Ermitaj Malin

Ermitaj Malin
Contact person: 
Coline Vanlaeys
Languages spoken on the farm: 
French (native), English, some Romanian.
Description of the area: 
Isolated farm in Transylvania, in a valley surrounded by woods (the wood is nearby – 50 meters – with a nice waterfall at wet season), streams and pasture. The closest village is Malin (400 inhabitants, 1,5 km from the farm). The first city is Beclean (10km).
What do you grow on the farm: 
We practice permaculture, and we grow our own food, for us and visitors. We are trying to reach food autonomy, so we need to harvest enough to fill the cellar for winter (potatoes, roots, jars…). We have a lot of walnuts and make oil with it. We have some chickens for eggs. We make hay for our tree donkeys and for mulching. We pick wilds flowers and make cream, oil, herbal tea... We also do eco-construction to renovate the buildings : we are working as much as possible with natural materials (such as clay, straw, timber from the forest nearby…).
Farm size: 
8 hectares on a hill, with a lot of grassland, and 1 hectare of forest. There is the big house with the rooms and dormitories, another building is the kitchen / common living room with a covered terrace, and there is also a huge barn with a working.
Months when they accept voulteers: 
From May to December.
Volunteer activities: 
-Usual stuff like cooking(we also make our own bread, and preserves for winter), doing the housework, taking care of animals, collecting firewood and construction wood,… - Gardening, seeding, planting, watering, harvesting, mulching… We will also expand the cultivated area. - Paint and renovate wooden structures (with ecological product). - Maybe this year we’ll work on the thermo-insulation of the buildings. - Sometimes during summer there are a lot of people at the farm, so we would need extra help for organization.
There is a dormitory for volunteers and visitors. Camping or sleeping in the hay barn or grassland is of course possible. If it isn’t raining there is the possibility to sleep on a platform in a tree. We have an outside solar shower (using rainwater), and dry toilet. We have electricity from the solar panels and internet connection (but not always connected).
We are mostly vegetarian, but sometimes we eat local meat. We eat what we grow, but if it’s not enough, we buy food from the neighborhood. One of us has a gluten-free diet, so there is gluten free meals available most of the time.
A few words about the family: 
Philippe, 50 years old, who bought the farm. He comes and goes because he sometimes needs medical assistance. We are 6 friends (around 30) coming from Belgium, but we don’t stay always all in the same time in Romania.
Cius, Sanda and Camelia, our 3 donkeys (they need a good education, so if anyone feels at ease with this member of the horse family, welcome!). There is also our young dog Sherlock, 3 cats, a bunch of chickens, and some fishes in the pond.
Other comments: 

Philippe has Parkinson disease. It could seem a bit strange the first time you'll see him in crisis, but he always keeps his sense of humor! And when he's feeling good, he's quite active in the farm and speaks Romanian fluently. As we are not connected on water network, water resource is really precious, especially during summer. That means we take quick showers, only with rain water, and we clean the dishes only once a day. Of course, we don’t play water games (but you can take a mud bath in the pond!). There are swimming pools, rivers and lakes close by (near Beclean) if you really miss water. Usually, we will ask you to help us in the farm at least 4 hours (usually in the morning) from Monday to Friday, plus the daily tasks (help for cooking, cleaning,...). If you want to come, please contact us and we will talk about the every day life here, and our schedule and activities at this time :)