VOLUNTEER WORKERS OR WOOFERS
As we are a Not for Profit Project experimenting with alternative ways of living, our ethic here focuses the infrastructure pattern into simple low tech, low consumption systems. Visitors to the farm must understand that this is part of the Berg-en-Dal experience and that we are not a holiday farm.
A volunteer worker is any person who is willing to contribute towards the sustenance and growth of the project in exchange for lodging and must share a common interest in the vision and objectives of the project.
Volunteers will be involved in the day to day running of the project and can include any aspect of permaculture from gardening, building, land restoration, processing, infrastructure maintenance, and generally helping out. The experience of living on the project is a unique one of simple grassroots engagement with nature and human life support systems that are integrated with her. We only ask of our volunteers what we ask of ourselves and those who integrate well become part of project life and friends of the community.
The project is a small and member funded endeavour so the simple life on the farm reflects a realism and sustainability that has arisen from an external funding free environment. We are linked to many other permaculture projects in the country and so can connect you onward to other like minded souls living on the land.
- We do not accept volunteers under the age of 20yrs old.
- Volunteers need to be fit and able as work is physical and the lifestyle is vigorous.
- As most of the work volunteers undertake is in the community gardens, building and in the bush (clearing thicket, cutting wood, removing prickly pear, repairing roads, maintaining water harvesting earthworks, keeping pathways and accesses clear) appropriate clothing and shoes are required (gumboots, gloves, hat, closed shoes, long pants).
- Volunteers may harvest food from the community garden if volunteering for the community. If volunteering for individual members, then those members will feed you lunch and dinner.
- Please note that the community gardens from which you may feed yourselves have variable amounts of food available through the year and there are no guarantees as the gardens are run by volunteers and so depend on the amount of effort and work applied. There are many perennial foods that are ripening at different times of the year so availability depends upon the time of visit so please do not rely on this as a source of food.
- Any volunteer who is selected for long term volunteering (2 weeks and longer) will receive staple food. This includes the following… Rice, sugar, tea (rooibos and celon), lentils, oats, potatoes, salt, onions.
- Volunteers are initially accepted for a 2 week trial period (1 week minimum), to be reviewed thereafter on a week by week basis or through special request with reference to other projects, systems where you have been volunteering in the past, longer terms can be pre-negotiated.
- Arrival is best before 4pm on a Sunday, if possible, so we can orientate you before the week begins and night falls.
- Volunteers will be integrated on Monday morning where you will have the week’s work schedule organized for you. You will be required to work a minimum of 7 hours a day Monday to Friday.
- There is access to wireless internet in the project office but you must bring your own laptop.
- If you have a cell phone please bring a car charger as the volunteer cottage only has 12volt power. There is a car charger socket for you to plug into. Computers can be charged at the community office.
- Accommodation is in the form of a rustic self-catering dorm house with 3 beds. There is access to a kitchen with gas stove (no fridge), fire bath, solar shower and squa compost toilet. Volunteers must provide their own bedding (sheets, duvets, pillows, etc).
- We have a strict policy of using only organic cleaning and body products on the farm, including toothpaste and suncream. Shampoo and bodywash are provided in the accommodation ablutions. Chemical deodorants and perfumes are not acceptable as they go into the furniture and bedding.
- Volunteers are expected to keep their living space clean and neat and that means washing up all dishes, sweeping floors, and putting stuff away. Messy people will be asked to leave because it is not our duty to clean up after you nor is it fair to those you are sharing space with.
- Smoking of filter cigarettes are prohibited on the farm and any volunteer found smoking them will be asked to leave. Rolling tobacco (no filter) and pipes are acceptable.
- Members reserve the right to ask volunteers to leave the farm at any time if insurmountable challenges arise.
To inquire about volunteering please contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be sent an application form.
Applications take a week to process and we do not always have space as we generally take a maximum of 3 volunteers at a time depending on the time of year.