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Help Exchange

All Year: from April onward
Area (ha): 10 (4.5)
Persons: up to 4
Category: Other
Host ID: 29827
Country: Ireland

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Last Updated: March 17, 2020

We are living off the grid on a 10 acre piece of land, called Tir na Beo. It is surrounded by the mountains of West Cork. There are different kinds of areas on different heights on the Tir na Beo. Woodland areas, bog land bits and various types of little fields and gardens. We separated the land in areas for living, for gardening, just for nature and there is also a section for guest, camping and events. The Gougane Barra National Park and the Lee Valley with the beautiful chain of lakes forming Lough Allua are close by. This is a very rural area and the nearest village is about 5 km away. The distance to the west coast is about 25 km.

History, Philosophy, Life and Plans:
We are inspired by people who live and work on their own land self-sufficient and in harmony with nature. Being more healthy and happy. Eating organic food is also essential for our way of living. To us this kind of life is perfect to reveal our potentials.
We would like to share and enjoy this land and this beautiful area with other people in a scattered community setting with sense for individuality and privacy. The vision is to create a circle of people with a focus on the same essentials in life. This kind of vision will be also based on the benefit from each other on various levels.

We are in a very early state of our community set up. Long-term residents at the moment are Torsten, Naty, Aneta and John. Eventually we also want to inspire like-minded people to settle down on some potential other locations close by to create a larger scale of community in the long run.

Torsten got this land about 8 years ago and this is the third year that we are living permanently on it. It was a long process to get to this point and we can feel the difference within this total commitment. We are more connected to the land, more settled in life and getting more back in return. This strong connection is very inspiring and we are gaining new ideas for the present and future. Every year developing the land and the infrastructure is transforming it more and more into the land of our dreams.

Meanwhile there is a various number of ongoing personal processes. We are discovering our natural rhythms and pace for example. On a daily base, over the entire year and further.
An ongoing project is to bring the Irish native plants back in place as much as possible. Starting in specific areas, gathering and planting native plants from the surroundings, while learning more about properties, potential food and medicine. It is also exciting to combine all that slowly step by step with principles of permaculture. We are at the beginning now and there is a lot to learn and to improve.

A plan for the near future is to use parts of the land to provide a natural enjoyable ambience for certain events, treatments, workshops, outdoor education/activities etc. or just to let accommodation, camping and relaxation.

Another focus will be alternative energy systems.

Volunteer Accommodation, Facilities and more:

The communal kitchen and social space is a wooden round house with a large fire-pit featured in the middle. Our rustic facilities include also an outdoor kitchen with seating and an open fire. We have a functional clean compost toilet system, fresh clean well water and a stone-pool next to a stream on the land. There are also two stone framed wells and 3 ponds.
Your sleeping accommodation will be a bell tent or a caravan.

There are a view caravans on the land. In one of them lives John. Aneta lives in a roundhouse and Naty in a cabin. There are also 3 big tunnel-shape constructions. Torsten lives in one of them together with his 2 dogs. On top of that there is no house and no main electricity or main water on the land. We are using generators for power-tools and we also have a digger and a dumper at our disposal to help us with the heavy ground and stone work.

If you require to charge your phone or to have internet connection you can use our bikes to cycle about 7 km to the next village. There will be an electricity plug and Wifi available

Lifestyle in the Summer:
The weather including daylight and darkness has a big impact on our life in general. We learned to accept and appreciate each kind of condition. Weather is the main aspect to consider every day. Especially gathering and preparing wood and doing the stockpiling is an important part of our routine to secure dry firewood every day. If there is too much rain we are not working outdoors. Usually we switch towards indoor work or spend time around the fire in the roundhouse by chilling out, talking, cooking, playing darts, board games or reading books or we just disappear individually into our private spaces.. We do have a little library, as well as some musical instruments (guitar, bongos and a didgeridoo).
A usual morning routine would be that the first one up bakes bread for everybody in a frying pan on the open fire. Cooking is part of the job for helpers and there are lots of nice recipes to cook on the fire.
We have Canadian canoes and trips on the lakes can be arranged. We also have 2 bicycles, which can be used for trips anytime.

We will take up to 4 volunteers for a minimum stay of 4 weeks as long as all of us are happy with that.

What are we looking for:

We are mainly looking for people who are approaching a simple life close to nature and with like-minded people around. Therefor gathering experiences, skills, inspirations or already looking for the final place to settle down.

And so it would not match if your main focus is to explore new countries, cultures, different lifestyles and new people in general. Also just to improve your English language skills or matching a required internship of your study would be not enough.

You are more than welcome to involve yourself on various levels and different areas. That could be new ideas or inspirations as much as physical work or other focus areas. The Tir na Beo could be also just an inspiring and useful area to specify yourself over time in different areas.
If, after a while, your experience here on the Tir na Beo would turn into a long-term living perspective for all of us, we could give you a specific area to your own disposal and would change arrangements.

About us:

I was born in 1967 in Hamburg, Germany. After school I did different kinds of training and studies. To me, the most important outcome of those times was to find out more about who I am and what I am looking for in life. An on-going part of my life was always the joy of traveling and being outdoors in nature. After living in different alternative settings for many years I was ready to focus consistently on this beautiful piece of land in the mountains of Cork. Finally I found a home here, where I really want to be and stay. To live so close to nature makes me feel more intensive, more creative and curious. It has an ongoing positive influence to my personality and my path of live. In this days my biggest passion is to bring the native Irish plants back in place, restoring nature and slowly learning how to combine that with permaculture. Gathering knowledge and awareness about plants, food and medicine.

John:aka `heyoka spirit`
I am the co creator of this off grid project. I came to this project with over 25 years experience having lived in and constructed Tipi`s and Yurts for myself personally in community settings and commercially. I spent of number of years living horse drawn where i traveled to many towns and villages across Ireland, experiencing many alternatives communities and ways of living. I have a lot of experience working with horses and I have a passion for gardening, and we will be aiming for food self sufficiency in the future
These days I would describe myself as a survivalist prepper, I`m passionate about all off grid living techniques from alternative power to long term food storage.
I am always happy to share and demonstrate some of the skills I have acquired over the years, and I look forward even more to learning new skills from different peoples perspectives that I`m certain helpers will bring to the project. In the past I was only able to spend short amounts of time on the project but this year with less outside commitments I`m looking forward too being more hands on.expect to learn and use every day bush craft fire lighting skills,cooking with raw ingredients and over an open fire and as I`m looking to get back into tipi manufacture pole gathering and preparing as well as cover sewing.

reviews (13)
Helper: Brendan Bayley Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Australia Date: September 4, 2019
It's a pretty difficult thing to write a review of Tír na Béo ("The Land of t... view complete review

Helper: Gu dian GU Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: China Date: July 26, 2019
I spent two weeks wIth Torsten.There was an English guy and a Spanish woman.M... view complete review

Helper: Silvana Bellgardt Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Germany Date: November 7, 2016
This is such a beautiful place. I've stayed there for one month and met loads... view complete review

Helper: Carmen Toledo Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Spain Date: October 23, 2016
I spent 3 weeks in this amazing place and I am so grateful for that experienc... view complete review

Helper: Guillaume Bauduin Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France, Metropolitan Date: September 13, 2016
I stayed here for 2 weeks, it was definitely too short and definitely amazing... view complete review

Helper: Cristian Ortiz Rios Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Spain Date: August 5, 2016
Amazing experience! All nights sitting around the fire, meeting new people an... view complete review

Helper: Rebecca Gould Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Ireland Date: July 17, 2016
I would recommend staying at John and Torsten's place. Good place to go. Ener... view complete review

Helper: Maud Fournier-Bidoz Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France Date: January 12, 2016
The hosts, John and Torsten are very nice people... It was such a crazy expe... view complete review

Helper: Axel and Johann Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France Date: November 19, 2015
Tir na béo is such a cool place ! A lot of things to learn and to discover he... view complete review

Helper: Louis Macdonald Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: September 8, 2015
Tea na Beo is a lovely place. The people there are sound and you can learn so... view complete review

Helper: Mark Younkins Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: July 8, 2015
I had an amazing experience living with John and Torsten for 3 weeks. They we... view complete review

Helper: Alan Kerveillant Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France Date: June 17, 2015
I have spent two incredible weeks with Torsten and John. They are really nice... view complete review

Helper: Emma Verkuijl Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Netherlands Date: August 22, 2014
First things first: GO HELP AT THIS PLACE. My boyfriend and me had a great ex... view complete review

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