connecting psychotherapy and spiritual growth for human awakening
at cortijo llano de manzano, spain
Cortijo Llano de Manzano is a small holding set at 1200m. in the Alpujarra region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in southern Spain. We have approximately 2 hectares of land where we cultivate vegetables and fruit and nut trees, using organic and eclectic agricultural farming methods. We keep goats, sheep and chickens. We lead an eco-friendly, low impact lifestyle, managing our own water supply and using compost toilets and solar energy.
We are situated 1.5 kilometers from the mountain village of Cañar (a fifteen minute walk on the mule track) and approximately 25 minutes by road from the town of Órgiva. Both provide facilities for personal shopping, posting letters, internet access and recreation. The nearest airports are Málaga and Granada. There are regular buses to Órgiva, from where we can collect you. For further details see our location page.
The warmest months here are July and August; the coldest are January and February. Winter can be extremely cold and unpredictable, so if you’re thinking of wwoofing/volunteering during the winter please be sure to bring appropriate clothing. Click here for a detailed weather forecast.
We are a family with four children aged from 14 to 20. Their names are Xanthe, Skip, Lily and Gabriel. Lily is autistic, so please be extra tolerant because her behavior can be challenging. We have 12 cats and 3 dogs.
Nicky is a Waldorf-Steiner teacher with a life-long interest in naturopathy, herbs and homeopathy. Richard is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, counselor and author.
We moved here in April 2003. Our aims are to:
As well as being a working small holding and family home, Cortijo Llano de Manzano is a centre for personal growth and spiritual development. For more information see our home page.
We pick you up from Órgiva at the bus stop by the Dia supermarket. Please give as much notice as possible of your arrival time, because we try to combine picking you up with errands in town.
If you are coming under your own steam, detailed directions are on our travel page.
We provide accommodation in a single room, a shared room or a tent. We provide you with a sheet, pillow and blanket, but you need to bring a sleeping bag. We ask that you maintain and leave the accommodation, including the outside toilet and washing facilities, in the state of cleanliness and tidiness in which you found it. Cleaning materials are kept in the tool shed. We do not accommodate children.
The accommodation is basic; cold water washing is usual until the evening, hot water and showers are available (see WATER below), breakfasts are simple…we hope you welcome the challenges of a simple lifestyle.
Meals are usually taken with the family. Food may be vegetarian, meat or fish. We do not cater for vegetarians, vegans or any kind of special diet.
Much of the work here requires physical strength and a certain level of endurance and stamina. If you have a physical weakness, like back pain or weak knees, please tell us in advance. We appreciate and get on best with people with initiative who are willing to muck in and participate in our daily routines…and sometimes go "the extra mile".
We require you to work 7 hours a day with 2 days off a week, as well as helping out with domestic chores. The work schedule is crucial to the maintenance of our property and land. We are time-orientated, so starting at 9.00am, for example, means being ready for work. If you have difficulty with time boundaries, we are probably not the right place for you.
Work projects include gardening, converting a traditional stone ruin, building stone walls and stone steps to create and maintain the earth terraces. Regular jobs include clearing and maintaining the land, processing wood, upkeep of the buildings, managing compost, painting the alberca (water holding), collecting stones, clearing water channels, tree pruning, maintaining the solar system, domestic work and cooking.
When you arrive please familiarize yourself with the layout of the property and where things belong. Always put tools and equipment back into their correct places. Please be open and practical about tasks that you may not want to do—we are all servants here, to nature and to each other, so we are rarely able to predict with any confidence what will be necessary to do from week to week or sometimes from hour to hour! We hope that you will consider your time here a learning experience and that you will get a lot out of it.
Our water supply comes entirely from the mountain streams which are fed by the snow melt from the high sierra. You should use water sparingly, because it is not predictable how much water we will have to serve our needs. For example, do not run taps for teeth cleaning or hand washing; instead use a mug or a small basinful. Unless we are in a time of severe water restriction showers are available (although not on a daily basis)—but please ask first. Water is most scarce in July and August.
Please bring only bio-degradable toiletries and soaps, as the grey water soaks directly onto the land. The tap water comes from acequias (water channels) and is for washing and irrigating, not for drinking. Drinking water is drawn from the fuente (spring) and stored in plastic containers and glass jugs.
All the toilets here are composting toilets. When using the toilet, please cover with a scoop of sawdust or grass from the bucket provided. When the toilet bucket is full, empty it in the human compost bin and clean the bucket before replacing it. Please wee discreetly on the land.
Wood is extremely expensive in Spain, or very labor intensive to collect and process. So, in the winter months we provide you with a certain amount of fuel, but ask that you collect and process your own wood when it has run out. Wood can be collected from the mountain behind the house and processed with a bow saw. Please ensure that there is as much firewood at the end of your stay as there was when you arrived.
Empty ashes into the metal bucket provided and let them stand for several days to be sure that they will not start a fire. Even then, when emptying, please test the ashes with your hand. Even a tiny glowing ember has been known to start a major fire.
Smoking cigarettes in the house is allowed, but please don’t smoke in your room or tent. Please be extremely careful extinguishing your cigarettes. Fires are common here; they spread quickly and cause a great deal of damage and, occasionally, fatalities. Very often they are started by a burning cigarette. For the same reason, please do not use candles in your room or tent. Please don’t smoke dope during working hours or in the house. What you do during evening hours is up to you, but please be discreet.
Please ensure that gates are securely closed always, even if someone else has left them open, because goats, chickens and dogs can do irreparable damage in growing areas. Do not leave clothes or personal belongings outside; we have dogs that are happy to eat mobile phones!
All of the following items are necessary for your stay here:
We encourage you to engage with our low-impact lifestyle and fully enjoy your experience here by refraining from the use of personal technology items, like blackberries (blueberries and loganberries), laptops and iPods. These appliances will detract from your experience of the natural beauty and tranquility that surrounds you here.
Our internet connection is not available to you, but you can get internet access in Cañar or Órgiva.
Please don’t arrive with dirty clothes. Leave your dirty washing in a bag on the basket by the washing machine and we will process it for you depending on the availability of water and solar electricity.
If you break or damage anything during your stay, we ask that you pay the cost of replacement or repair.
We consider the first few days to be a trial period for you and for us. We reserve the right to ask you to leave if things don't work out.
Please feel free to talk to us about any problems or difficulties. We value your feedback which will help us and the wwoofers and volunteers who come after you.
Please print out the text above and bring it with you when you come. It is too much to remember and you will need to refer to it when you are here.
I’ve had a wonderful time, learnt a lot… you people embody the spirit of WWOOF. —Dylan, Ireland
I have been here for five weeks and right from the start I have felt like one of the family. I think that what you have here is amazing and I feel very lucky to have been part of it. I am going home with many fond memories and new knowledge to aid me with life. You are a very special and lovely family and I feel lucky to know you. —Nina, UK
The past two weeks began with a simple phone call and a sweet voice on the end of the line. Slowly the twisty road and merciless heat dissolved into a beautiful home, healthy land and family that looked as if they were born in a fairytale…each morning was filled with toast and tea, homemade muesli and exotic spreads. Daily projects brought me face-to-face with tools I had never even heard of…The sweat was unstoppable and the process often more exciting than the product. Meals that made vegetables look unearthly and their consumers feel like queens…and a pool that makes mystery seem boring. Kisses and a million ‘thankyous’ – each one wrapped in gold. To this life, to this earth, to the circles that unite us. —Jasmine, USA
Such a wonderful family. It has been an absolute joy spending time with you…Our trip to Spain will always be remembered through your kindness. —Dik, USA
As promised over a year ago, I came back. As before I take home with me so many inspirational thoughts and feelings… —Nina, UK
Big thanks from the workaholic from San Francisco. I still can’t see Morocco! —Kevin, USA
This has been one of the best experiences I have ever had throughout all my travels. Your family’s openness and honesty made me feel welcome and comfortable straight away. You have inspired me to one day, hopefully, create something similar. I would love to build my own house as you have done and live a more sustainable, natural, simple life. And I feel like I could do it now! I have learnt so many things and would particularly like to thank Richard for having the confidence in me to have a go at doing whatever job was needed to be done. I surprised myself sometimes and have gained a lot of confidence from the experience. But apart from the work, I feel like I have learnt something from each of you just being here, without you setting out to teach me anything, but just by being yourselves. —Sharni, Australia
First impression: Jesus, this is really a British family, accent, attitude, tea and crisps for lunch…What are these people who have chosen to live here? Well, amazing…thanks for everything I’ve learnt. I’ve had great fun working and thank you for showing me that family life can be something nice. —Marie, Sweden
I’m so lucky to have been able to come here…you reap what you sew, and you’ve got a great crop planted here! —Chloe, Eire
You all have given me so much, but I can’t explain it in words. If I could, I would stay even longer. —Emma, Scotland
It has been a time of challenge, enlightenment and fun. —Steve, UK
Thank you, thank you thank you. I am very grateful for coming to this family and farm to have this experience with you. —Tracey, USA.
I like the peaceful atmosphere, the wonderful nature…a lot of work to do…It is precious to have a home like yours in this crazy, running-too-fast time. Thank you for your clarity, honesty and the love energy which you can feel everywhere. —Marlene, Germany
As if by magic, taking a lot of courage, as a young and tender girl I found you in the mountains at the perfect time, and in the most perfect pocket of the world. These weeks with you have been the biggest of my life. It’s been so great growing muscles, if a little scary. I’ve never felt so healthy and strong…my hands have loved every heavy stone and fistful of cement. I have loved every single day. —Izzy, UK
Thank you all for being such a lovely family and opening your home to us. Thank you for the delicious meals… I will miss the bow-sawing and wood-pile making… —Sarah and Heather, USA
Thanks God, thanks to this house, to the yurt, to the music, to the food and everything I’ve shared with this fantastic family, because I can see the power of love through every one of them. —Isa, Spain
Thanks so much for sharing and always inspiring! —Kili, Hawaii
I wish I could explain what these last weeks have meant to me, but I know there isn’t even a place to start. Thank you for opening up your home to me and making me feel as if I have known you for months… you have made me greater just by knowing you. – Emily, Canada
Never have I felt so healthy, challenged and close to the earth. —Moon Lily, UK
I came here with the idea of staying only a couple of days and now after two weeks I’m struggling with the reality of leaving. —Jacob, UK
I’ll never forget you, for all I’ve learned, for the beautiful people I’ve met here…—Caroline, France
The person who I was when I came had no idea who I would become. This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. —Eric, USA
Starlit skies, amazing sunsets, mountain air, crazy goats, funny chickens, warm fires, cozy cats, genuine people, enchanting guitar playing, pleasant energy…You are a courageous and loving family that I admire and will always remember. I have been blessed with this opportunity to work and be part of a very unique, knowledgeable and inspiring bunch. I am truly grateful for this experience. Jessy, Canada
Richard and Nicky Harvey
Cortijo Llano de Manzano
Aptdo. de Correos 183
Mob: (00 34) 680 741 108 (anytime)
Tel: (00 34) 958 953 033 (9-10 am or 6-7 pm)
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