Gipsgrueb Community (Ehrendingen AG)
Description: The cooperative "Gipsgrueb" is situated outside the village of Ehrendingen, in a small calm valley at the foot of the last mountain of the Jura-range. The over-100-years-old buildings of a former cement factory were left unattended for many years. Since the taking-over by the cooperative „Gipsgrueb“ in 1982 a garden and a farm were built up on the agricultural land. Since the beginning both of them were run on the guidelines of organic farming. The total area occupied by the cooperative was about 14 ha consisting mainly of extensive pastures and meadows, woods and ponds. 15 years ago most of the land was sold to Pro Natura, the Swiss nature conservation organisation. Today, the farm is run by a local tenant and the garden mainly serves the personal needs of the community members.
Type of Work: You will work 2 x 5 days supporting the cooperative maintaining an old stonewall, care the forest and prepare firewood for the central heating of the house. The volunteers of two former workcamps have been busy renovating the stonewall. You will be working with different tools as pruning shears, shovels, pickaxes and rakes.
Study Theme: You will have a 2-hour session, where you will learn more about the cooperative Gipsgrueb. You can also have a closer look at the thermal- and photovoltaic solar plants. You will get more knowledge on cooperatives, social systems, farming and solar panels.
Accommodation: You will enjoy your sleep in the loft of the barn or in tents. Please, bring your sleeping bag. The accommodation is simple and the sleeping place tends to be rather cool. There are beds, mattresses and blankets (the project partner is welcome to provide you with additional covers). It has two showers (one solar shower outside and a usual one inside) and a common room. There is a washing machine. WIFI is available. If the weather is nice and you enjoy camping, you can bring your own tent and set it outside, as the big territory allows it.
Language: Common language is English. The people in the project speak German and English. The local language is Swiss German.
Requirements: Do not forget to bring: a sleeping bag; good mountain shoes, working clothes & working gloves, as well as clothes for warm and cold weather and a good raincoat.
INCOMING/ADDITIONAL FEE for volunteers applying via Partner organisations & Contacts of SCI: https://scich.org/en/incoming-fee/
Notes: Max. 2 minor volunteers can be accepted. The Camp is open to volunteers with children: 2 children are accepted, minimal age is 6. Children are included in the total number of volunteers.
The volunteers will cook on their own - so bring some good cooking recipes.
At the weekend we can visit some nice spots of Switzerland together if it is wished.
The cooperative also runs a solar panels workshop, as solar panels are used to produce hot water from spring to autumn. In winter, a central heating produces thermal energy by burning the cooperative’s own wood. In addition to the public network, wells on the territory which belong to the cooperative provide fresh water. At the moment, seven people belong to the community living there, trying to turn their ideas and dreams into reality.