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Old coal mine estate needs volunteers

World, Europe, Spain, Selva



Travel dates

About the workproject

We need 2 volunteers

We own a former coal mine estate on the Spanish island Mallorca. It's a 3 hectare sized domain with a vineyard, an orange garden, 4 houses, a large workshop etc.
We own a lot of machines to assist us with the work, but there is always more help needed. If you have specific skills of interests like: electrician, mechanic, building / construction, knowledge about growing plants and trees or any other skill you could help us out here in return for accommodation in one of our houses and we give you a weekly fee so you can buy your own food.
Take a look at our blog which we write on regularly. We take on all kinds of projects, small or large, easy and complex. All volunteers who came here have had a super great time !

About the host

Mark & Ans (58)

Host since



Nederlands, Spanish, Swedish

Last seen online

2 weeks ago

We are Mark & Ans and we are the proud owners of a large finca on Mallora, a former coal mine closed in 1987. We bought this paradise in 2012, could not believe that we would own a real \\\'estate\\\' and started to make improvements and worked on numerous exiting projects. Now - after 7 years - we have established a vineyard, an orange grove, created a \\\'jungle\\\', a veggie garden and many many more. See our project blog which we update regularly, but only when we have something interesting to write. Join this blog and be updated (max 1 update per week, no spam, no advertising and we are only writing something if we believe it\\\'s adding something interesting for our followers).
Contact us if you want to come and help us here.

My project blog

General update, what's going on at La Mina

June 19, 2020

Many things are going on at La Mina San Cayetano, so I will address some of those in this post. Many photos have been added as a photo says more than a thousand words. These last words immediately remind me to my intention to start vlogging, as 1 video says more than a thousand photos. The problem is that I have everything ready like multiple camera's, microphone sets, edit software, tripods and so on, but I simply can't do it all by myself and it's not really Ans her cup of thee. I had hoped that Martin would have stayed longer; he was interested in this vlogging project, but he suddenly left months ago. Maybe we will have one or more students from the Dutch school of Multimedia, the school in Hilversum where I was a student for 1 year in 1988 - the first year this was set up in fact. Floor update in the coal storage buildingSelf leveling mortar is supposed to self level itself because it's very liquid, right ? Well... that was not what I experienced. To start with the instructions of use on the 25 kg bags we bought were incorrect. On the bags the instructions read to mix the 25 kg of powder in 5.25 liter of water. We followed this up exactly, but the result was a very thick mortar, it was almost like plastering with gypsum. Since it was the first time I had ever worked with self leveling mortar I assumed I was doing something wrong or that I underestimated the needed skill set for working with it. The result was a very bad floor, by far not what I had planned for. I checked the website of the maker of the mortar and there it was even more confusing. While on the bag it stated that this mortar should be used for a thickness of 0 to 10 mm, the website stated that this should not be used for less than 20 mm thickness... I took another look at the backside of the bag and to my surprise it stated 6 to 6.5 liter water per bag. Did I have a 'senior moment' ? I checked the empty bags and to my relief I had not read it incorrectly, how could I and if ' yes' I would have gone straight to a doctor to have myself mentally checked. We decided to apply a second layer on top of the first one, after first sanding of the high parts. This was better, but we spread it out with a rubber floor mop. It worked quite well on first glance but every time you place the mob away from you it leaves a line of drops and creates a line in the mortar, even with 6.5 liter of water. The rubber strip of the mob is too thick. Anyway.. for Ans the floor was good, and with a bit of sanding and applying a thick paint we would eventually have a good result. The second floor was added 7 liters of water to the self leveling powder and now we were getting somewhere, now it was getting really liquid. Instead of the rubber floor mob we used a wide tiling trowel, the one with the jig saw edge. Result: much better, but we should have used the trowel in a different way, that is: never place the trowel far away to scrape the mortar to you, always start close to you and move the trowel in a circular way to the thicker part and back to you. This technique we applied in the last room, which is the best by far. So now I have this skill under my belt I can tick it off from my bucket list Old fabric of parasol redone with spinnakerFriend Piet is working on superyachts and he received an huge old spinnaker for free - don't know why as the fabric was still in good condition. Piet gave it to us as he had no use for it. On the terrace of our house we have a large parasol, very solidly made except the cotton fabric which had become very bridle. Ans suggested to use the spinnaker fabric to make a new cover on top of the frame. The coal storage rooms came in very useful for the first time to lay out the huge spinnaker, cut the overlays of the old fabric and sow everything together. See photos. The grass in front of the cottageAs written before we bought the wrong seeds for the grass of the lawn in front of the cottage: Cynodon Dactylon, also known as Bermudagrass or wiregrass. Ankie gave us a few books about grass which I regards as jewels (thanks Ankie !). Why is this grass not ok ? Because it will get yellow and not grow below 25 degrees. So the season to enjoy the grass is relatively short. What we were after was what they call here in Spain 'Grama' or 'Grama Africana' although I do not find these common names on the internet, only 'Kikuyo grass' , latin name : Pennisetum Clandistium. You see this grass in many places and it's nice green all year around although it needs temperatures above 20 degrees to grow, but it does not turn yellow if the temperature is below 20 Celsius. What you don't want is Crabgrass (Digitaria Sanguinalis), this is nasty stuff, grows as a bunch of leaves and dies at the end of the year. It's easy to remove though as the roots don't go very deep. Enclosed a few photos of this type of grass, alive and dead; notice the roots and how quickly new roots grow when you put it in water for a few days. Australian 1 penny coin 1949 found backWhen we were in Australia in 2006 my tennis partner Russell gave me a rare 1 penny coin from the year 1949, with King George on it (yes he was King of England for short while). I regarded this as my lucky penny and kept it always in my pocket. One day it was lost and I believed I lost it when I went on a trip with General Antonio on a boat trip. This was 6 years ago I believe. A few weeks ago our washing machine broke down and I wanted to salvage the electric motor and some other parts and dissembled the washing machine nicely screw by screw. I had never done this and although the principle of a washing machine is simple, when you get everything apart this way it's quite interesting. Dissembling it I found a few coins stuck within the rubber ring. A bit later - after removing the heaviest part, the blocks of concrete - I heard another metal sound when shaking the machine. I could not believe my eyes when I saw it was the 1 penny coin I lost years ago. It's back in my pocket and from now on luck will be on our side. Agave fully in bloomThe agave or century plant in the cottage garden is blooming as mentioned before. It's now getting into full bloom. One of the branches which is carrying the flowers was not more than 10 cm away from a 5000 Volt power cable, very dangerous as you can understand especially when it rains. We considered a few options to not have to call the electricity company to remove the huge flower stem, like pulling it a bit aside with a rope. One morning last week I got up with a bright idea: shoot off the 1 branch of the stem which was dangerously close to the power line. And this worked out very easy and successful. With my air rifle I shot maybe 10 times and this broke the branch near the stem and it slowly went down. Now the closest distance is maybe 50 cm , which we hope will not cause any trouble, so we can enjoy the magnificent flower parade of this plant. Corona updateOn June 21 the borders of Spain are opened for most of the EU countries, which is good news. And the first booking has already came in. I hope and expect that we will get more bookings and hopefully we will also get new volunteers. If anyone of you know a suitable volunteer with at least an average set of practical handyman skills let us know.

Project dates

Open for offers, contact us

Work to be done

  • animal care
  • art projects
  • boat handlers

Expected workhours

  • 5 hours a day
  • 5 days a week

Work exchange deal

  • private cottage, private room, shared apartment

  • self catering

We will give you money to buy your own food.

  • no money is involved

In special cases we could compensate you for additional hours.

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