Chestnut forest & alpine agriculture (Vezio TI)
Description: The project “Alma” is situated in Alto Malcantone, a Southern Swiss Alps Municipality with 5 small villages in which 1400 people live all year long. The farm works mainly with Scottish highland cows. This project shows how, by taking care of the forest following the traditional methods, biodiversity can be supported. By cleaning the undergrowth from more invasive plants, it is possible to allow other types of plants to grow. Furthermore, the forest itself offers refuge to bats that migrate from the North of Germany to reproduce in these spaces and different species of birds. The forest has for years been a source of livelihood for the local population that has always benefited from the chestnuts produced by these majestic trees.
Type of Work: Collect wood and stones, clean the chestnut forest and the pasturages, cutting grass using machines on sometimes steep slopes and cutting the branches and bushes with garden scissors, ameliorate paths and fix broken fences and preparing and putting the fences for the cattle in the mountains. Specific work tasks depend on the weather and other circumstances. In the beginning of each day, you'll receive more details about what needs to be done exactly. The workcamp will overlap on August 1st with the Swiss National Day: the Project Partner traditionally organizes a brunch where they present their products; work in the forest and in the mountains won’t therefore happen on that day but you will get to help prepare the brunch and serve the local costumers in a cozy family environment.
Study Theme: This project shows how agriculture can contribute to biodiversity and how, by taking care of the forest following the traditional methods, biodiversity can be supported. If these territories weren’t taken care of, there would be an imbalance in the biodiversity. The Project Partner will do an introduction about his work but feel free to ask for more information during work and leisure time; he is very willing to share some of the stories about traditions and the techniques of local agriculture.
Accommodation: Mainly in a civil protection dormitory (sometimes in alpine barns). In the dormitories, there are beds with mattresses; shower, kitchen and you need a sleeping bag only. The project partner will do the shopping and you'll cook with the provided products. On the alp (accommodation for 1 night in an alpine hut) you have to bring a small mattress and a sleeping bag in a mountain backpack.
Language: The workcamp language is English. Languages that can be spoken as well, but are not required are Italian, German and French. The local language is Italian.
Requirements: Since the workcamp is small we only accept single applications here (no couples/friends -> for them please chose a bigger workcamp)
Notes: Be aware that this type of physical work might be demanding. The project partner will give you instructions about safety and working clothes.