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Rohrbach an der Gölsen
All Year: February-November
Area (ha): 16
Persons: 1-3
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 39033
Country: Austria

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Last Updated: September 5, 2017

This is a community project being developed on the grounds of a former convent at the woody foothills of the Alps in Lower Austria. We are organising an organic farm as a space for experience and development of fulfilled, sustainable, cross-generational community living and working. We'd like to realise 7 different projects under one roof:
1. cross-generational, resource saving housing
2. a small-scale organic CSA farm with a main focus on vegetable production and green care
3. an educational and cultural centre
4. a multidisciplinary, therapeutic shared practice
5. a day care centre for children
6. a school
7. a day care centre for elderly people
The first five projects are already being put into practice since 2015.

Currently we are a group of 11 people between 2 and 63 years old already living on site. More people are in the process of joining the project.

Our place is composed of 15ha of agricultural land. 8ha are covered in forests. 7ha were being used as cultivated pasture in the past. In a first step, a big vegetable garden has been set up in 2015. In 2016, our main projects consist in setting up a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), refurbishing a vegetable storage space with natural building techniques, starting a herb garden, and getting some first animals in the second half of the year. At the same time, we are working on the mid- and long-term planning for the remaining space.

We are currently in the process of getting organic certification. Our approach to farming is inspired by methods of sustainable, intensive vegetable production with a conscious and cautious use of machinery. It is important to us to focus on building the soil and develop a holistic permaculture design.

We offer you the possibility to be part of the exciting initial phase of the set-up of a small-scale farm. We are a team of two young women - one with an educational background in organic farming (permaculture, practical sustainability, sustainable horticulture), as well as several years of practical experience in different European countries and climates; the second one studying agricultural science and having internship experiences on biodynamic farms in different countries. We are happy to share our theoretical and practical knowledge. You can get an insight into participatory planning methods for a farm that is embedded in a bigger community project, as well as into the first steps of setting up a CSA. We have been very active WWOOFers and HELPXers in the past and are looking forward to now being able to pass on our positive experiences. And we are of course curious to learn from you too. :)

This year, depending on the season, you can mainly support us with the following activities. We kindly ask you to mention in your application which areas you would be most interested in, what are your past experiences and which knowledge and skills you would like to contribute to our project.
- Nursing and selling of young vegetable & herb plants & flowers: sowing, pricking out, transplanting, nursing, selling
- Vegetable, herb, flower and fruit growing: preparation of the beds, fertilising, planting, sowing, weeding, nursing, harvesting, preserving, distributing, selling
- Gardening activities with children: preparation & realisation of activities
- Assistance with animals: preparation works for the keeping of bees, hens & ducks; animal care once the first animals have arrived at our place (presumably in the second half of 2016)
- Care for & design of the outdoor spaces
- Preparation of a permaculture design: observation, topographical survey, application of different design instruments,...
- Different non-horticultural tasks: putting up a polytunnel, refurbishment works with natural materials,...

We can provide you with a room on your own in the top floor of the outbuilding that you might share with other helpers or guests. The ground floor of the house is the home of a family of refugees from Afghanistan with their 4 children.

We speak English, French, Italian and Czech.

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