Cheia aCasa

Satul Cheia e aCasa
Contact person: 
Cristina Covaci
Languages spoken on the farm: 
Romanian, French, English
Description of the area: 
Karst area, hilly, alternating harmoniously between pastures and young beech forests, alder and birch mainly, and other deciduous trees. The human settlements here are organized on the principle of the old Romanian village - households scattered on the hills, communicating with neighbors through so-called "tzipurituri". There are still preserved houses and barns from wooden beams covered with thatched roofs. People here are harsh and close-lipped. There are animal breeders here dating back to ancient times. Our household is situated in a deserted village, at least 5 km away from any road, in a valley formed by a river, in a clearing in the middle of a grove. The area is extremely wild, being transited occasionally by mountain lovers, locals appearing from nowhere and disappearing in a blink of an eye (paths known only to them) and unshod horses. In close proximity of the village you can find the natural wildlife reserve: Cheile Rametului, Cheile Baltii, Cheile Pravului.
What do you grow on the farm: 
In our little garden we cultivate potatoes, sunflower, onion, garlic, lettuce, zucchini, cabbage (white, red, summer, winter), beet, tomatoes, beans, carrots and others. We have chickens, guinea fowl and ducks. This spring there will be an addition to our family with a few goats, as "lawn mowers".
Farm size: 
Approx 4000 sqm.
Months when they accept voulteers: 
From March to October.
Volunteer activities: 
Household's main objective is the restoration of traditional houses in Trascau Mountains, vegetable garden maintenance according to the principles of permaculture, gathering of firewood. March 2015: preparing the garden according to the hugelkultur principle and the aromatic Herb spiral; April 2015: enclosure of the land with traditional fence, wood flooring of an old house 8/4 m, muddy straw floor insulation, door and windows fitting to two old houses with wooden joints, using a local technique, not hinges; Planting of seeds in the garden; May 2015: digging the foundation for a house made of old wooden beams 12/9 m, carrying of thatched roof by cart pulled by horses (about 40 tons of straw, about 20 roads), if the weather is warm, interior plastering with earth in traditional way of two very old houses, one 150 year old and the other 210 years old (confirmed by the local agricultural register) already displaced on our land in 2014, garden care; June 2015: a 12/9 m house, built by a local craftsman, using traditional tools and techniques: building the walls out of old wooden beech beams, fir wood framing, thatching, garden care; July 2015: laying clay floor to a 12/9 m house, traditional technique (cow dung beaten with "imblaciul (flail)" becomes rock hard), 4 earthen and volcanic stone stoves without iron cooking stove, traditional technique, two of them with "ploaptan" (sleeping place), garden care; August 2015: construction of micro hydro-electric (power) station, whitewashing the houses and much expected moment, adorning the interior of the houses with heritage objects (furniture, clothing, icons, pots, wooden spoons, traditional tools), garden care; Having to do with so many unknown variables (weather, traditional technique, slow pace style, specific to Ardeal region, and "his highness" the human factor), obviously the program is a rough guide.
Accommodation: 
Rooms with cots with mattresses for 10 people, tiled stove in the old school of the village or in the attic of the thatched houses.
Diet: 
Is available in any type of menu. The meat is not our strength because the inability to preserve it during the summer. Eggs, milk, cheese, sour cream, bacon only from local sources, verified by us.
A few words about the family: 
Tired of the rampant Bucharest life we preferred to take our leave indefinitely from the capital. A true legend can be born in the imagination of our children when they discover a living creatures or old relics hidden under the ground, plowed with wooden plows. Gabi, Cristina, David and Alice are waiting for you in sandals, like in the Eternal Youth tale, to rediscover your original rhythm, breathing slowly, peacefully, fully, breathing Life. All this it's for real, not just words. If you still do not have the courage to be yourself, come and pass through here.
Pets: 
Dogs and cats.
Other comments: 

It's a rare occurrence to have mobile phone coverage (orange), but we do not mind if you insist or send us a text. The access to our household is through the tourist trail, half an hour, or through Cheile Rametului, crossing the water for half an hour.

A small tomcat with its tail cut short by a door that closed too quickly behind him, another cat will have kittens in the spring, a small dog "Blaj" who also functions as a "doorbell", "Turandot", a bitch of the Samoyed breed, and her 8 puppies born on the toughest of frosts, functions also as "calorie killers", if you manage to weary them out, playing, before they exhaust you.