc. both professionally and as volunteers. Our food nowadays is influenced by mediterranean and gluten-free diets. We consume as much as possible organic and local, as long as it is practical. The volunteers are invited to share meals with us, from what is offered on the table. If anybody wished to eat something different, that goes on his/her own cost. In any case, we ask to avoid (or at least reduce) your consumption of refined sugars, processed foods and alcohol during your stay with us.

    There is also some electricity work to do for reducing electricity consumption, which we get from solar panels. For later on, we would like to build a summer kitchen, outside shower and compost toilett with wood.

    Hoping you could have some fun with it.

    Use of electricty is limited, we ask responsibility with your devices, charging them during sun hours, this is important for us, as we care for the life of the batteries. We respect the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle, so we are happy when our helpers share the same principles.

    Thank you for considering that we use plants and herbs for self-healing, and consider food and life-style as our own medicine, and take responsibility for how it applies to you. We would like to avoid in our place the use of chemical drugs.

    There is risk of fire, so we ask our guests to avoid smoking , or reduce to maximum and be very aware of handling with fire in the whole area. There is prohibition by the government of any fire. Besides that, we are subject to the fire prevention plan, by which we are requested to clear the forest area of our land from some pine trees and bushes. This involved some heavy work in moving the trunks, etc. On the other hand, this activity offers many other possibilities to do with the leftover branches and trees, such as wind breaks, Hügel beds, furniture, and so on. At the same time, the clearing of pine trees, will allow for recuperation and further development of the native vegetation, such as trees from the quercus family (eickhorns).

    In the morning we wake up early to practice yoga and excercises. We have done yoga teachers training and have experience with several years of practice and do-in exercises (japanese self-massage). We are currently teaching Yoga in the nearby towns. Volunteers are wellcome to join the lessons at a disccount rate (or for example could also be an exchange for guitar lessons :)).

    We ask our helpers to share responsibilities and be committed with our project. We have a good relationship with our neighbours and are interested in building networks and community, and much more depending on your openness.

    For considering your request please us your previous experiences with physical work and time you spent on volunteer projects, also specify what motivates you to come and volunteer with us. Also you might tell us which work you feel confident with. We might surprise with our choice for you. Couples are wellcome. We appreciate adjusting to our schedules when needed. We ask 25 hours help per week.. Besides, we ask volunteers help around 5h per week in common tasks such as cleaning own room and common spaces, tools, cooking, washing dishes, start and maintain the fire, etc. Also please keep your room clean and tidy at least as it was when you entered for the first time. Also we want to give preference to people who would like to spend longer periods with us, preferably 3 months, or more. 1 month is trial period. Thanks for your interest!



    ############Castellano############## ###########

    Somos una pareja con perrita, gatitas y un patos, gallinas y conejos. Vivimos desde el verano del 2016 en una finca que linda con el parque natural Sierra de las Nieves. Es una preciosa reserva natural conocida por sus muchas especies endemicas, como son el pinsapo y el quejigo. En el otoño el area es un paraiso para los amantes de las setas. Los inviernos son frios con nieve en los picos mas altos. Las primaveras, una explosion de flores. Los veranos secos y calidos, de color dorado.

    La finca es un viejo olivar que ha estado abandonado por varios anios, y algunos almendros. Asi que hay mucho trabajo por hacer para volver a poner a los olivos y almendros en produccion. Ademas, hay muchos espacios libres donde nos gustaria plantar una gran variedad de arboles. Estamos recogiendo agua de lluvia gracias a zanjas de filtracion, lineas clave y estanques, i.e. irrigacion pasiva. El sitio tiene una gran variedad de vegetacion autoctona, que queremos respetar. Tambien hay muchas posibilidades para crear microclimas, ya que el terreno y posicion de la finca lo permiten. Nos gustaria crear un lindo paraiso de plantas y arboles comestibles, asi como fauna y vegetacion auxiliar.

    Disponemos de una caravana y una habitacion extra para voluntarios y/o invitados dentro de la casa, compartiendo con nosotros los espacios comunes. Estamos mejorando la eficiencia energetica de la casa. Ya hemos aislado paredes, techo y ventanas; en los proximos meses terminaremos el suelo. Tambien estamos mejorando una estufa rocket y nos gustaria construir una estufa danesa, que sirva tambien como calentador de agua, horno y para cocinar. Asi como alternativa al horno solar, pretendemos reducir nuestro consumo de gas.

    Comemos principalmente vegetariano (aunque no somos estrictos) con mas comida cocinada en invierno y algo mas de verduras y frutas frescas en verano, dependiendo de la estacion del año. Hemos practicado la macrobiotica por varios años. Tenemos una amplia experiencia cocinando para otras personas y en eventos, bien de manera profesional y voluntaria. Nuestra cocina actualmente tiene influencias de la dieta mediterranea y sin gluten. Consumimos tanto como sea posible ecologico y local, dentro de lo practico. Los voluntarios son bienvenidos a compartir nuestras comidas. Si alguien quiere comer algo distinto de lo que se ofrece en la mesa, esto va bajo su propio costo. En cualquier caso os pedimos evitar el consumo de azucares y productos refinados, procesados y alcohol durante vuestra estancia con nosotros.

    Para mas adelante, nos gustaria montar una cocina de verano y ducha al aire libre, y banio seco con madera.

    El uso de electricidad es limitado. Pedimos responsabilidad en el uso de aparatos electronicos, cargandolos durante horas de sol. Esto es importante para nosotros, ya que queremos cuidar la vida de las baterias. Respetamos los principios reducir, reusar, reciclar, y estamos contentos cuando nuestros voluntarios tambien los comparten.

    Gracias por tener en cuenta que usamos hierbas y plantas medicinales para sanarnos, y que consideramos la comida y el estilo de vida como nuestra propia medicina. Nos gustaria evitar en la finca el uso de medicamentos y drogas quimicas.

    Hay riesgo de incendios, asi que pedimos a nuestros invitados evitar fumar o reducir al maximo el consumo y tener mucho cuidado con el uso de fuego, velas, etc en todo el area. Hay prohibicion del gobierno de hacer fuegos. Tambien estamos acogidos dentro del plan de prevencion de incendios, por el cual hemos hecho un clareo del bosque de pinos y de la vegetacion arbustiva en la parte forestal de la finca. Este tipo de trabajo es duro, por otro lado ofrece muchas oportunidades de otras cosa que podemos hacer con la madera de los troncos y los restos de poda, como por ejemplo barreras de viento, bancales 'hügel', muebles. Ademas asi vamos a favorecer a la reproduccion y el desarrollo de la vegetacion arborea y arbustiva autoctonas, como son las encinas, quejigos, alcornoques, lentiscos, romeros y tomillos, jaras, etc.

    Por la mañana nos despertamos temprano para hacer yoga y ejercicios. Tengo un curso de profesor de yoga y ambos tenemos muchos anios de experiencia, tambien con do-in (ejercicios japoneses de automasaje). Actualmente damos clases de yoga en los pueblos vecinos. Los voluntarios son bienvenidos a participar en la clases si asi lo desean, con un descuento (o trueque por clases de guitarra, por ejemplo :)).

    Pedimos a los voluntarios compartir responsabilidades y estar involucrados con nuestro proyecto. Tenemos relaciones cordiales con los vecinos, y estamos intereaados en crear redes, colaboraciones y comunidad, si estas abiert@. Para considerar tu peticion, por favor envianos tu experiencia previa con trabajo fisico y voluntariado, asi como que te motiva de nuestra descripcion.. Dinos tambien con que actividades te sientes mas segur@. Podriamos sorprenderte con alguna actividad que hayamos elegido para ti. Las parejas son bienvenidas. Pedimos que los voluntarios que se ajusten a nuestros horarios cuando sea necesario. Necesitamos unas 25 horas de ayuda a la semana. Ademas, pedimos a los voluntarios que empleen alrededor de 5h. a la semana en limpiar su propia habitacion y ayudar en la limpieza de los espacios comunes, herramientas, cocinas y lavar los platos, encender y mantener el fuego de la estufa, etc. Tambien por favor manten y deja tu habitacion limpia y ordenada, al menos como la encontraste. Y preferimos voluntarios que deseen quedarse mas tiempo con nosotros, de 1 a 3 meses, minimo, con un primer mes de prueba. Gracias por tu interes!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Art project

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    They could learn a lot about resilience and all the challenges of a project that is starting. Getting to experience the quiet lifestyle of the country side and the small villages nearby. Contact with nature and easy access to wildlife and beautiful hikes and fresh mountain air. Clean water, healthy food, great environment for getting to know yourself better and work on your health and stamina :)

  • Help


    We would like to create a beautiful little paradise of edible plants and trees, as well as supporting vegetation and animals. So there will be many trees and plants for transplanting when the rainy season starts.

    Also we would like to bring the olives back to production, which includes pruning and harvesting, etc.

    Also we need help with the swales, ponds (rain water harvest techniques), wind breaks, hugel beds, garden and roof rain water watchment.

    We are working on the energy efficiency of the house, and we still wish to insulate the floor. We would like to build a bigger rocket stove than the one we have currently, so it works as water heater and oven as well.

    For later on, we would like to build a summer kitchen, outdoors passive solar shower, compost toilet with wood, dehidrator, green roof, greenhouse, biogas digestor and grey water system, etc.

    So there is help needed in any of these activities and much more!

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    Spanish, English, Slovak, German, Dutch

  • Accommodation


    There is a caravan and an extra room for 2 or 3 guests/volunteers in our house. The common spaces (living room, toilet etc), will be shared with us. There is hot water (more in the summer), electricity (please be moderate in use) from renewable sources and possibility tu use our Internet in the house only when really needed. In the nearby villages El Burgo and Yunquera it is possible to connect to Internet for free.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    During your time off there are many beautiful hikes to river, mountain, natural park, etc. Also enjoyable to walk to nearby villages. Ronda is worth a visit, not that far by bus or car. We also travel to Malaga regularly, so in nice weather you can come and have a swim on the beach.

    There is public transport (bus) from Malaga and Ronda, and then a 15 min. walk. Another possibility is to get by bus to any of the nearest villages Yunquera and/or El Burgo, and if you tell us in advance, we might even be able to offer you a lift from Malaga itself, or maybe Coin, Ronda, Alozaina, if there is a combination for that.

    For the bus schedules, please check:

  • 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

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Clay Plaster 3rd layer
Fire prevention plan
Brushcuts prepared for chopping on top of future swales
After work..
Wind break on hugel culture
Spreading horse manure over wind break
Bunk bed out of pallets
Stucco wash basin
Paint on shower stucco
Clay plaster walls
Adobe bricks

Host ref number: 924894422899

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