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Dabrowa Bialostocka
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 8
Persons: 1 or 2 + kids :)
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 43782
Country: Poland

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Last Updated: August 7, 2018

Update January 2018: We've just finished building the rocket mass heater in our kitchen so we can now provide year round accommodation for volunteers (it's also insulated with straw cladding). Upcoming winter jobs include charcoal making, some forest work, and hopefully building a greenhouse.

Hi. We're Henry, Kasia and Maia. We're an Anglo-Polish couple and we took the plunge and moved in Spring 2015 to this small farm in rural NE Poland. It's a lovely sheltered spot surrounded by woods and away from the road. It was all run down but we've made a LOT of progress already. We love having volunteers and we will make lots of effort to accommodate you as long as you are willing and able to fit in to our busy working environment. We do work hard and long hours, but we don't expect more from volunteers than about 5hrs a day, Monday to Friday.

When we first arrived we were living in a tent and getting water from the well in a bucket. We've since renovated the old garage into a communal kitchen/living/dining space. We built a yurt, and then a small straw bale cottage for my 77 year old mother who peacefully passed away after two years of living here. Last year we renovated an old goat shed for storage space and also converted the end of it into comfy accommodation for two people. Eventually we have a house that we want to renovate/convert and we need to get plans together for that.

We have 8 goats, we get daily fresh milk and we now make cheese. We keep the local old breed green-legged chickens and guinea fowl, so we have fresh eggs too. We have two dogs and three cats.

We planted lots of trees and shrubs around the place and expanded our no-dig vegetable patches. The goats and chickens have been helping us tidy up our orchards. We've made swales and hugelbeds and we're trying to integrate permaculture design and principles into the place. We respect nature and we try to limit our resource, machine and chemical use.

Our six year old daughter is helping us as much as she can , and is always up for playing, running, making us laugh, and otherwise distracting us. She's really creative and determined and has good social skills. She goes to pre-school 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. (Note that Kasia is often out teaching English in the afternoons/evenings.)

We're looking for volunteers for our gardening and building work, for spending time with our daughter doing creative/arty things (or even just reading a book).

Upcoming volunteering help: tree planting, wood working (door making, shelf construction, etc.), clay plastering, firewood, forest work, gardening, compost, extending vegetable gardens. We do expect some help with the other chores like cooking, washing up, tending the fire for hot water, etc.

We're open to other possibilities. Come and create art, help entertain and educate our little girl.

Accommodation seems pretty comfortable now compared to last year! We've recently made some good accommodation in the goat shed. It's quite cool in there in the summer but no heating for winter. We also have a beautiful yurt that can be available. There's also comfortable shelter and a sofa-bed in the kitchen.

We have running water from a well, electricity, cooking facilities, a washing machine and dryer, an outside composting toilet and a solar shower.

Internet and phone reception is sometimes limited on our beautiful site sheltered by trees (but seems to be getting better).

Tourist facilities are fairly limited in the immediate area. The local town is about 10km away - plenty of hardware and food shops, but otherwise pretty basic facilities.

There's rich local flora and fauna, including elk, wild boar and wolves. There are big forests around, also Poland's biggest National Park about 12km away.

There's places for walking, cycling, and fairly good tourist centres less than an hour's drive away. We have bikes that can be borrowed.

We try to go away for day trips together with volunteers from time to time if there is an opportunity. We enjoy bonfires sometimes in the evenings.

Any questions, do get in touch :-)

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