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help exchange   Host 56140
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 2
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 56140
Country: Germany

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Last Updated: June 16, 2017

We live on a 200 years old historic listed farmsite, composed of four buildings around a large courtyard. Originally built by a rich farmer with dozens of helpers working on the farm it is now managed by just one family working and living here. We do have a main job (Veronica is a jurist and Andreas violinist in an orchestra) but all of our spare energy is directed towards sustainable renovation of the farm and regenerative agriculture. After ten years of working 24/7 we will be very happy to have some extra hands to get things done.

We are very much focused on natural building, using wherever possible natural materials such as cob, straw, sand, hemp and wood. We rent eco-apartments for farm holiday guests (mostly families with children) which we renovate ourselves. In 2017 we will be finishing one more apartment, a small shop for organic products (almost done) and a separate house for helpers. Then we will start to renovate a barn which we want to convert into an organic restaurant.

We keep sheep, free-range pigs, chickens and turkeys besides rabbits, alpacas and shetties so there is a lot of outdoors work to do as well. We are trying to live as self-sufficiently as possible and are very permaculture oriented. We have built a large reed bed system for waste water, have three ponds, lots of swales, grow medicinal plants, have hugelbeds, do lasagna gardening, keep all our animals free range and avoid synthetic chemicals. There is also a large library with a lot of books on permaculture, organic gardening and ethics which you are welcome to use.

Permaculture: mostly we have been learning by doing while transforming our two hectares formerly heavily exploited soil into a natural reserve for insects, birds, farm animals and humans but there have also been opportunities to study theoretical permaculture in Indonesia and Italy besides doing a PDC with Geoff Lawton in 2015.

Our kids are 9, 10 and 12 and love to have new people with us and maybe get some conversation in english or french. Among us we have travelled in many countries all over the world (and still go on at least one long road trip every year) so we know how it feels to be travelling and how to settle in a foreign place. We speak english, french, italian, a little spanish and very little indonesian and russian.

You get a nice and clean room, the bathroom is shared. Internet is free.

We expect about five hours of work (five days a week) for food and accommodation. Depending on your interests there is so much to do inside and outside that you will be able to choose between natural building, caring for animals, helping to build a vegetable garden, with landscaping, cooking, doing woodwork or many other tasks. No day is like the last one. We prefer independant helpers who (after having been given the choice of many possible tasks) decide what to do at their own pace but we will of course integrate you fully into our family life.

The area is lovely, very rural and idyllic, but Dresden and the historic little town Meissen are not far. We go there often and can take you whenever you wish.

Food: we do not buy industrial meat but we do occasionally eat our animals as we know how they lived and how they were fed. So many meals are vegetarian and meat is something special. We started to learn how to make sausage, ham and various spreads and you are welcome to learn as well. We are also very interested in getting to know some special dishes of your country.

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