Mountain Farm Loasa Cooperative (Bruzella TI)
Description: Alpe Loasa is a full-year organic mountain farm in southern Switzerland, at the Italian border. The farm is remote from cities or villages, accessible only by walking or horse riding, with frugal accommodation. The many works are usually done by the tenant and the cooperative by hand. Many helping people are therefore very valuable. In return of the work and the remoteness of the site, we offer an intense community experience. At Alpe Loasa above Bruzella in southern Ticino, the focus is on mountains, animals and fellowship with other people.
Type of Work: Various works are planned: Construction of a brick wall in the house, renew drainage of the driveway, build stone walls for driveway protection. And of course some volunteers will also help in hay harvesting.
Work tasks can be rotated among volunteers and need to be planned spontaneously according to the weather conditions. Due to the heat work starts early and there is a long siesta after lunch.
Keep in mind that often the work on a farm can be monotonous and physically demanding causing even muscle ache. But it is also astonishingly satisfying.
Study Theme: We will talk about subsistence farming and traditional construction methods under mountainous conditions.
Accommodation: Simple accommodation in a dormitory - bring your own sleeping bag. Narrow mattresses, woollen blankets and pillows are available. Compost toilet (outside of the house), running cold (not hot!) water in the house, outdoor shower in the nearby forest with cold water only ~10 C°. Hand washing clothes with hot water from the wood stove is possible. No internet & cell phone coverage at the accommodation (5 min. away, there is a place where you can access internet if you have your own mobile data). Landline phone is available for emergencies. Cooking is done with a wood stove in the small kitchen.
Language: Camp spoken language is English. Work instructions in basic English will be provided and the campcoordinator will help translating further details to the volunteers. People on the farm speak mainly German, so knowing this language will help you communicate with them better (not abligatory!). The local language is Italian.
Requirements: You should be able to appreciate a simple, frugal life in a community. A good physical condition is necessary. You'll also need to bring robust boots, working clothes & gloves, sun and rain protection.
INCOMING/ADDITIONAL FEE for volunteers applying via Partner organisations & Contacts of SCI: https://scich.org/en/incoming-fee/
Notes: Food will be vegetarian. Vegan is possible. Special menus and allergies can unfortunately not all be accommodated (e.g. gluten-free is not possible). Please check high prices of public transportation within Switzerland before you apply to avoid cancellations. Max. 2 minor volunteers can be accepted. Camp is open to volunteers with children: 3 children are accepted additionally to the max. 15 volunteers , minimal age is 12. The legal guardian/parent must be aware that the Alpe Loasa is only accessible by foot. The walk to the Alpe Loasa takes about 2 hours and all the luggage must be carried by the participants themselves. The child must therefore be fit to hike on a rather demanding hike, which is uphill and on a narrow hiking trail. On the Alpe Loasa itself it is also a steep terrain.