Help us create our resilient small-holding and buildings in Podlaskie, Poland

Country

Poland

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    Last activity

    28/10/2020

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  2020 

 Min stay requested: 1 week or less

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  • Description

    Description

    *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ Update 9 June 2020. We're OPEN despite the covid situation. In May we started (slowly) renovating the derelict old main house. There will be lots of woodwork going on. The walls will be insulated with straw and we plan to use some old polish building techniques. We have a number of other projects going on at the same time, and of course about 50 animals to feed and look after... There are always plenty of things to do, things to improve. We try to adapt work to our visitor's skills and interests. We love it when volunteers create artwork on our walls. We look forward to meeting you :) *️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️
    __

    Hi. We're Henry, Kasia and Maia. We're an Anglo-Polish couple and we took the plunge and moved in Spring 2015 to this small farm in rural NE Poland. It's a lovely sheltered spot surrounded by woods and away from the road. It was all run down but we've made a LOT of progress already. We love having volunteers and we will make lots of effort to accommodate you as long as you are willing and able to fit in to our busy working environment. We do work hard and long hours, but we don't expect more from volunteers than is in the Workaway contract (max 4-5hrs).

    When we first arrived we were living in a tent and getting water from the well in a bucket. We've since renovated the old garage into a communal kitchen/living/dining space. We built a yurt, and then a small straw bale cottage for my 77 year old mother who peacefully passed away after two years of living here. A couple of years ago we renovated an old goat house for storage space and also converted the end of it into comfy accommodation for two people. We insulated the old goat house and the kitchen with straw and plastered it with clay, which has worked very well. I haven't heard about many people doing this so it's quite interesting maybe. Also the technique for making the continuous arched walls/roof of our strawbale cottage is quite unique and interesting. Eventually we have an old house that we want to renovate/convert and we are getting plans together for that.

    We have 9 goats and we get daily fresh milk. Occasionally we make cheese. We have about 30 chickens living in our woods and guinea fowl, so we have fresh eggs too. We have two dogs and three cats, oh and a rabbit, and most recently 5 ducks! Quack!

    We planted lots of trees and shrubs around the place and expanded our no-dig vegetable patches. The goats and chickens have been helping us tidy up our orchards. We've made swales and hugelbeds and we're trying to integrate permaculture design and principles into the place. We respect nature and we try to limit our resource, machine and chemical use.

    Our daughter is now nearly eight, is helping us as much as she can, and she's always up for playing, running, making us laugh, and otherwise distracting us. She's really creative and determined and has good social skills. She is on holiday until the beginning of September.

    We're looking for volunteers for our gardening and building work, for spending time with our daughter doing creative/arty things (or even just reading a book).

    There are big forests around, also Poland's biggest National Park about 12km away.

    Any questions, do get in touch :-)

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Babysitting and creative play
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Language practice
    Art Projects

  • 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

    You can see the reality of the early years of moving from a city life to a derelict farm site and trying to convert it into a beautiful living and working space using permaculture principles. Henry is often keen to talk about permaculture and philosophy and we have a fairly good library here.

    Previous volunteers have commented that they've learned all sorts of things.

  • Help

    Help

    Upcoming volunteering help (winter): charcoal making, forest work, firewood, greenhouse building, wood working (door making, shelf construction, etc.), (Spring and summer): various building projects, clay plastering, gardening, compost, extending vegetable gardens. We do expect some help with the other chores like cooking, washing up, tending the fire for hot water, etc.

    We're open to other possibilities. Come and create art, help entertain and educate our little girl.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Polish: Fluent

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Accommodation seems pretty comfortable now compared to last year! We've recently made some good accommodation in the goat shed. It's quite cool in there in the summer but no heating for winter. We also have a beautiful yurt that can be available. There's also comfortable shelter and a sofa-bed in the kitchen.

    We have running water from a well, electricity, cooking facilities, a washing machine and dryer, an outside composting toilet and a solar shower.

    Internet and phone reception is sometimes limited on our beautiful site sheltered by trees (but seems to be getting better).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Tourist facilities are fairly limited in the immediate area. The local town is about 10km away - plenty of hardware and food shops, but otherwise pretty basic facilities.

    There's rich local flora and fauna, including elk, wild boar and wolves.

    There's places for walking, cycling, and fairly good tourist centres less than an hour's drive away. We have bikes that can be borrowed.

    We try to go away for day trips together with volunteers from time to time if there is an opportunity. We enjoy bonfires sometimes in the evenings.

  • 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

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Workaway volunteers helping make the frame for the new toolshed in our vegetable garden
Straw bales coming, and preparing the window sill
A volunteer helping to make a new mobile chicken house and run.
One of our Workaway volunteers helping build the solar shower :-)
Some of our zielononoszki (green leg) old breed chickens, and their guinea fowl friends coming out of their mobile chicken coop to free range for the day.
The vegetable patch getting more established (June 2016) and part of one orchard behind (apples and plums)
Kasia plastering the straw bale insulation outside the workshop/kitchen, July/August 2016

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Host ref number: 994757621214