Organic farm with swimmer friendly ditches

Trip Start Jan 15, 2010
Trip End Nov 09, 2010

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Where I stayed
Bedias country house

Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

OKAY!  The adventure is becoming real now!  We got confirmation from a WWOOF farm in Argentina.  WWOOF is a worldwide organization where you work on an organic farm and learn about sustainable living in exchange for room and board (well, sort of, we have to bring our own tent!)  Depending on the country, they might give you a preview of host farms, but to get the contact information you have to pay the membership fee (which also gives you permission to work in the country). Here's the description we had to go on when choosing the farm we wanted: 

LOCATION : Rural community, Mendoza
Small farm started just 1 yr ago. Beautiful tranquil area near Andes, 1 hour south of Mendoza. Bordered by two other organic WWOOF farms and swimmer friendly ditches. Basic, clean accommodations, composting toilet, solar shower, functional kitchen. Looking for help with construction of a passive solar off the grid adobe house and large, organic garden with fruit trees. Requesting volunteers with experience and/or strong interest in natural construction and gardening. Also looking for someone that would mainly oversee meal prep and clean-up. Strong work ethic and positive mood REQUIRED. Beds limited, tents recommended. Please give minimum 2 weeks notice.

And here is the farm we will be on!

I'm the most interested in learning about natural construction, so hopefully we'll rotate duties and do different things, but whatever happens it will be an adventure!!  We start on February 1, so between January 16th and Feb 1 we'll make our way from Rio, to Mendoza, Argentina by bus!

For those interested in even more details, I've copied and pasted the email the farm sent to us.
Volunteer Guidelines
 Welcome!  We are very happy to have you in our home.   We will do our best during your stay here to share  what we have learned about sustainable living with you.  Although our living situation is rustic, we work hard to keep it clean and comfortable.  The following is of list of things to help orient you to your new home and experience here as volunteer.
 1)   Volunteer work schedule:  Our work week is Tues-Sun, about 7:30 AM till lunch, few hours of siesta (youŽll need it) and back at it 4-dinner.  If a volunteer wants to go away during their stay with us to go visit places off the farm, that is fine by us.  Just give us several days notice so that we can arrange the work week accordingly.    Work load is about 35-40, garden-construction.  
2)      Food:  We ask for a 35 peso/ week/ volunteer food contribution.  This pays for basic meal supplies (vegetables, grains, bread, oatmeal, tea, pasta, etc).  This does not include meat or liquor.  We are not vegetarian but we rarely eat meat.  On occasion, we have an asado (BBQ).  We ask that everyone, unless you are vegetarian, contribute money to cover the costs of meat, wine, etc.    
3)      Bikes:  We ask for 5 pesos/ bike use.  Our bikes are functional but cheaply made.  We only use them to ride to town to buy groceries or do internet.  Please do not take on long bike rides.  If a bike needs repairs, please tell us.   
4)  Laundry is done by hand.  Please have a supply of laundry soap with you.
5)      Kitchen Use:  Volunteers are expected to help with kitchen clean-up (wiping down counters, stove, cleaning dishes, sweeping, mopping etc.).  Please prevent dangerous and expensive gas leaks by remembering to turn off the gas valve after each use. 
6)      Water:  We have access to well water that we use for cleaning (dishes, showers, mopping, laundry, etc.).  It is not potable water.  Potable water is brought from town and is kept in water bins in the kitchen.  Use the silver water cup on top of the bins, to pour water into cup.  Do not drink from the cup or place it anywhere else besides on top of the water bins.  Only touch the cup handle when serving water.
7)      Compost Toilet:  MUY IMPORTANTE--  We do our best to keep the compost toilet as clean as possible.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, throw down a handful of sawdust in the toilet bin after use and then close the lid.  Toilet paper and sawdust are kept in the white bucket.  Make sure the lid is kept on to prevent rain water from getting in.  Female pee is kept in containers next to compost toilet. Pee into one of the plastic cups and then pour it into the bin. Guys go in whatever discrete place they choose.    Do not pee into the compost toilet.  If you prefer to pee elsewhere on the property, go ahead but do no leave toilet paper on the ground (GROSS!).  There are very good reasons for these details which weŽll be glad to share once youŽre here...  After you go to the bathroom, ALWAYS wash hands with soap. 
8)      Fire:  Firewood is expensive and primarily used as heating fuel during the winter.  Only on special occasions and with permission will wood be used for bonfires.
9)      Drugs:  No marijuana.  Period.  Beer and liquor are allowed during the evenings and weekends.  There is a kiosko on Callejon Lemos that sells cold beer and wine.  Remember to return the beer bottles to the kiosko otherwise you will have to pay for them.
10)  Smoking:  Chain smokers need to find another farm.  Do not let smoking interfere with work! 
11)   Tools:  Handle with care, most of them are from the United States and cannot be replaced with anything available locally.  Please wipe off dirt and water on the tools before returning them to their original place.  Do not leave them in the sun.  If tools need repair or sharpening, please tell one of us.  
12)  Duration of stay:  We prefer volunteers to stay at least a few  weeks.  If you would like to stay longer or feel like you need to find another place, letŽs talk.  If it seems like things are not a good fit for any reason, weŽll bring it up...  This rarely happens, but needs to be said.
13)  Packing recommendations:  Once weŽve communicated and made a deal, weŽll send you a detailed list to help guide your packing.
Directions:  From the Mendoza bus terminal take bus with Cata or Ecla to Tunuyan, 1 hour away.  From the Tunuyan bus terminal, take a cab to el fondo del Callejon Lemos, doblando a la izquierda al cartel que dice Madre Tierra, pasando la casa blanca a la construccion redonda.  My cell number is (02622) 15581730.
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Thom Rutledge on

I'll be right there... And -- I am soooo impressed with you guys. I sure hope that you are writing notes for your book on your journey.

Victoria on

I am so jealous of you two. I want to do that one day.

Bryan on

Should add Purell to your travel kit :-)

Liz on

This is fascinating and sounds rewarding but challenging. Interesting about the pee and the water! I would love you all to find out how to build the house - awesome!

Liz on

Be sure you take your "feminine diverter" for peeing - the woods is looking better than the compost potty.

Michelle Spodnik on

I am soooo excited for you too! Congrats on taking that big step! We will miss you terribly, so do keep us posted on the blog, and I know the gnome will take good care of you on your travels. Love you guys! Have fun!!!!

Colleen Burke on

I'll have to remember the sawdust technique. When you get back, you should give a training session entitled "practicing green techniques at home"!

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