Soil regeneration volunteer, Pachaland (Belgium)

About ERC Pachaland

Pachaland is at the forefront of fostering soil regeneration among landowners through entrepreneurial ventures. One of their flagship initiatives is the inauguration of Pachalab, Belgium’s first soil microbiology lab. Pachalab offers farmers essential soil analyses, enabling them to optimize their farming methods and cultivate flourishing microbial ecosystems.

Situated on a charming 4-hectare plot, Pachaland serves as a central hub for various experimental projects. These include holistic planned grazing, biochar production, hot composting, worm composting, compost tea brewing, seed extraction, seedling cultivation, and greenhouse trials. Enthusiastic volunteers actively participate in these endeavors, fostering a dynamic community dedicated to learning and innovation.

Current status

Pachaland has embarked on its next venture: soil amendments. Their current focus lies in refining the production of top-quality compost, worm compost, compost tea, and biochar. Supported by the cutting-edge capabilities of Pachalab, their research and development efforts enable real-time measurement and iteration for ongoing enhancements in both recipe formulation and production techniques.

What the position involves

The role entails actively contributing to the enhancement of our soil amendments by participating in various stages of the process, spanning from production to application. Additionally, a primary responsibility involves maintaining our own soil health by actively engaging in tasks related to our vegetable garden and animal care.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Composting: Engaging in the creation, monitoring, and application of compost.
  • Garden Management: Overseeing activities such as seeding, transplanting, weeding, watering, harvesting, and processing crops to ensure optimal growth and yield.
  • Animal Care: Managing the well-being of our sheep and chickens through tasks like feeding, relocation, and health monitoring.
  • Assisting with Manual Activities: Providing occasional support for on-site manual tasks, including renovating volunteer rooms, operating a hay baler, and using a compost sifter.

Your proactive involvement in these areas will be integral to the success of our soil improvement initiatives and overall farm operations.

Skills required

  • DIY experience
  • Physical stamina
  • Problem-solving attitude
  • Autonomous
  • Fluent in English. French is a plus
  • You work independently

Where are you going to live, work and eat?

Accommodation and meals are provided at no cost. Volunteers are responsible for purchasing their groceries (or utilizing produce from the garden when available) and preparing their own meals. In instances where multiple volunteers are present, communal meals are often coordinated among participants. Long-term volunteers are allocated their own private bedroom. Additionally, amenities include a common area equipped with WiFi, a shared bathroom facility, dry toilets, and a simple outdoor kitchen for cooking needs.

Free time/what you can expect

You’ll be expected to contribute approximately 6 hours of work per day, spread across 5 days each week. During your leisure hours, you’re welcome to utilize our high-speed internet connection for personal tasks, explore the surrounding land, or venture out to nearby attractions. Adjacent to our location, the Indrani Lodge offers yoga classes and delectable meals for those interested. Additionally, bicycles are conveniently available on-site for your transportation needs.

How to apply

If you’re enthusiastic about joining us in this volunteering opportunity, we’d love to hear from you! Please take a moment to share your motivations for applying and why you believe you’d be a great addition to our team. Kindly email us before the deadline of 21 April 2024. We look forward to hearing from you!

Go here to learn more about Pachaland in Belgium.