Rohrbach an der Gölsen
All Year: April-October
Area (ha): 16
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 39033
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Last Updated: July 17, 2020
Description of the farm:
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. Our main focuses are cross-generational, resource saving housing/ a small-scale organic CSA farm and a herbal farm/ an educational and cultural centre/ a multidisciplinary, therapeutic shared practice/ a day care centre for children and a holistic health retreat centre with therapeutic animals.
Currently we are a group of 9 grownups and 2 children between 4 and 42 years old already living on site. More people are in the process of joining the project. 2 young men from Afghanistan are also living with us.
At the moment we have 10 hens, 3 cats and 5 donkeys for therapeutic uses. In the mid- to long-term future there are more animals to come.
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, we started a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), growing vegetables for about 50 people/families in the region and selling young plants in spring. In 2017, our agricultural activities have been expanded thanks to Pflanzner Naturkosmetik, growing herbs on 2.000 m˛ and transforming them for the production of natural cosmetics. In 2019, a holistic health retreat centre with therapeutic donkeys has added yet another aspect to our already diveres agricultural activities. We also have a small orchard, providing fruit an berries for the people living in the community. At the same time, we are working on the mid- and long-term permaculture planning for the remaining space.
Which special skills can WWOOFers learn at our farm?
We offer you the possibility to be part of the exciting pioneer phase in a range of different projects.
1. If you want to help in the organic CSA farm, you learn about sustainable vegetable growing and plant breeding. Tatjana manages a high diversity farming on a small scale with a lot of manual work in a “market gardening”-style to deal carefully with the soil and with nature.
2. At the herbal farm of Stefan and Anna you can experience how healing plants, aromatic plants and herbs grow, how water destilling works in order to get essential oils and how the gotten essences, tinctures and more are made into natural cosmetics.
3. At the holistic health retreat centre, you can help Sandra and Peter taking care of the therapeutic donkeys and with different tasks regarding their diverese spectrum of activities.
The farms are part of our community project, where you also can live and learn about our daily living and working together and help out at seminars and events, which are held at LebensGut Miteinander.
In the past we have been very active WWOOFers and HELPXers 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. :)
If you want to contact us, please choose one of the 2 farms above (the herbal farm or the holistic health retreat centre. In 2020 we unfortunately do not accept helpers at the vegetable CSA farm.), in which you mainly want to help out. If you are interested, it is also possible to work at one of the other farms on some days. We are happy to hear from you and 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.
This year, depending on the season, you can mainly support us with the following activities:
- Nursing and selling of young vegetable and herb plants and 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 and realisation of activities
- Assistance with animals: taking care of the ducks and chickens
- Care for and design of the outdoor spaces (e.g. care and planting of a pond, care of fruit trees and bushes,...)
- Preparation of a permaculture design: observation, topographical survey, application of different design instruments,...
- Different non-horticultural tasks: setup of a vegetable washing and distribution space, preparation of the weekly CSA info, preparation of workshops,...
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, as well as with two refugees from Afghanistan.
We are organically certified and members of BIO AUSTRIA. 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 healthy soil and developing a holistic permaculture design.
Which products are generated on the farm?
Vegetables, herbs and some fruits
Teas, natural cosmetics, essential oils
Spoken languages: German, English, French, Italian, Czech, Ukrainian