All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 210
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 92745
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Last Updated: July 18, 2019
UPDATE 01/06/2019 - We are looking for people who, besides getting their hands dirty, have experiences with media, video-making, taking pictures and at the same time have a strong environmental sensitivity.
This farm is situated in the magnificent “Valle del Corvo” valley in Sicily.
It has a breathtaking view of both the sea and the river San Michele which runs down the valley surrounded by oleanders and flowering hedges.
It is set in the “Pizzo Cane, Pizzo Trigna e Grotta Mazzamuto” nature reserve with its abundance of cool natural springs and many old olive trees.
We pride ourselves that the farm is rigorously organic; we cultivate forage and arable crops, olive trees and fruit trees.
By using only traditional methods and designs, we have currently refurbishing and renovating many of the buildings: The old sharecropper’s houses - these were the houses of the tenant farmers who in the past, would have given a part of each crop as rent, the stables, the cowsheds and the piggery.
We warmly welcome all those who place respect for nature, sustainability and personal growth at the forefront of their ethos.
Sustainability is key to everything we do on the farm, therefore we do as much as we can to limit our impact on the environment.
• Recycling 90% of all our waste
• Cultivating all consumed vegetables and fruit: by 2023 we aim for our food sourcing to be 100% autonomous,
• Drinking and providing our own water from our own springs: we have two natural springs seeping directly from rock
• Heating the main house with a central biomass boiler
• Respecting the seasonal way of life
We are blessed that our land provides us with so much continual luxury on a daily basis.
We are surrounded by a peaceful abundant nature and limpid blue skies - the land is warmed by the ever-beaming sun-rays and cooled by the gentle mediterranean breezes.
A potent warm Scirocco wind imbuing the magical nocturnal landscape, where the towering mountains, adorned by a shimmering canvas of copious bright stars, gleam in the moon’s radiance.
THIS IS our LUXURY; we would love to share it with you!
WHO WE ARE
We are a cosmopolitan Sicilian family that after living in the city during the growth of their children has decided to change and live in an environmental context free from stress and poisoning, at the same time social situations have emerged for which it was necessary to take care directly of the farm.
Our farm is located in an amazing, rocky and wild valley in the natural reserve of "Mount Cane, Mount Trigna & Cave Mazzamuto".
When we first arrived here in the first decade of 2000, we found a decidedly daunting situation:
roads with crater-like holes,
scattered garbage everywhere;
abandoned and damaged buildings not to mention all the furniture and valuables that have been stolen;
out of control animals from other farms that illegally occupied our land; damaged irrigation and drinking water pipes;
abuses towards native fauna;
the total absence of any kind of comfort, it was in a second moment that we were able to connect the light and to make a warm shower. We would like to have our own renewable energy's source one day.
And many other problems that we have been able to overcome only with constancy, commitment and above all our PRESENCE.
Obviously when we had these problems we did not know of the existence of various voluntary organizations so the bulk of the work has been taken out without asking anyone for help and making some economic sacrifices.
For this reason we have developed the idea of ??being as much independent as possible from the workforce, from the money, from the technicians, trying to minimize consumption, impacting as little as possible on the environment, giving added value to the place with new ideas that are not necessarily aimed to make profit but which can give benefit to a community capable of appreciating the beauties of nature and respecting it, for this reason we're carrying out a careful selection of the people who can stay and who cannot stay on our property. Unfortunately, we have not managed to get rid of bureaucracy and invasive fauna that are dangerous for other species at risk of extinction.
Luigi is an electronic engineer, a worker, a good family man who can't stand untidy wires :D.
Ignazio (I), agronomist and worker, listens to metal music to complete its tasks.
Giuliana, Choreographer and Yoga instructor, likes cold tea, often out for work.
Elena, a graduate in literature and philosophy, she is passionate about cinema, often out for work.
Lena, she's a Russian architect and translator, cats lover :D.
One day I would like to start a permaculture project that unfortunately I can define in the long term as I have to adapt with the few resources we have and possibly with minimal effort. This can be a goal shared with those willing helpers who want to share their ideas, develop them in the long term by staying in touch and why not? coming back here at our farm to realize them together! ;). I'm excited about this possibility that the organization gave us to keep in touch with more people, to compare different ideas, cultures and perspectives. If you wish to be part of the team sharing this plan and realizing it in the future together PLEASE DO ASK! :).
What do we do?
Breeding cattle, olives for oil, vegetables. Everything we produce is organic, and we never used chemicals in all our land.
WHY WE'RE ASKING FOR HELP
Randino is a family business producing very humble gains, given the current financial position of the farm we can only host volounteers. The oil produced and the vegetables are only for our consumption and that of the guests. They are not sold. Because of the strong agricultural crisis in Italy, even the cows which we breed for sale- are sometimes hard to sell!
Nevertheless we believe in this place and we are working hard to make our dreams come true! Although the strong economic risks (which we're still experiencing) we are still investing in this beautiful land, not only maintaining the reserve but also enhancing its sustainability, usability and beauty through a variety of projects.
We participated in a wide spectrum of EU projects all aimed at to preserving the natural reserve, the local biodiversity and re forestation , admittedly all measures that do not bring any gain for our small business but are rather exclusive for the ecosystem's preservation and for the enjoyment of the worldwide community since Sicily is at great risk of desertification. There is lots more to do an lots of projects in the making and we are open to ideas and looking forwards to getting to know you, currently we need help even with small maintenance jobs as only two of us- my father and I- work in Randino full time.
You can help us by taking care of our vegetable garden, pruning our trees and other maintenance tasks.
We look for people who have a bit of experience in buildings.
In other periods your activity can be: help in the cleaning our fields from the rocks, in the pruning of our olive trees, in the collection of olives, in the care of our vegetable garden and other maintenance tasks.
You'll have fun working outdoors in an environment of rare beauty, breathing pure air. We expect passionate, strong, perspicacious and very active people who love nature and manual work outdoors.
Coming soon: activities in the cultural and recreational centre currently undergoing renovation.
We offer our guests a simple and rustic room (as well as the whole place is) with private entrance, two or more beds, wood-fired heating, bathroom, free -internet, shared usage of the washing machine.
The house is with three floors, and you'll be staying in the apartment of our guests on the ground floor.
Normally we offer meals prepared by us but in case we are not present at the farm you will cook the meal by yourself. The guests stay and have their meals in their private apartment and share the kitchen and the bathroom with other guests.
We are trying to restore the spaces to make them more suitable to our needs even if this is not easy because it takes a lot of time and money, we are already doing it and we are succeeding.
The house was built in the very early beginning of the last century and it's classified under the protection of the "cultural heritage" so the accommodation that we can provide might not be suitable for some girls or couples.
Smoke is allowed only outdoors.
Since the farm family is very busy full-time in the office, organization, administration and relationships with many other offices, we ask you to understand that cultural exchange might not be 100% possible for this reason cultural exchanges will be based on the relationship with the beautiful environment of the national reserve where the farm is located, with the observation of the nature and the animals that are part of the farm.
Helpers will summarily know the activities that will take place on a farm by being in contact with nature and learning some tricks during the activities.
You can organize outdoor walks to discover the places inside the natural reserve.
You can share ideas, stories, music and friendships in the long run.
Ignazio will be following you during the activities and you can ask him for any requests and issues that you might have.
You can live an experience of total immersion in a traditional Sicilian old house and you can try to do your pizzas in our wooden oven.
You can enjoy the free nature and mountain walks in this natural reserve where Giuseppe Tornatore, the most famous Sicilian film director, shot some scenes of his film Baaria (2009).
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In your free time, you'll be fully independent. We can give you a lift to the local train station which is about 8 km from the farm, only once a week and the time to do it should be arranged in a way that is convenient for both. To take advantage of all the weekend at your disposal we suggest to find a hostel for the night in the way you can do as many recreational activities as possible (visiting monuments in the day, going to pubs/disco in the night). The nearest beach from the farm is 8km far away and Palermo is 25 km far away. There could be occasions in which I need to go to Palermo by car during the week I will tell you in advance in the way you can join me if you want.
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Besides being a farm you'll be staying in a common family house, therefore, you will have the burden of managing the spaces in which you will stay, keeping them in order and clean.
Mind the following rules :
1)It's forbidden the access to people stranger to the farm
2)Drugs are not tolerated
3)Abuse of alcoholic beverages are not tolerated
4)Loud music it's not tolerated
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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED stuff:
Winter/Autumn: warm clothes and socks, high-necked waterproof boots.
Summer/Spring: Hiking boots, long resistant trousers, hat, solar cream.
Connections from Palermo airport to Palermo central station, please check the airport's official website.
Once you'll arrive at Palermo central station you'll need to catch the train headed to ALTAVILLA MILICIA, please check the train company's official website.
Once you'll arrive at the train station of Altavilla Milicia we'll come to pick you up by car.