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Szczedrzyk (near Ozimek)
All Year: March-October
Area (ha): 11
Persons: 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 13073
Country: Poland

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Last Updated: September 27, 2017

Our farm is located near Opolskie, in the Valley of Mala Panwia, where the Odra river feeds into Turawskie Lake (21km from Opole).

We have 11 ha of land which consist of grasslands (7 ha), cereal crops, vegetable crops, and two orchards. On the property we also have our personal home, a guest house for vacationers, and century old farm buildings that we are continuously renovating. The farm was handed down to us a few years ago and since then we have been working toward converting the land as well as reconstructing the original buildings.

Helpers are invited to sleep in a private guest room for the length of their stay but will live closely with the family working, eating, and interacting with everyone on a daily basis. We expect for our Helpers to feel as though they are a part of our family by doing anything from planning projects for the farm, to sitting down for coffee and cakes mid-day.

Within our house we are cultivating a traditional Silesian family structure where three generations are living in harmony under a single roof. Each of us is considered to be an irreplaceable part of the entirety. Upstairs lives our family: Iwona (mother), Jens (father), Felix (13), and Sophia (10). Downstairs lives Iwona's mother Heidi and father Heinrich. Additional members of our family include two dogs, a cat and her kittens. For us ecology is not just a means of cultivating ploughland. Its also a way living that is incorporated into our everyday lives. Every aspect of ecology, agriculture and farm life are of interest to us; eco-tourism, pro-ecologic technology, and the like.

The focus of our practice is to preserve natural biodiversity which results in a very diverse, organically developed farm. Because of our commitment to generate strictly organic goods there is no typical specialisation or monoculture.

Throughout the year we try to impart our passion for and knowledge about ecology through workshops geared toward elementary, middle school and high school age kids. Groups are invited to visit the farm and do workshops focused on topics related to organic farming and ecologically based practices. We would appreciate help from Helpers who are interested in teaching workshops and practicing their native language with the children in the process. Although we grow many different kinds of vegetables, fruits and herbs, we are producing food not for commercial or financial gain but for our personal consumption throughout the year with any surplus going straight to the pigs. The focus of our work is not to produce food for revenue but to educate ourselves and others about how organic produce is cultivated.

Our vegetable crops consist of pumpkins (we are collecting 7-10 tons of pumpkins yearly), courgettes, and pattypan. We grow many fruits such as apples, pears, peaches.

In addition to the food that we grow here at the farm we work with a traditional Hungarian breed of pigs, the Mangalitsa, that we breed throughout the year.

One of the aims of eco-farming is to establish a year-round cycle that links the plant crops with the animal breeding. The animals provide a valuable organic bulk while at the same time vegetable crops provide perfect pastures for the pigs to roam. Although the best animal for an eco-farm is a cow but we chose for Mangalitsa pigs because they are less sensitive to climate changes and require very little labor. Starting in September we produce multiple kinds of fruit and vegetable juices (on a regional scale for locals only) collecting our own fruits and vegetables as well as produce from other local farmers. We mostly stamp apples but also stamp pears, plums, red beetroots, and others. The press is for the use of other people as well. Our juices are sold from the house as well as at local bazaars. We can host two Helpers at once who we would expect to work 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Minimum stay is two weeks and anytime from March to October. We speak Polish, English, German and Spanish.

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