All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 0,5
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 34928
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Last Updated: November 20, 2016
*** Hi all, thank you for all your love. Due to a burn out, I am not able to host anyone at the moment. Thank you for your understanding. Happy journeys! Love en-light ***
Andros island is the second biggest island of the Cycladic islands, and also the greener one. Full of breath taking views, endless trekking and hiking paths crossing streams, waterfalls, gorges, old watermills, etc, it combines mountain and sea, and makes it a perfect destination only two hours away from Athens on the ferry from Rafina port.
Winters are quiet with a possibility of snow on the mountains and the summers are more crowded in the towns, warm and usually very windy (perfect for windsurfers)!
The farm is located on a mountain slope, in a village named Kochilou, beneath the ruins of one of the Venetian Castles of Andros island. The nearest town, Korthi Bay, is about 12' away by car, or 45' to 1h walking distance. The village has a small traditional coffee shop, and peddlers drive by nearly every day selling bread, veg, fish, etc. There is no internet connection as there are no optical fibers yet... There are many shops in town though, that offer free internet. The land line can only make national calls.
The land of the farm was left uncultivated for about 60 years and only the stone-house, built in 1700, was used as a summer house. Since 2012 when I decided to move here and revive my ancestors land, I am slowly doing something more every year. I'm mostly following the Bio-Dynamic way of farming and aim for sustainability, though looks like it's still miles away. I am also studying Permaculture (haven't had the chance to take a course yet unfortunately) and am very open minded to hear new opinions, try new ideas, see new things. A visitor with any experience on these fields would be greatly appreciated. Weeding, taking care of the compost, planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables are daily chores.
Keep in mind that some house maintenance will also be required. Cleaning, tidying up and perhaps painting- depending on the season and your skills!
There are things to be done all year round in the farm, and when there is fruit or vegetable production, there is work at home as well as there is jam, chutney etc making.
Visitors of any eating habit are welcomed as long as they don't mind that meat is occasionally cooked here (not very often, and always ethically and locally sourced), although we cook mostly our own garden produce and usually bake our own bread! Having been a vegetarian for 6 years and a vegan for 1 year I am happy to adjust my cooking, even though I am neither at the time. It's always good to change diets every now and then! I have even explored raw diet! I love cooking, and often try new styles, cuisines etc and I am very happy to share my secrets with you and teach you original Greek, Andros and Corfu (my father side) cooking.
Different religions are welcomed and even fasting, Ramadan or Ekadasi could be accepted and supported as long as it doesn't affect the farm flow.
We usually eat all together. Anything extra you need, must be on your expense.
If you are a musician you must bring your music instrument with you (unless it's a piano! haha!) We are always happy to have music. I am a professional musician having a diploma in flute, and I also sing and play a bit of guitar.
I am a founding member of a Social Cooperative Enterprise, created to improve the life quality of the residents of the island and present more eco-friendly ways of farming. We organize seminars, classes, presentations and dream of creating a Botanical Garden open for visitors to see local varieties of herbs, vegetables and more. We also dream of bringing the people of the island closer to each other and "get" the idea of social economy.
The cooperative has ended up taking up most of my time. I am volunteering there many hours per week, so it can stay alive, but that keeps me away from home and that's where your help comes in handy.
Visitors are needed in many fields and I am happy to hear what you would like to focus on. Some of the projects your knowledge and help would be needed are building a small chicken house and a greenhouse from re-used materials, fencing, reviving the old vineyard and improving the old watering channel system. Everything is still in an early stage, lots of young trees and hedges, and a lot of asking elders of the village how things where done in their days, as books don't know the microclimate of this little spot of land!
The work here is usually not very hard and a few hours daily so you will have time to work on any personal projects or explore the island if you want.
Of course we can arrange to do things together when I manage to have some free time. I have been working for Trekking Andros two years now, taking on bus island tours and easy hiking trails as a guide in the summer. (www.trekkingandros.com)
I must point out that the location is isolated, even though it belongs in a village. I have a bookcase with books you can use, left from other helpers and friends, and I can provide a hiking map for the time you are here. If you want crowds, many shops, bars etc. then this is NOT the place for you.
It's quiet, peaceful, perfect for reading and long walks, foraging, and enjoying the scenic view and the seasons change.
Every time I go into town, you are welcomed to come with me, especially if you need internet. I go nearly every day because of the cooperative.
The house has a visitors room that can host one or two people. Couples are welcomed and in certain cases children as well. Keep in mind that less than two weeks is not worth it to come all the way.
If you are visiting from October to April, you must have warm clothes and slippers. We go by on minimum heating... Our finances are striving to afford it, especially after all the new taxes and the capital control...
I have a dog named Tuheros who stays at home, so other pets would be difficult to stay, even though he is friendly.
Smoking is not permitted in the house but there is a protected area you are free to use.
To arrive, you need to take the ferry from Rafina Port for 2 hours, then a bus that is right outside the port area as you arrive, for about 1 hour and then I pick you up at the end of the route at Korthi Bay (Ormos Korthiou). There is no specific bus scedule - whenever there is a boat - there is a bus. Because we are on an island you must know it's common for us to have "prohibitive departure".
I am always interested in meeting new people, exchanging ideas and experiences. I was born in England, grew up in Greece and travelled a lot, considering myself a citizen of the word. I haven't volunteered as a helper of helpx, but I have volunteered many times in my life (still do) helping in various fields so I am forgiving and understanding having been in both positions. I believe in talking and looking at the solutions rather than the problems. If there is something troubling you, better come to me and we can find a solution. I don't like having to "guess" what's wrong and I appreciate open hearts...
So if you are interested in all the above I will be happy to hear from you!