Gipsgrueb Community (Ehrendingen AG)
Description: The cooperative "Gipsgrueb" is situated outside of the village of Ehrendingen, in a small calm valley at the foot of the last mountain of the Jura-range. The over-100-years-old buildings of a former cement factory were left unattended for many years. Since the taking-over by the cooperative „Gipsgrueb“ in 1982 a garden and a farm were built up on the agricultural land. Since the beginning both of them have been running on the guidelines of organic farming. The total area occupied by the cooperative was about 14 ha consisting mainly of extensive pastures and meadows, woods and ponds. A few years ago most of the land was sold to Pro Natura, the Swiss nature conservation society. Today, the farm is run by a local tenant and the garden mainly serves the personal needs of the community members.
Type of Work: You will work 2 x 5 days helping the cooperative in the organic garden, maintaining an old stonewall and maintaining shrubs as well as hedges. Working with pruning shears, shovels, pickaxes, rakes. Harvesting plums and blackberries, if there are any.
Study Theme: You will have a 2-hour session, where you will learn more about the cooperative Gipsgrueb. You can also have a closer look at the thermal- and photovoltaic solar plants.
Accommodation: You will enjoy your sleep in the loft of the barn or in tents. Please, bring your sleeping bags. The accommodation is simple and the sleeping place tends to be rather cool (the project partner is welcome to provide you with additional blankets). It has two showers (one solar shower outside and a usual one inside) and a common room. There is a washing machine. The volunteers will cook on their own - so bring some good cooking recipes. WIFI is available. If the weather is nice and you enjoy camping, you can bring your own tent and set it outside, as the big territory allows it.
Language: The people in the project speak German and English. The local language is Swiss German.
Further notes: The cooperative also runs a solar panels workshop, as solar panels are used to produce hot water from spring to autumn. In winter, a central heating produces thermal energy by burning the cooperative’s own wood. In addition to the public network, wells on the territory which belongs to the cooperative provide fresh water. At the moment, seven people, a teenager and a baby girl belong to the community living there, trying to turn their ideas and dreams into reality. For excursions in your free time we have a VW bus at our disposal.