Discover ecological lifestyle and permaculture (Sornetan BE)
Description: The local project partner’s long-term aim is to establish a vegan-organic permaculture mountain farm in order to educate people how to have a highly sustainable lifestyle in a mountain region. The partner is a family of home-schoolers: They feel that this is the best way to respect children’s rights and to establish human connections (better friendships/relationships lead to less aggressiveness and consumerism). Their house outside the village is over 150 years old as well as the linden tree next to it, which is the perfect place to relax.
Type of Work: You will destroy redundant concrete-stone-walls in nature, make hay for cultivating next year’s potatoes following a specific procedure, you will plant fruit trees and bushes, harvest berries and preserve them. You might also help weeding the field and transport firewood to the barn. Work time outside will be rather early and late with a long lunch breach depending on the weather – when it is least hot and when Werner is around (he will be away for work during some days), this means: free time during the day and you might work on the weekend and less during weekdays.
You will prepare wholesome, vegan-organic, seasonal dishes (following recipes/instructions). If desired, you can also make vegan mayonnaise, seitan, pizza/bread, tofu “fish” fingers etc. The dishes need to be made by hand.
Study Theme: We will talk about the following 2 topics: the first is vegan-organic agriculture (what is it, what impact does it have on the earth and on peace, how to do vegan-organic agriculture and 1-3 short films); the second topic is home-schooling (what impact does it have on children and on peace building, how is it done, 1-2 films?). If desired we discuss as a third topic how to eat vegan. There are a variety of books in German and quite a number of them in English, Dutch and French about veganism (why, how, children’s books), vegan-organic agriculture, cookbooks, homeschooling and breastfeeding.
Accommodation: There are two rooms for volunteers - only one with a door (also possible: sleeping outside on the mulch/under the linden tree). Things to take with you are a sleeping bag and comfortable camping mattress. As the toilets and shower are about to be renovated, there will probably be a compost toilet and a shower (with warm water) in the house or outside. There is limited access to washing clothes (only soap nuts in use) and only 1 computer with internet access for all. The local partner will cook seasonal, vegan-organic, fair trade meals or will give instructions or recipes to cook on your own.
Language: Required language is English. Local language is French (and unofficially, some also speak Swiss German). Within the family, they speak (Swiss) German and some of us English, Dutch, French and Italian.
Notes: This project can accept a maximum of 1 -2 children (2 in case they speak different languages). In your free time, you can have siesta under the linden tree, read books or go for walks in the beautiful nature. A lot of board games for children and adults are also available. Depending on the group’s interest, you might visit a small vegan circus. For the other week, a walk on the Moron and the Mario-Botta-Tower and getting information about the Swiss apprenticeship-system can be recommended. You could also walk around one of the last moors in Switzerland or visit a small rock hole, where in the past, the peaceful and yet persecuted Mennonites held their divine services. You might also be interested in the history of this region and the Mennonites and other peaceful protests in the region.