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Hey nature lovers out there!
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. On her travels in Cambodia, she met Juan. They fell in love with each other and the idea of someday starting an eco-community-project together.
Juan is a Colombian fellow, a painting artist, martial arts practitioner and an agronomist engineer. Though his professional experience is mostly related to tropical climate, which we don't quite have here ( :-) ), he has been really devoted to learn the ropes of this hemisphere. He loves animals of all kind and likes to get dirty. To add to the Latin American mix, we have Cori, whose parents are from Venezuela.
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. Last year 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 also started to give out veggies for donations on a weekly basis to our so called "veggie friends" and hosted some events like tours of our fields or environmental education classes for kids.
This year, we are expanding our cultivation areas and our self-sustainable living on a bigger scale and keep on building our edible forest. This means that this 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 composting toilet and rainwater shower and everything else that comes up. Living and working on a permaculture farm.
As you can see, we are still 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 it is worth mentioning 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!
Last year, 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
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 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 and Juan, who will also maybe show you an Aikido move or two.
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 communication.
This year, we are planning on focusing on the expansion of our veggie supply for the whole year and keep on building constructions for our farm, which includes 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 welcome volunteers from the beginning of April on.
We will start with hard soil work such as planting green asparagus, preparing patches/soil for new seeds. Also, in this time we want to start building the composting toilet and rainwater shower for our new workawayers' accommodation. Juan is also taking on the project of building a transportable chicken house to let the chickens move around the different lands of the farm.
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 plant hundreds of new bushes and also tree to keep planting our edible forest garden.
Possible dates would be (approximately):
April 1st - April 30th
May 13th - June 19th
July 1st - sometime August
Sometime September/October (more accurate dates will follow when dates are closer)
We life in a 18th or 19th century (nobody knows exactly) farm house with two extra guest rooms and a big attic. We have beds, mattresses and sleeping bags. If you can't get enough of nature, you can even pitch a tent and enjoy sleeping outdoors, but that's not a must.
This year we will start with hosting our wokawayers in their own little paradise. We are currently working on renovating a caravan which will be situated right in our veggie garden and we will use the beginning of the season to build outside composting toilets and a rainwater shower/sink.
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
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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