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 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 place.
Months when they accept voulteers: 
From April to the end of 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). - Some building outside, mainly with wood and cob (dry toilet, stairs, tables,...) - Sometimes during summer there are a lot of people at the farm, so we would need extra help for organization. We prefer to host volunteers for a period of at least two weeks (3 weeks is better, one month or more is the best) but this is not mandatory. Usually, we will ask you to help us in the farm approximately 6 hours from Monday to Friday, with 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 :)
Accommodation: 
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 (as we are limited by the batteries and the sun, we make the connection available at certain times of the day only).
Diet: 
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 or at the market. 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, 60 years old, who bought the farm. He comes and goes because he needs medical assistance. We are 3 friends (around 30) coming from Belgium: Ludo, Remy and Coline. We are not staying all the year togheter. (For now, only Ludo is staying in wintertime at the farm, but we hope we will be able soon to all stay here!)
Pets: 
Cius, Sanda and Camelia, our 3 donkeys! They help us to keep the pastures, and we organize hiking with them. There is also our young dog Sherlock, 3 cats, a bunch of chickens, and some fishes in the pond. Wild friends like hedgehogs, lizards, squirrels,
Other comments: 

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.