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



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  • Description


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


    We are a couple, with dog, cats, chickens, ducks, etc, living since summer 2016 in an old olive orchard which had been abandoned for several years. The land is next to Natural Park Sierra de las Nieves, 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.

    We have a good relationship with our neighbors and are interested in building networks and community, and much more depending on your openness.


    One of our first activities as we came to live here, was the implementation of the fire prevention plan. We are requested (by law) to clear that area of our land which borders with the forest. This is one of many repetitive tasks. There was heavy work involved with moving trunks, which we used for the wind breaks and Hügel beds. We managed already to do the main implementation successfully with the help of volunteers. At the same time, the clearing of pine trees, allows for the recuperation and further development of the native vegetation, such as trees from the Quercus family (acorns). What is needed for now regarding this task is only the maintenance work.

    We have changed the surface of the terrain with the help of wind-breaks, terraces, swales and ponds. We observe in this area more and more irregular and dramatic changes in the weather and rainfall, i.e. several months of draught followed by heavy rains, strong and windy storms. Therefore the earthworks we have done, are proving so far to be working pretty well in order to harvest the rain water on the land, avoiding erosion and dessication by the wind, preventing the loss of fertile soil, creating micro-climates and for passive irrigation of the trees.

    There is plenty of work to do to bring the olives back to production. There are also many empty spots where we are planting a wide variety of fruit trees, shade trees, nitrogen fixers, as well as trees for chop-and-drop (organic matter). Besides that, we would like to plant a number of trees for production and sale.

    We have done some reforms in the house and are still working on the energy efficiency. In the coming months we would like to insulate the floor. We have built a wood-fire kitchen/oven-stove and would like to update it, so that it works as water heater as well (as an alternative to the thermal solar panel). So we are less dependent on fossil fuels and more efficient in fire-wood consumption.

    We have implemented a few compost raised and root beds for vegetables in the small garden, wish to do a few more. There is an on-going work in weeding, seeding, planting, etc. At the moment we have vegetables for our own consumption but we would like to cultivate as well some legumes and grains.

    We would like to create a few more chickens, ducks and rabbit spaces. The spaces will be fenced for protection from wild animals in the night. However during the day we wish to have more animals grazing, so they eat the weeds and prepare the soil for the next crop.

    In the short-middle term we would like to build another proper compost toilet (we have now very basic mobile compost dry toilet), and a tool-shed / workshop area (hoping this will help with keeping things neat and making order).

    For later on, we would like to build an outside summer kitchen, outside (hot and cold) showers, a couple of small tree huts (only sleeping and chill-out inside the trees), a sauna and reform an old ruin. We'd like at some point be able to do some yoga retreats for small groups.

    All we try DIY, using bio-construction or re-used materials. Hoping you could have some fun with these tasks and some more.


    There is a caravan and an extra room for guests/volunteers in our house, who would be sharing the common spaces with us. So, to be comfortable we prefer to host for 1-2 volunteers or 2 couples (4 people max.)


    We eat mostly vegetarian, depending on the availability of the products and on the harvest. However we do raise animals for eggs and meat (not common). We were eating vegan-macrobiotic for several years in the past. Now we are more into Mediterranean, ancestral diets and fermentation. There are many reasons why decided to introduce animal products again in our diet, and therefore we prefer volunteers to have a flexible and open attitude towards that.

    Besides that, we have experience in cooking for the public, also with special dietary requirements. We consume mostly organic and local, home-grown and home-processed (sourdough, pickles, etc). You are welcome to share meals with us.

    Almost all volunteers were very happy with the quality and quantity of our food. In case you wish to eat something else than what is offered on the table, that goes on your own cost. In any case, we ask you to avoid/reduce consumption of industrial sweets and chemical foods, alcohol and drugs during your stay with us.

    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 pharmaceutical drugs.


    We use solar panels for electricity, which is limited. Therefore 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.

    We do not wish to collect the trash from all the volunteers who pass through. If you bring any kind of packaging, etc. to this place, please find a good use for them while you are here or take them with you as you leave.


    There is risk of fire in the zone, so we ask you strictly to avoid smoking or reduce to a maximum and be very aware of handling with fire in the whole area. There is prohibition by the government of any fire.


    In the morning we wake up for our rhythm to practice yoga and/or other exercises like do-in (Japanese self-massage). We are currently teaching Yoga in the nearby villages. Volunteers are welcome to join at a discount rate (or in exchange e.g. for guitar lessons :)).


    We ask our helpers to be physically, mentally and psychologically capable to handle staying on the farm. On the physical level it means to be committed for physical work and at the same time take responsibility for successfully recuperating your own physical wellbeing outside the helping hours. We hope to be careful and provide you guidance if you wish so.


    For considering your request please share with us your previous experience with physical work and time you spent on volunteer projects, also what motivates you to come and volunteer with us. Besides you might tell us which work you feel confident with. We might surprise with our choice for you. Couples are welcome. 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.

    Also please specify in the subject of your letter "Read your full description and agreed with the conditions", to help us save our precious time.

    Thanks for your interest!

    If you have come so far that we have accepted your application, please consider the following items:
    - Headlamp or torch
    - Towel
    - Preferably your own bedsheets (approx. 135x200cm), and/or sleeping bag
    - Environmentally friendly hygienic products (soap, toothpaste, etc)
    - Working hand-gloves
    - Working shoes (e.g. mountain boots, sport shoes, etc..)
    - Working clothes



    ############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!

  • Types d'aide et opportunités d'apprendre

    Types d'aide et opportunités d'apprendre

    Projets artistiques
    Aide avec des éco-projets
    Bricolage et projets de construction
    S’occuper des animaux
    Aide dans une ferme
    Cuisine/repas pour la famille
    Aide à la maison
    Entretien général

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Objectifs de développement durable de l’ONU que cet hôte essaie d'atteindre

    Objectifs de développement durable de l’ONU que cet hôte essaie d'atteindre

    Objectifs de l’ONU
    Pas de pauvreté
    Faim «zéro»
    Bonne santé et bien-être
    Éducation de qualité
    Égalité entre les sexes
    Eau propre et assainissement
    Énergie propre et d'un coût abordable
    Travail décent et croissance économique
    Industrie, innovation et infrastructure
    Inégalités réduites
    Villes et communautés durables
    Consommation et production responsables
    Mesures relatives à la lutte contre les changements climatiques
    Vie aquatique
    Vie terrestre
    Paix, justice et institutions efficaces
    Partenariats pour la réalisation des objectifs
  • Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre

    Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre

    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 :)

  • Aide


    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.

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

    We are working on the energy efficiency of the house, and we still wish to insulate the floor. We would like to update our current firewood stove, so it works as water heater and oven as well. Furthermore, we still need to finish the electricity installation in the house.

    For later on, we would like to build a summer kitchen, outdoors passive solar shower, a second compost toilet with wood, food dehidrator, greenhouse, biogas digestor and improve our grey water system, improve our gardens with the rotation of chickens, etc..

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

  • Langues

    Langues parlées
    German: Courant
    English: Courant
    Spanish: Courant
    Dutch: Courant
    Slovak: Courant

    Cet hôte propose un échange linguistique
    Cet hôte a indiqué qu’il souhaitait faire partager sa propre langue ou en apprendre une nouvelle.
    Contactez-le pour en savoir plus.

  • Hébergement


    There is a caravan and an extra room for 2 guests/volunteers in our house. The common spaces (living room, toilet etc), will be shared with us. There is electricity (please be moderate in use) from renewable sources and possibility to 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.

  • Autres infos...

    Autres infos...

    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 in Internet, the company name is GrupoPacoPepe.

  • Informations complémentaires

    Informations complémentaires

    • Accès Internet

    • Accès Internet limité

      Accès Internet limité

    • Nous avons des animaux

    • Nous sommes fumeurs

    • Familles bienvenues

  • Possibilité d’accueillir les digital nomads

    Possibilité d’accueillir les digital nomads

    At the current moment do not have a Wi-fi connection. Some people who work from home in the past were bringing their own Internet provider. Important to notice here because of the mountains the connection is not always good (depends on your provider, again), and it works only for Movistar and/or companies who work with Movistar network (e.g. Pepephone, Digimobile, etc.)

  • Espace pour garer des vans

    Espace pour garer des vans

    During the summer months more likely. There is space for a small campervan/van.

  • Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?

    Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?

    Plus de 2

  • ...

    Nombre d'heures attendues

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Ce sont des évaluations supplémentaires en option lorsque les membres laissent un feedback. La note moyenne pour chaque option est affichée.

Exactitude du profil: (4.7)

Échange culturel: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

N° de référence hôte : 924894422899