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help exchange   Host 4949
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(near) Popovo
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): About 4 acres
Persons: 2-6
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 4949
Country: Bulgaria

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Last Updated: September 16, 2018

From 1st July, 2018 onwards:
We are looking for longer term volunteers in 2018, stays preferably no shorter than 3 weeks please.
Also we would prefer 2 people together. However, we will of course take singles and 2 weekers.
We have one room left to renovate fully, finishing off in another room, some antimuddyness projects, various gardening and woodland management projects are ongoing.
Volunteers having cooking abilities is always useful but not essential.
We have limited internet at home, on a phone, the reception is not always great due to our location, I can usually reply within a day or 2.
I always reply to requests!

We are off grid. We have at present 350W of solar panels feeding an inverter for 240V sockets and 2 large leisure batteries for 12V lights & sockets as well as storing electrickery.

Our water is collected from the roofs and drinking water is collected from various springs, usually with horse & cart. We then filter the drinking water.

We have 2 horses, 2 cats and 2 small dogs. Plus 1 hive of bees, going into our 2nd year from May, we are practicing "natural beekeeping". I follow The BareFoot BeeKeeper, Philip Chandler.
We also care for a friend`s donkey when she is not in Bulgaria.

9 years ago we (being Lisa myself, Reuben my 25yr son & Zo my 21yr daughter, they are only here occasionally now) took on this beautiful & wild wooded land which had not been lived on for maybe 30 years. We wish to finish renovating the cobbrick & oak frame 3 room cottage, clear fallen & dead trees, which we use for our cooking and heating. Grow, harvest & preserve vegetables & fruit, maintain animal housing, have bees, make fences, sit & enjoy, share the space, learn & teach and that will do to start as the list is endless. The 3 of us had been volunteers & have done lots of hosting of various sorts.

Staying here will be primitivish, comfortable, well fed & hopefully interesting & fun!

The WE now is myself, Lisa & Tuncher, who speaks Bulgarian & Turkish. I speak English & Bulgarian.

Tuncher also has a house in the village (see accommodation) where we sometimes work with volunteers, helping with his mother`s garden and general keeping the plant growth in check. Here there is about 1 acre. This year we are going to repair the roof over the hay barn/stable, take down the yard gateway/roof and rebuild it and at the same time turn it into the new feed store.

We can cater for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. Tuncher eats meat & I am vegetarian verging on vegan, so each are cooked everyday.

Smokers are welcome, however smoking is outside please.

When answering please detail any skills in the gardening/natural building/cooking & preserving areas you have, also which things you are interested in doing while here.

Also in the summer there are children`s craft days with a friend.

At certain times of the year there are workshares with friends.

Throughout the year there will be:
Collecting bales, hay & grain.
Creating new electrickery fenced areas for the horses & donkey.
If you wish to get to know the horses, please say.
Sowing, weeding, harvesting & preserving vegetables/fruit.
Natural building: mud work/plastering, timber building.
Clearing land, preparing for winter.
Sourcing timber on our land for winter.

And more, you could also learn how to drive a horse & cart!! Most of our work in the village is by cart.

Volunteer accommodation is in Tuncher`s house in the same village about 15 minutes walk away. There is a newly renovated, separate self contained room, with 2 single beds, a sink, (see photo below with sink in yellow & brown room) a wood fired stove and long drop loo. This house does have basic electrickery and cold running water!
After that it is a very large summer tent. This would also be at the other house so you would have use of the same amenities. Accommodation is on a first booked first served basis (unless you really wish to camp).
Of course you can bring your own tent and we have plenty of bedding.

Things to do on days off:

Walking, cycling, hiking, if proficient enough take a horse ride or have a riding lesson, fishing, catch a bus somewhere else to explore for a couple of days.
In your request please put in the following phrase, (so we know you have read all the way to here), `Swimming with Horses`.
We have arranged a free volunteer account for Internet at the nearest library, Voditsa 8km. There is also a bar in Voditsa with WiFi, they do good homemade chips, whitebait & tripe soup!
There are 2 bicycles for volunteer use.
Go fishing in the local lake, carp and sheatfish.

Lisa & Tuncher

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