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Growing trees, building a family camp, farm keeping

World, Asia, Russian Federation, Sebezh



Travel dates

27°C, 15:28

About the workproject

We need 10 volunteers

We're a family of 4 people: Vladimir (38), Julia (31) and our two kids. We live in an ecovillage, re-inhabiting 5 abandoned villages, wich were abandoned for almost 30 years. Since 2012, on this land we're building a new ecovillage named Chistoe Nebo (English "clear sky"). We have a lake near us (1 km), young forests, a national park (4 km), no big cities (30+ km).

Our family is mostly into growing trees, biodiversity and community building. We have 4 ha of land (10 acres) on which we have a tree nursery where we grow hundreds to thousands of trees yearly, plant them nearby and sell some.

We also grow some vegetable to feed ourselves and our helpers. But we're not a sustainable farm and we don't grow all our food — we mostly buy it, because it saves us some time to work with the trees. We plan to become sustainable in the future, but we're farm from there yet.

In 2019, our top priorities are tree care and building a family camp. When we're done, we'd like to set up two trails 5 and 13 km long, a botanical garden, a large playground for local children. We'll also do occasional farm keeping and construction work at our community site and neighbors, harvest herbs, berries and mushrooms, etc. If you like animals, we families with goats, cows, birds and a horse, who'd love to get your help.

That's what we do and need help with. Planting trees, growing some vegetables, cleaning up forests, construction work, etc. If that sounds interesting — welcome! We will let you know everything we know about growing trees, permaculture and (almost) autonomous living.

CONDITIONS. We work 4 hours a day, after breakfast and before lunch. We have 3 vegetarian meals a day. Typically we have porridge for breakfast (buckwheat, cereals), some soup and fresh vegetables for lunch (depending on season) and some prepared vegetables, rice, paste etc for dinner. People with unusual diets (e.g., fruitarians or sun eaters) buy additional products with their own money.

ACCOMODATION. In our camp we have a small earthbag house (sort of a capsule hostel) where 4 people can sleep, a patio-like common space, a few wooden tents. There's electricity, a washing stand, small electric stove, kettle, heater, wifi etc. You can set up your tent (please also bring a sleeping bag and a mat). We provide access to hot shower in our house, a washing machine, clean drinking water, electricity, free WiFi. No smoking, no alcohol, and we are vegetarians, so will be you for a while.

SCHEDULE. We accept helpers from April until late September. On our farm, we mostly work with seeds, seedlings and plants, care for them and transplant them. When we're done, we do community work and help our neighbors. We usually have a list of tasks to choose from.

DIRECTIONS. We're 30 km away from Sebezh, a small town (~5000 inhabitants) in Pskov region, 25 km from Latvian border and 30 km from Belarusian border. You need to go to Sebezh, then take a taxi to Kovalevka village (a ride costs about 500 rubles). You can come to Sebezh by train from Moscow, St. Petersburg or Riga (Latvia), or by car. Many people are successfully hitch-hiking, even from abroad (e.g., Poland).

DISCLAIMER. Our ecovillage is young and it's very different from European ecovillages. We're not like a hippy commune always working together (alas). We're separate families living close to each other on our private ranches. We learn to communicate and act together, but we still have a long way to go. We're far from sustainable. Eco living in our understanding is not a ban on plastic and gas, but giving back to nature more than we take from it. We're fine with electricity, wifi and cars.

About the host


Host since



English, Russian

Last seen online

more than 6 month ago

I'm a software engineer. 5 years ago me and my wife moved to a dead village in Pskov region, where we help building an ecovillage by re-inhabiting the area. We've chosen growing trees and enriching the ecosystem as our primary deal. We now run a small tree nursery which, we hope, will soon bring us enough money for living.

Project dates

Open for offers, contact us

Work to be done

  • gardening
  • construction
  • farming
  • maintenance tasks
  • tourist support
  • eco projects

Expected workhours

  • 4 hours a day
  • 6 days a week

Work exchange deal

  • tent

Electricity, wifi, shower, washing machine, kitchen. We have a boat, a lake near us, a national park in 4 km, two bikes, some games.

  • shared meals

We prepare lunch and dinner, volunteers prepare breakfast from offered ingredients. All meals are vegetarian.

  • no money is involved