In the forested hills between the Pyrenees and Mediterranean Sea, Bastarra is a new project on terraced land abandoned 60 years ago, where now mixed oak and beech forests rise within this nature reserve.
Beside an ancient volcano, forest gardens begin to grow in small clearings and on the spoil heaps of charcoal burners, while a simple cabin and house are being built from the wood and clay found on site.
Nearby the old stone farmhouse has been rebuilt beside the spring - a rare occurrence in these dry hills, over which towers a great willow that can be seen from miles around.
This Permaculture project takes its lead from the slowly regenerating forest, aware of the fragility in this rapidly changing climate, and there is always time to sit and listen to the birds or the wind high in the trees, or wander the many tracks along this forgotten sierra, as monks once wandered between its chapels and hermitages.
We are just beginning to find our way here, you'd be welcome to join us.
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Ancient tracks weave their way through these hills from silent chapels deep in the forest and larger hermitages and sanctuaries perched on rocky ridges.
Year by year this forest expands and diversifies; genets and wild cats return as eagles and vultures circle overhead and soon bears and wolves will return too.
Our basic campsite facilities offer a perfect base for eco-adventures in this protected site, close to the Natural Park of the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa.
To make the most of your stay there will be someone always on site to help with information, sharing walking routes, maps, food foraging and information on places of particular interest.
If you do not have your own 4x4 vehicle to get here, a lift will be provided free from the nearest public transport.
Accommodation includes tents, toilets and showers.
A Deeper Permaculture Design Course
Using the regenerating forest on this old hillside farm as inspiration for a new agriculture to replace the destructive practices of charcoal burners and shepherds who used to cut the trees to burn and clear rough pasture.
On the northern hillside opening out on the Pyrenees, we will create vegetable and forest gardens around the rebuilt, original stone farmhouse, and integrate the high spring in gravity fed water systems for domestic use and irrigation, install solar panels, sustainable firewood production.
While on the dry southern side, open to the Mediterranean Sea, there will be natural building and the coppicing of old hazel terraces for a sustainable production of multipurpose wood, and also the expansion of vegetable and forest gardens, using dry-adapted techniques to generate drought tolerant, productive gardens.
Reciprocal Framework Meditation House - Natural Building Course
In a single week we will select, cut, carry and debark the necessary oak trees, before then raising the reciprocal framework.
Although accommodation is basic, as we put together the infrastructure for this developing Nature Centre, we hope that for a small communal group, this step-by-step process, from standing tree to light and airy meditation platform, will be truly satisfying.
This course is designed for those with no experience of carpentry or meditation, but are motivated to try both in this beautiful forest, sharing a week of work, in silence, in conversation, in community with each other and the forest too.
While these will be long days, physical strength is not as important as good health and an open attitude to learn with others of any age, sex or gender.
It is open to persons of any religion, spirituality, philosophy or none.
Size of project site
People on site
4 - 15
June to September
October to May
- tent camping
- communally cooked meals
- slow: emails only
Bastarra is currently offering the following opportunities:
- Natural Building
- Meditation Retreat
- EarthHead! DAO
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