help exchange   Host 31894
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 0.2
Persons: 3
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 31894
Country: South Africa

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Last Updated: August 22, 2014

Our suburban property is turning into a productive, sustainable space applying permaculture, organic and recycling principles to show that it can be done in a suburban environment. We try to involve our community and grow food on the sidewalk. We currently grow over 100 herbs, veggies, fruit etc. and there are worms and some ex-battery hens. We've also converted our huge pool into a greenhouse. We need help with day to day garden chores and with structural projects like rain water collection, irrigation, aquaponics and building a composting toilet. There are many ideas we want to implement and we learn as we go! We are members of our local Talent Exchange and run a craft studio. We are CouchSurfing hosts so there are regularly international visitors too. We are a vegetarian household, we juice and eat raw during the day and supplement meals from the garden. We'd like you to work about 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week, but flexibly distributed which leaves plenty of time to explore Johannesburg.
It is hard to describe what you would learn when you come here. There are always lots of things going on, our to-do list is a mile long and we are involved in many projects not on the premises, like food gardens and an animal shelter looking after abandoned and abused dogs and cats.
Volunteer work over and above the daily house, greenhouse and garden chores pretty much depends on what projects are on the go at the time, but we also try to plan things according to the skills our volunteers have and what they like doing. We are passionate about permaculture and sustainability and are learning as much as we try to teach. Suggestions are always welcome. If you happen to teach a craft, please let us know and we can try to schedule a class in the studio!
We are located in the Western suburbs of Johannesburg. Public transport is predominantly by the local minibus taxis, but there are other options such as metro buses, meter taxis (quite expensive) and the Gautrain train and bus system. Johannesburg has many good art galleries and museums, and is home to the famous (and excellent) Apartheid Museum. There are many other activities a little further afield and even a day or so away, for which we normally recommend renting a car for a day or two.

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