help exchange   Host 29247
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Help Exchange

All Year: All year
Area (ha): 1
Persons: 2-3
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 29247
Country: Italy

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Last Updated: October 9, 2018

We are looking for one or two male helpers who are fit and used to working on the land. Work is varied but sometimes will require strength so we prefer for these weeks to have boys/men to strim the grass, dig and weed, carry wood and so on. Couples do work but there is less work to do that is simply painting since we have done this for now. Currently, we have a lot of stone walls to repair, carrying of wood and stones, lots of maintenance and clearance issues so it's better if you have some strength and/or experience.


Hello, we are Sofia and Ardhan, living with our two wonderful doggies in a small, open plan house with 2 cats who live outside. I moved here ten years ago on a soul's journey and Ardhan was inspired by my vision and joined me as a co-creative partner, six years ago.
We have a beautiful, working olive tree farm and Agricola in the Ligurian mountains which offers stunning and unspoilt views all around. We are currently preparing land to plant perfume roses and aromatics in late March/April next year.

We are only 15 minutes drive from the picturesque village of Dolceacqua and 10 minutes from the natural swimming rock pools of Rocchetta (usually a bit cold for swimming after October). We are also only half an hour to beaches either here in Italy or across the border into France- the Cote d'Azure coastline of Menton and a bit further on, Monaco and Villefranche. We are one hour from Nice airport and half an hour from Ventimiglia station.

We are in the process of creating a sanctuary for psycho-spiritual healing and we are finally starting the finishing stages with building that will also be complete in the spring. We are passionate about dietary health, physical, mental and emotional well-being, shadow work, spiritual ecology, mysticism, metaphysics, the tantric world view and the role of the Sacred feminine (and of course the Sacred Marriage of the healthy masculine and feminine) in evolutionary consciousness.

Whoever comes will experience more than just the physical aspect of working and seeing the area, they will come away with many personal gifts and inner growth. We would like volunteers who have a shared vision to us and are interested in their own personal and spiritual growth, what’s happening in the world and their connection to it. In particular a love of the land and being immersed in nature and quiet, this place is stunning but it's no good for you if you are not used to land based living. Fundamentally we need people who are physically fit because this is outside land work and requires that you have good health and stamina plus love being outside as we do. Also because the land is terraced and often steep. If all this feels like you, then we welcome you applying.

Land and buildings maintenance
Basic carpentry
Dry stone walling
Olive Harvest (likely November/December)
Wood painting
General gardening and vegetable gardening
Specialist gardening with roses and aromatics if possible
Occasional dog walking or sharing in house duties- cooking/cleaning

In exchange for 20 - 25 hours of work per week with two days off, you will get to live here with us in one of our fully furnished cosy yurts, or one of the two caravans or a wooden room we have at the back of the house. We provide all food but on days off you are asked to cook for yourself having taken what you need the night before or obviously if you go out to sort a packed lunch etc. We prefer a break from cooking responsibilities on your rest days if possible, as we have other commitments to deal with and also need a rest.

Guests will make their own dinner (we give you food and you can pick fresh herbs/salads) and we will prepare lunch each day for a shared meal - breakfast you do yourselves. You have an outside kitchen with fridge and gas that you can use on the land. We provide vegetarian food usually fresh from our garden and/or from local organic shops and markets though currently for health reasons we are gluten and dairy free and having to eat some fish and occasional organic meat (Paleo) - so we welcome your dietary needs in advance.

As well as the yurt amenities there are outdoor cooking and washing up facilities at various places on the land, as well as natural compost toilets and hot water showers. This is rural living and although mostly sunny, be prepared for the occasional and rare possibility of rain and mud as we are in the hills. Equally in the hotter months of July and August, mosquitos can be bad when working outside at dawn and dusk so come prepared. During winter and cold/dark months we would negotiate over cooking in the house and of course you can have use of our downstairs bathroom but mostly our work is during the summer.

In very hot weather like in July, we tend to start early at 6.30am or 7am, finish around noon, share a lunch together and rest in the afternoons (ie 4-5 hours work each morning). This seems to work well for everyone and gives a good afternoon/evening space for everyone.

For going out in the afternoons and days off, the nearest bus stop is 1.5 miles away, and whilst it is possible to walk to the rock pools it is three miles away and uphill on the way back. We do have electric bikes that might be possible to use to go to Rochetta for example. Buses don't run in the evenings and it's hard to find a local taxi. If you come without a car, it’s therefore more difficult but we will take you down to Dolceacqua sometimes when we are going shopping, if not every day.

Helpers must be nature and animal lovers, non-smokers, and have personal travel insurance. We are up a winding road which is beautifully quiet, so this peace needs to be something you enjoy and especially if you come alone. The majority of the help we need is outside on the land so you need to be agile and fit. Cleaning/cooking/dog walking is on the bottom of our priority list. If you are coming as a couple which works really well here, we ideally need the combined skills of manual labour and some gardening experience.

Days off, we ask that you are happy to chill out in your yurt or up in our beautiful group room space which has stunning views….or pending spare time, we can sometimes drop you to the rockpools or Dolceacqua. It's all very chilled and easy.

We do have internet in the house but we use cables to avoid WiFi. We can plug in to get Wifi and this also works in the top group room and both caravans.

We are English, I speak intermediate Italian, Ardhan basic. If you want to check out more photos you can go to my site :

Many thanks,
We look forward to hearing from you.

Sofia and Ardhan

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