Our current projects: (in order of priority!)
Conversion of dilapidated building to guest accommodation
Extending, planting and tending organic permaculture vegetable gardens
Installing irrigation - good bye hoses and watering cans!
Creation of campsite including ablution facilities in Earth Bag construction etc
Creation of Earth Tents - walls of straw and mud - come get stuck in!
What is wwoof?
WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, an international organisation - see also www.wwoofinternational.org. This is an excerpt from their website: “Originally called “Working Weekends on Organic Farms”, WWOOF came into being in England, in Autumn 1971, when Sue Coppard, a secretary living and working in London, recognised the need for people like herself, who did not have the means or the opportunity, to access the countryside and support the organic movement.” We feel that real value of WWOOFing lies in the cultural exchange that takes place whilst working as a volunteer on farms with an organic approach to life and production. It's an exchange of Work for Food and Accommodation, but it's also so much more than that!
The Place is a beautiful remote riverside farm in the Klein Karoo semi-arid region of South Africa. We are located in the Western Cape Province, 30km South-West of Ladismith, 55km north of Riversdale, 320km North-East of Cape Town. If you have a GPS or like to look on Google Earth: S 33°41'23.48” E 8°8'25.50”. We have been here since February 2010 and have been developing the farm into our dream – a retreat for artists and nature lovers, on an organic permaculture small-holding. Our farm is 100ha, and beyond the “small holding” (our house, gardens and outbuildings) you will find large open spaces, hills and small cliffs, riverine thicket, rock formations, fossils and beautiful views of the distant mountain ranges. We are a family of three with about 50 chickens, 6 cats and 2 sheepdogs.
Type of work/help
Volunteers can help with a variety of work. WWOOF work ranges from heavy work like: Fieldwork (clearing, levelling, shifting soil and sand, digging holes for instance), building or renovation, hiking trailand road maintenance and clearing, compost making and chopping wood, as well as light work such as: Cleaning of guest cottages, looking after the chickens, helping in the kitchen, harvesting and processing veggies and gardening etc. Please bear in mind that we are a small family with lots of different commitments; therefore wwoofers should to be able to work on their own at times and be comfortable with the remoteness of the farm. Working hours are 6 hours per day 6 days a week, so there's time for you to meditate, read, study and explore the farm. We all help with the preparation of the meals and eat together.
Am I suited?
Ideal persons are outdoorsy type aged 24+. Volunteers should be hands-on and some practical experience would be a bonus. The wwoof accommodation is a comfortable room attached to the house which sleeps two or a sheltered campsite near the house. The bathroom is in the main house and is shared with the rest of the family. Wwoofers who would like to bring their own tent/s are welcome to discuss this option with us. We take one or two wwoofers at one time – couples and friends are very welcome!
What do I bring?
For us the most important thing is that you bring plenty of enthusiasm and passion for alternative lifestyles involving permaculture and personal freedom. Boots to work in would be great but not essential (trainers are ok) and remember to bring some light shoes in summer too. Clothes should be comfy and not too precious; don't forget to bring sun and insect protection and cool and warm clothing; nights in winter can drop to -2°, summer days can reach 43°.
And of course you'll need a valid TOURIST visa for South Africa, appropriate travel and health insurance.
Links to Volunteer websites:
Volunteer for Africa - Volunteering in Africa
wwoofsa - Our brand new South African Wwoof site
wwoofinternational - All you want to know about Wwoof worldwide
workaway - Great user friendly site - international
helpx - ditto above