Volunteers’s welcome Guide

Volunteers’s welcome Guide

Welcome guys! If you read this you are about to come or maybe already on site!

Not a Volunteer yet? Check out this page first for info on applications.

DJI

First thing: you should be part of the group chat on Signal (we switched from WhatsApp for ethical reasons…) This is where all information is shared. Somebody should give you the link on your arrival or even before. Don’t hesitate to ask for it in advance if you want to stalk a bit about how we work! Please don’t spam the group to much. We don’t mind the eventual jokes (James please restrain yourself a bit!!) but switch to private chats when possible!

It generally takes a few days to get used to the farm and adapt to our community’s alternative lifestyle. In the first days, take it easy, don’t panic! Soon the magic will work and you will feel at home. The new ones will arrive and you will smile remembering your first days!

This place is yours! It is also a social experiment, treat it with love and show that we can make this alternative lifestyle a reality. Take responsibility and take care! Let’s make it magic!

What to bring

Clothes depend on the season. In the winter woolen hats and socks, warm stuff… In the summer you need the strict minimum. Please keep in mind that most of the time we are living outside. Rain boots are available in town for 10e, good hiking shoes are always nice to have, and sneakers work most of the time.

  • If you want white pristine sheets you are welcome to bring yours, ours are clean but might have stains.
  • A headlight is nice.
  • Natural biodegradable soap. (If you are in Athens and you don’t know where to find we recommend visiting Kyklo Zero-Waste Shop)
  • Mosquito product why not in summer?
  • A personal water bottle.
IMG

Housing

First come first serve. Organize yourself with others. What is free, what will be free, and what setting works best for you. Your bed should be done by the previous volunteer staying there. Otherwise, you might have to do it yourself. This is a self-organised system so when you leave make sure that the space is clean and ready for the next one (vacuum cleaner, put the sheets in the washing machine, put the trash in the bin, prep the bed…) If needed the person in the Beehive caravan is in charge of sheets, towels…

We have several caravans and tents. The Nectar offers more comfortable accommodations, especially off-season. There is also plenty of space for your van on the ground.

Don´t worry (be happy) you will be able to wash your clothes and sheets in the washing machine.

IMG
IMG
IMG

Work routine

Working hours are 4-5h a day. The rest of the day is free. Depending on the season these hours can be organised differently, in summer for example would be early morning and late afternoon. It is also flexible, people are responsible and nobody will check or push you.

We set the tasks daily and in common. In the beginning, you can just go with the flow but hopefully, you will soon feel where and what you want to be doing and set priorities.

Routines: You will probably have a daily task or two. These are little things but need consistency. (feeding animals, taking care of the greenhouse, watering plants…) Your routine will eventually be passed on to you from leaving volunteers. Make sure when you leave (even temporarily) to pass it on, to explain the details. It is your responsability.

Cooking, daily bread and dishes work on a rotation base. The cooking teams of 2 are set the day before by a lottery system.

We also have a suggestion box and a weekly feedback session where we discuss the way things are going (Feedback Friday!).

Some people want to work more but don´t let yourself be pressured because others are working! It´s totally cool to enjoy free time, it has to be a good experience for all.

We greatly encourage self participation. Do what you like, what you think is useful, and take responsibility, this place is yours!

The older volunteers show the new ones how things are done and how they can help. Spot them and don’t hesitate to ask stuff!

Don’t be shy to ask more general questions about how and why we do this and that. This is a place of knowledge exchange!

Internet:

We have an internet connection at the Farm and Nectar. Just connect to the strongest “OliveNet” wifi and insert the password: chickendonkeyhorse

Word of advice on Social Medias: We decided after a lot of thinking and discussing to use social medias. We think that even if they are dangerous and unhealthy, they are a powerful tool to promote the ideas and the lifestyle that we defend. We want to touch as many people as possible, especially those who are not aware of the movement. This implies sacrificing a bit of our privacy for a greater cause. So if you are against social medias, or want to take a break from them, which we would totally understand and even support, this might not be the place for you. We will need your support on this and no negative judgement. We are super open minded on the topic but we took the decision to go with it and won’t change our mind for now.

Cooking

We are eating mostly vegetarian although once in a while we could eat animal meat from the farm. Homemade eggs and cheese can be on the menu. We can’t guarantee vegan meals since we are a farm that produces non-vegan products and it is difficult to organise two separate meals everytime.

We have a rotation system with a lottery where 2 people (sometime 1 if we are not many) are cooking lunch, 2 others dinner. Lunch team is making the daily bread. There is an other rotation for dishes.

Kitchen should be left clean after cooking!

Waking up is hard for everybody and to make it easier we prepare breakfast all together (coffee, porridge, pancakes/crepes if you feel motivated, tea, …) so be on time please 🙂

Most of what we eat comes straight from the garden. With our homemade olive oil it is always delicious!

f aaf b ec b bf c d e e e cd

Harvest and cook veggies that need to be in priority. Go look for them a bit further where others have forgotten them! Look at what has already been harvested. Check out for leftovers from the previous meal !

Find ideas to process stuff we have in too big quantities. Gardening and cooking go together!

Also don´t worry if you are no expert chef, we are always glad for food and you will be cooking with somebody else so no pressure! If you really don´t know what to cook you can check out our recipe section.

Weekends are free and we have no organisation since many are on excursions so it can be a bit chaotic so feel free to participate and help on a voluntary basis : )

IMG
IMG
IMG

The kitchen

IMG

The kitchen and table should be clean after cooking, the person on dish duty should not be cleaning for the cook!

Also helping out in the kitchen is always welcome on a voluntary basis. Don´t hesitate if you see some dishes to clean in the sink/table or drying dishes that need to be stored (even if you are not on dish duty)

Clean your plate with bread! Don’t be polite and leave one spoon of food in the dish!

Watch water and soap consumption! Many techniques there, not using any soap (might seem hardcore but many pans or knifes actually benefit from a little grease, plates some time deserve just a good rinsing…), rinsing with your hand first, one drop soap mixed with water to clear the extra grease. Also rinsing greasy pans with an old piece of bread or other and feeding to the chickens is great!

Never put anything that can’t take heat on top of the oven!

Everyone cleans his own plate, the person on dishes duty prepare the cleaning buckets!

Please don’t put scraps in the sinks they will get clogged.

The shower

  • Check the red valve for hot water (we will show you when you arrive!).
  • Save water in the summer. For real.
  • Don’t use too much soap. Organic/green soap highly recommended. Bring your own or we can provide you with natural olive oil soap.
  • Pick up your hair !
  • Clean it.
  • Avoid lifting stuff under your feet (gravels and such).

The dry toilet

Poo and pee as usual. Paper goes in the bin. Non organic stuff also. When it’s full empty in the big poo box, clean WELL with brush and water, toss the water in the poo box, put some wood shavings, ready for the next one!

We have a pee separation system, don’t be scared, everything will be ok! It is pretty much like a normal toilet in the end! Pee is collected separately for fertilising by the “fertility person” on duty who will use it for trees that love it!

When toilet paper is finished don´t forget to put another one, there´s always one in advanced in the orange box. Same for the trash bags, when one is finished change it.

When the bucket is full it is your responsibility to empty it in the compost box, rinse and clean it WELL with water from the tank, please use the brush provided. Don´t wait until you can´t sit to consider the bucket full! Please empty paper garbage in main garbage when needed. Nothing more depressing than dirty toilet paper coming out of garbage… Come on guys!

toilet
IMG

Energy consumption

Watch your consumption. We are an eco-project. We don’t live in city comfort and should set an example.

Use heaters WITH MODERATION. Good sleeping pyjamas and blankets work great!

Solar panels take over in a sunny afternoon so free electricity at this moment – use it. Take advantage of this for heavy loads (oven, washing machine).

Please use lids when cooking/boiling stuff. Pressure cooking is fantastic

Save Gas, use the rocket stove!

Safety

Safety first!

There are many power tools on the farm. Please use proper safety protection. Proper work position and configuration are essential!

We have fire extinguishers but please be careful so we don’t have to use them! One is located by the wood oven, the other in the workshop. Ask others to locate them for you if necessary.

When you arrive you will be asked to sign a disclaimer. We are not responsible for your safety!

Please make sure you have the proper health insurance.

Please be cautious and responsible so no accidents happen!

In general

Please feel like this place is yours and take responsibility to participate in what needs to be done. Address mess and dirtiness, don’t hesitate to tell the other ones if they forget to do so.

Also please think for yourself what needs to be done. If you are not sure, our permanent members or old-timers volunteers can answer most of your questions!

We have a suggestion box for anonymous comments. Please use it! It will be a good start to the Friday Feedback where everyone will have a chance to share positive and negative things. But suggestions are welcome anytime!

If there is something you are good at or you consider necessary, go for it!

The cats are extremely cute but invasive. They will try to eat any kind of unprotected food and will annoy you when you cook. Watch out!

The donkey Vouno had a bad story before. He is now less afraid and friendly but try to be gentle, no hasty moves, no shouting, also he doesn’t like people passing behind him…

At the beginning he can be a bit overwhelming with new volunteers so don´t hesitate to show him you are not in a playful mode. Be clear with your intentions and the tone of your voice: authoritarian when you give him orders and sweet when you cuddle him.

c fe e b e f
b ebf dc b b d c df e c ad

There might be alcohol here to provide for visitors, volunteers are welcome to help themselves just write down your drinks on the fridge (1 Euro). We trust you on this please remember it´s for the project!

If you enjoy and believe in this project and want to help, donations are welcome in the donation box.

Things to do around

There are different things to do around here on weekends (chill/eat in town, beach days, hiking or relax at the farm). The car won’t be lent for going around for safety reasons. We go to town from time to time so you can get a lift. Hitchhiking is easy, people around here are usually nice. You can also grab a taxi from Mesochoris fuel station to Pylos for 10 euros. Sometimes volunteers who came in car/vans can also be an opportunity to move around if they are willing to.

We just got 3 brand new adult mountain bikes (plus one that we already had)! You are free to use them with care. We ask for a 10e for use as much as you want. This will cover the occasional maintenance. Don’t forget please, you can use the donation box ! In the summer make sure to leave them in Nectar since the guests will have priority on them. Thanks!

IMG
IMG
IMG
IMG
IMG

Beaches:

We are lucky to have a lot of beautiful beaches nearby. Here are our favourites:

Waterfalls:

Polylimnio is the most famous, maybe the most beautiful but also a bit crowdy in the season and a good 30mn. drive: https://goo.gl/maps/W2FSwTxBoZcKJ4h28

Kalamaris: amazing and quite close. You can combine it with the Vodokoilia beach if you have the time:https://goo.gl/maps/ZM9DMFDtDR5MHfbz6

The Stenosia waterfall

You can also hike from Stenosia to Kalamaris: it takes a bit of organisation since going and coming back make a long hike. You definitely need good shoes, it can be slippery. Avoid or be very cautious during rainy season.

Restaurants:

(best to book during peak season)

Methoni

Gialova: beautiful seafront town with bars and restaurants.

Kinigou

Check our friend Argiris for cheap local dishes. The true local go-to: https://goo.gl/maps/ZSeZGVLJPf4R9pRZ6

Other

  • Castles of Methoni and Pylos Both amazing!
  • Mountain biking – you can borrow our bikes free of charge. There are incredible trails in the area.
  • Hiking
  • Wine Tasting

Please keep in touch together to let the other ones know what you are planning (especially for new volunteers). There is usually a common Whatsapp group, if not you are welcome to make one!

Having a Website or Social Media Channel?

If you believe in this project it would really help us to grow if you write content about us and link back to our Website or Instagram Channel. Every mention will help the project!

Are you ok to appear on social media? Please remind us if not it’s totally cool.

Please also help produce and share media content on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Please remember to leave feedbacks on WWOOF and Google https://g.page/r/CfNb3I3gccTtEBM/review (and since you are at it do Nectar also!)

Also support us by likes, comments, and shares! Don’t stalk for no reason! Help us out with 1 click!

It’s all about the algorithm, we need the visibility to support the permaculture movement! Let’s make permaculture trendy!

Thanks guys! You are now a member of the Dio Pigadia family!

What others think about us

  • Avatar Didi Stoepman ★★★★★ a week ago
    I spent 3 days as volunteer at Dio Pigadia and it was a memorable experience! It’s amazing how the community runs the farm, educate the newcomers and are … More able to sustain the landscape and all its beauty products in such a nurturing way. The people on the farm are super warm and welcoming, the space is clean, the homemade meals are amazing and everybody is kind in educating about how the farm is operating. Can’t wait to come back!
  • Avatar Soizic Brun ★★★★★ 3 months ago
    Amazing place where you can explore sustainable practices including composting, mulching, wood work, lacto-fermentation, low-technologies... in an interacting … More community. Jules is very willing to share his knowledge with you and explore shared governance. Don't miss this opportunity to live an off-grid experience.
  • Avatar We learn as we wander ★★★★★ a year ago
    My daughter and I only wanted to visit Dio Pigadia for one afternoon but we ended up staying three weeks. It was a truly great experience for us and we … More both enjoyed taking care of the animals, gardens and veggies on the farm and fell in love with this little paradise. We ate daily together with the other volunteers amazing fresh meals with very tasty vegetables from the garden, helped out at a beach clean up event and even went sailing together.
    Saying goodbye was a hard one here but we both know for sure we want to come back, so it's only bye for now and thank you for everything Jules.
    Lia, Jenny and Tito
  • Avatar Soffi Sandkühler ★★★★★ a month ago
    A wonderful farm with wonderful people.
    The vision of the place and the way that they think realistically about permaculture and self sustainability is
    … More inspiring!
    So if you get the chance to go there you should definitely go and enjoy your visit there!
    The area is amazing and the olives trees in combination with the wild see is a dream come true 🤩
  • Avatar Menno ★★★★★ a week ago
    Joke and I had a holiday on the Pelopenesos. We stayed in Pylos and did some hiking and visiting archeological sites. Since our daughter and son in-law … More have a biodynamic vegetable farm in the Netherlands we googled on bio-farm. We had a hit for Dio Pigadia Farm. Perma-culture was the key word here. Since we know something about the filosofie of permaculture we made contact with Jules. We visited the place for a few hours. Warmly welcomed we had a tour around the property with a lot of information and explanation. A really inspiring place where you can really dive into sustainable living in every aspect. Great respect for the people there, who have founded a nucleus with great potency and expectation. Good luck and thank you for your dedication.
    Joke and Menno
  • Avatar Yarden Haik ★★★★★ a month ago
    We’ve stayed for a week in dio pigadia with my family as active guests. Our stay was beyond expectations. Stunning and comfortable place while it brings … More you back to basics. Thanks to the amazing staff and volunteers, we very fast felt part of the community. We highly recommend for a special experience in Peloponnese. All the family will take away something and reconnect with the essential laws of nature.
  • Avatar Yiaei Kasenda ★★★★★ a month ago
    Thank you Jules, Vaso and all the team for your warm welcome! We wish we could have stayed langer. What you people built up there in these few years is … More really amazing and impressively important. Good luck with everything that is yet to come! Can't wait to come back next year :) see you soon!
  • Avatar Willow Horsfall-Munden ★★★★★ a month ago
    An amazing experience with amazing people. We stayed for 2 months, we learnt so much, a place of sharing, enjoyment and caring. Living on the farm, in … More the olive trees, under the sun!
  • Avatar Marjal Sykora ★★★★★ 11 months ago
    Dio Pigadia is a very beautiful place between olive trees. The month we was there was the best time of our trip through Greece and south europe. Jules … More is very friendly and he work at this project with all his possibilities and love. Also it was nice to known all the nice people and this way of life. I can tell recommend to go to this place and this people and see how life can work in a good way.
    Thanks for this experience Jules
    P. S. you should try the comfortable compost toilet ;) it's perfect.
    .
  • Avatar gil jarus ★★★★★ 11 months ago
    Such a lovely place! We stayed for three nights and felt home, the atmosphere is peaceful and welcoming, we were invited to help ourselves with everything … More the farm yields - vegetables, greens and eggs. the volunteers were friendly, and Jules hosted us so nicely, he showed us around the farm and kindly explained about the ways he operate the farm and the permaculture approach, he gave us so much knowledge with such a big smile, it was a pleasure!