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Hey nature lovers out there!
*** Planting season begins!
Starting in March, we will get busy planting hundreds of bushes for our future syntropic forest garden! Please join us for some serious planting fun! There is nothing more satisfying than planting new life! 🤗
Currently, we are also looking for people who want to become part of this project and stay with us for a longer period of time, e.g. the whole season/3 months. We are looking for people who fully want to immerse themselves in the community life on our farm, want to take over responsibility in producing our own food from seeding to preserving, work with the soil with us and other volunteers, plant trees, engage in syntropic agroforestry and permaculture practices. We have much to offer would love to chat about this opportunity with you!***
We are a community of people, who partially grew up together or found each other through travels and other joys of life - Gemeinschaftshof [v:]Erde. The core of our group consists of:
Lilly grew up on this farm, went away to the big city of Nuremberg with some stops living in Santa Cruz, CA and Bogotá, Colombia and lots of fun traveling time all around the globe, and finally decided to follow her roots back to the little countryside village "Kleinsendelbach". She studied Socio-economics, but as well teaches guitar and sings on weddings. Her big passion is to create a sustainable and regenerative way of life.
Cori studied Geography in Bonn, also traveled the southern hemisphere of this globe and has been looking for a project that gives her the opportunity to maintain a sustainable way of life, where she can apply her geography study-related knowledge and let out her artsy side. Combining these two, she was the primary driver for our focus on permaculture, which is the core of our project. During her travels, she gained some wonderful workaway experience, which let us to invite you to our exciting project.
Cori's all time best friend and Lilly's sister Leo is also occasionally part of the project as well as the mechanical and farming knowledge expert Georg, Lilly's and Leo's Dad. He knows how to fix every problem with almost zero money and quite inventive ideas.
But now, let's get to the actual project:
Like we said, the core of the whole idea is to turn this traditional family-owned little farm into a permaculture paradise. In the last years we have been working on experimenting with different field forms, compost strategies, mixed cultivations, started planting our edible forest and planning the restructuring of the estate to create a community farm with a charming café, a seminar room to offer artsy, musical, crafty and spiritual education, and a little hostel. We want to combine environmental sustainability with an integrated community, may it be with our next door neighbors or a lama riding Peruvian gal or whoever will knock on our door. We are also sharing our beautiful veggies on a weakly basis with our so called "veggie friends" on donations and are offering tours of our fields like "permaculture in the veggie garden" or "veggie tour for elementary school classes".
This year, we are continuing with the veggie and fruit cultivation to keep us and our veggie friends fed and are starting the planting of our edible syntropic agroforestry food forest. This means we will plant hundreds/thousands of trees/bushes/shrubs in a very dense and highly complex system to mimic natures perfect plan through succession and stratification to create 100% self-sufficient eco-systems.
Besides that, the year will be full of seeding, plant preparation and cultivation, weeding and mulching the fields, taking care of the chicken, our newly planted edible hedge and 20 fruit trees, forest work, building a new outdoor shower and and everything else that comes up. Living and working on a permaculture community farm.
As you can see, we are still, after a couple of years, in the early years of what will hopefully be a life time of fun, hard work, inspiring connections with people from all around the globe and sustainable way of living. Therefore, there is plenty of room for your input, may it be handy skills, getting dirty with us in the forest or on the fields, your creative ideas, but most definitely sharing a beer at the campfire ;) .
If you want to come stay with us, please write us a message including why you want to stay with us, what makes us a perfect fit for you and you a perfect fit for us - also a phone number would be helpful so that we can get in contact with you. It is very important to us to have people staying here who really want to be part of our project and with whom we can enjoy every day working in our own little paradise. :)
Also please keep in mind that we are primarily looking for people who want to come stay with us for a longer time to really become part of our community. In our experience it is mutually more beneficial to stay here 1 month and longer to first learn the ropes and then apply the knowledge right away. This way our volunteers are also empowered to take on responsibility within our project!
Two years ago, we financed a new well on one of our fields with a crowdfunding campaign. You can watch our video here on the startnext website when looking for Gemeinschaftshof vErde.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
One thing that all of your many volunteers who have stayed with us have in common: they all said that they learned so much here! First of all you will definitely learn how to grow and care for plants in an ecological, natural way using knowledge from all centuries and different methodologies, mostly permaculture/syntropic and be confronted with health aspects and preservation of veggies. Also, you can enjoy a tractor ride or two, learn the skills of ancient (who knows from which century) machines and tools that have been collecting dust here, creative solutions to practical problems and will experience using all your muscles everyday.
On top you can learn some guitar skills from Lilly, work on your harmony singing, cook with regional self-produced veggies, dig into artsy topics with Cori.
Of course we are our own language exchange melting pot, since we also have some international friends staying over from time to time. If you want to dig into German language and culture, there are many opportunities awaiting you.
Most importantly, we want you to experience living in accordance with nature and open-minded people who honor honest, non-violent and deep communication.
This year, we are focusing on planting and getting our syntropic food forest going and on the other hand keep producing amazingly delicious veggies for us and our veggie friends. This will include sowing, planting, weeding, mulching and generally taking care of our precious plants, harvesting and preparing them for our "veggie friends", as well as soil cultivation and wood work. We have many different little tasks, where you could also apply your special skill.
Dates for volunteers:
We will most likely welcome volunteers from the beginning of March on.
We will start with hard soil work such as preparing the soil for planting, planting thousands of treefs/bushes/shrubs... and also preparing patches/soil for new seeds.
From May 15 on will be our main planting week. This is the time of the year when all the tiny baby plants will be put outside to grow and flourish.
Throughout all this we will also need help with more delicate tasks such as pricking of the seedlings, taking care of the baby plants on the fields and the chickens.
Naturally, we also have many little tasks along the way, like building a tomato house, setting up bird houses, taking care of our freshly planted fruit trees and so on. So it will definitely never get boring.
We will receive volunteers throughout most summer to assist us in maintaining the whole farm and helping us with the processing of the veggies - for our veggie friends who pick them up once a week and for ourselves to survive the winter.
From July/August on, there will be a lot of cooking to preserve food such as tomato sauce, ketchup, heaps of jam, syrup and liquor, pickled or fermented veggies or podding them to dry.
In fall, we will keep on planting new bushes and also tree to keep planting our edible forest garden.
We life in a 18th or 19th century (nobody knows exactly) farm house with two extra guest rooms and a big attic.
We have a special area in the veggie garden especially for our volunteers. We have been working on renovating two caravans which are situated right in our veggie garden and we have already built a composting toilet last season. This spring we will finish the rainwater shower/sink.
This means that your accommodation will be as well close to nature and you should be open to this kind of living/stay. There are no heaters in the caravans and the wifi only works close to the house. We will set up a "tea kitchen" closer to the house where you can sit down if you need to be connected to the wifi.
All in all, living with us is a very close-to-nature experience. We want to close cycles and promote a life in symbiosis with nature. Therefore, we only eat what we harvest here on our farm (we buy little things such as flour and oat milk from our neighboring farm/store).
Even though this is definitely a countryside location, we are just a 30 minute ride away from the cities of Erlangen and Nuremberg, which offer many cultural and historical sites as well as some music venues and bars if that's your thing. On the other side we have the Franconian Switzerland, which is a climber's paradise with many nice hiking trails and the famous brewery track.
The local transport brings you to us from either Nuremberg or Erlangen on an easy ride. The bus to the next village, that offers some grocery shopping leaves every 20 minutes just a short 3 minute walk away.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have a very stable internet connection.
There is space in our courtyard to park a campervan. However, it is not the biggest space.
More than two
Around 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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