We are a family that met through wwoofing, and meanwhile acquired a hectare of abandoned land full of potential. We both greatly enjoyed helping other people realize their farming plans, but with the arrival of children, we fully agreed it was time to reverse roles and start a project of our own. That was a couple of years ago, and only now we gather the conditions we believe necessary to host volunteers comfortably, to maximize everyone's overall experience here.
Thanks to the almost non-existent local human activity, we are frequently visited by a large diversity of wild fauna, spanning from the more common owls, foxes, boars and genets, to imperial eagles, Merops Apiasters, ichneumon herpestus.
Guests are welcome to bring animals, while having in consideration there's both children and a fragile local fauna.
Currently our largest crops are carob and olives; we already planted a great diversity of fruits and berries, but these, like the veggies, are much smaller crops. The land is gifted with multiple water lines, that require a big lift up to allow full advantage of this great resource, a work currently going on intermittently.
In the surrounding area there are a few marked hiking paths, along historical and natural points of interest, including some millennial trees. There's very little of civilization accessible at a walking range. At a short 20 minute walk from the farm you can have a swim at the dam in Odeleite, while a 15 minute drive will take you to the beach. We travel occasionally to town for supplies, and can easily arrange to drop and pickup people who want to explore the area in their free time.
Still at blueprint stage are a modest astronomical observatory, and a dojo for martial arts and general group activities.
While we work on implementing a shady forest, task schedules are currently mostly determined by weather, making for short working days in winter, and segmented early morning and evening work in summer, both averaging 5 working hours, of which we expect volunteers to participate 4 to 5 days a week.
We offer a caravan built into a common area with kitchen, shower, solar power, recharging station, internet connection, washing machine;
Cooked meals are vegetarian, with optional animal protein cooked separately.
Abandoned for a long extent of time, what had once been a very productive farm was mostly a rocky valley covered in woody bushes when we moved in.
A lot has been done since, but still a lot remains to be sorted; most of our current work consists, in descending order of attributed activity time:
Forestry - cutting and repairing trees, planting new ones, processing down biomass into mulch, general landscaping, harvesting
Construction - while there are a couple of shipping containers and a caravan, most of the locally built infrastructure work is done in rough wood, rocks and clay. There's always rock, clay and woodworking in process.
Gardening - recreating food gardens on the repaired beds along the water lines; so far we have recovered only one line and it already bears over a dozen different fruiting trees and a lot of berries and veggies, one other line is repaired and ready to start planting
Waterline reparation - heavily degraded by abandonment and the heavy flow of water in winter, water lines are in dire need of full restructuring- this work basically consists in moving rocks
Don't hesitate to contact us with any question, as our main concern with receiving volunteers is that an enriching and positive experience is enjoyed by both parties.
When can you visit MeliaDun?