A 27-day learning community retreat taking place in the Welsh countryside complete with farming, building, beekeeping, and storytelling workshops.
When: August 18th – September 13th, 2016
Where:Llwyndafydd, Wales & Dublin, Ireland
Who: 12 teen / young adult participants (ages 15-25) unschooolers, homeschoolers, worldschoolers and teens and young adults who are self-directed. Participants must be physically fit for the strenuous work on this retreat.
A minimum of 8 participants is required to produce this learning community retreat
During this 27-day temporary learning community retreat, you are invited to immerse yourself deep within the culture and customs of a the Wales countryside. Build community while working on a sustainable, organic farm, living sustainably, in balance with the earth and her gifts. In partnership with our host Troed y Rhiw Farm, a high-producing small scale organic farm, we will build a small roundhouse (cob house), work the fields, plant and harvest and learn the principles of sustainability. Together, we will get dirty, tend bees, forage for wild food, cook fantastic fresh meals harvested by our community while being inspired by the great tradition of Welsh storytelling. Join us for this magical adventure.
Participants need to be prepared to get dirty, work hard and live a true farm experience. Living on the Welsh coast, Project World School participants will create a true community. The Welsh countryside is calling you.
In the spirit of all Project World School retreats, we are not a typical study abroad program as we take advantage of the power of a learning-community to produce collaborative goals, knowledge acquisition, personal development, and changes in global perspectives. This is one you don’t want to miss. Join us in Wales!
Does not include: International airfare, laundry services, snacks, and meals during travel days: August 18th & September 13th. Also not included are extras such as souvenirs, toiletries, batteries, insect repellent, sunscreen or other personal items.
Day 1 – Arrive in Dublin International Airport + Spend night in Dublin
Day 2 – Group travels to Wales + Icebreakers
Day 3 – Demo of Roundhouse subflooring + footing + Opening talk about Troed y Rhiw Farm
Day 4 – Build Roundhouse platform + Swimming at Cymtydu Beach
Day 5 – Build Roundhouse platform + Storyteller session
Day 6 – Build Roundhouse walls + Swimming at Cymtydu Beach
Day 7 – Day hike + picnic lunch + Speaker on sustainability
Day 8 – Free Day
Day 9 – Cheesemaking workshop
Day 10 – Building Roundhouse walls + Swimming at Cymtydu Beach + Storyteller session
Day 11 – Building Roundhouse wall plates
Day 12 – Building roundhouse wall plate + Walk in the woods
Day 13 – Building Roundhouse roof
Day 14 – Building Roundhouse Hazel Web + Storyteller session
Day 15 – Free Day
Day 16 – Day hike
Day 17 – Beekeeping workshop + Swimming at Cymtydu Beach
Day 18 – Building Roundhouse Hazel Web
Day 19 – Building Roundhouse porch extension + Waterfall hike
Day 20 – Building Roundhouse roof cover + Storyteller session
Day 21 – Roundhouse windows and doors + Swimming at Cymtydu Beach
Day 22 – Trip to Lammas Community
Day 23 — Roundhouse final plastering
Day 24 — Wild Food Foraging Course + Storyteller session
Day 25 — Free day + hike + Farewell BBQ
Day 26 — Travel back to Dublin + Spend the night in Dublin
Day 27 — Fly home from Dublin International Airport
*Schedule is subject to shift
Space is extremely limited and this retreat will sell out!
In Dublin: We will be staying in a hostel. All the hostels we stay at are registered with the tourist board and local tax departments.They must meet certain standards in order for us to stay there. We will always occupy dorm rooms that consist of bunk beds so between 4-8 of our teen participants will be sharing a room.
In Wales: Tipees on Troed y Rhiw Farm
Participants will be sleeping in tipees on the farm. There will be anywhere from 2-3 tipees, so you will be sharing with 7 other people in each tipee.
Troed y Rhiw is a 23 acre Soil Association certified small scale organic family farm. Established in 2008, it is owned and run by Nathan Richards and Alicia Miller. They produce a wide range of vegetables, herbs, soft fruit and flowers.
The farm’s ethos is built around a belief in the necessity of farming sustainably in the 21st century. This means a whole farm holistic approach to food production which starts with the microbial worlds within our soil and encompasses everything from habitat protection and creation, to the role that the farm has within the local community. Our small herd of Highland Cattle graze rich wild flower pasture as part of a mixed farming system.
Troed y Rhiw is just over a mile from Cymtydu beach on Cardigan Bay’s Heritage Coast. This Special Area of Conservation supports a colony of some 130 Bottle Nose Dolphins, Porpoises, and Grey Seals that are frequently seen close to shore. There is easy access to the coastal path and other footpaths and the farm is a few miles from some of Ceredigion’s best sandy beaches including Llangrannog and National Trust beach Penbryn.
The farm supports a range of wildlife. Pipistrelle and Brown Long-eared bats roost in the specially designed bat loft in the roof of our stone diaries. Rabbits, badgers and foxes all live in and around the farm. There is a wide range of bird life living on the farm including a range of garden birds as well as birds of prey, from Barn Owls and Red Kites to Buzzards. The farm hosts a colony of bees kept in fourteen hives. A wide variety of butterflies and moths flourish on the farm encouraged by the farm’s diverse habitat.
Nathan and Alicia:
Nathan is an inspiring and influential grower in the UK organic sector. He sits on the steering group of the Soil Association’s Future Growers Scheme, which trains and mentors new growers going into horticulture production. Alicia is a writer on sustainable food issues and cooking and the website editor for the Sustainable Food Trust (www.sustainablefoodtrust.org).
We focus on local food, serving our community through a box scheme delivered within 30 miles of the farm, local markets, and retail outlets such as restaurants and shops. Staying local means our food is fresh, mostly picked and sold on the same day, and fresh food is the key to good cooking. All meals are vegetarian!
Building a Roundhouse
The Roundhouse has a long history in Britain as a traditional building form, with the structure dating back to the Bronze age. They are made with simple materials most often ‘cob’, a mixture of clay, straw, sand and animal manure around a straw bale structure. There has been a resurgence of interest in these buildings which are cheap, sturdy and long-lasting. They often have living roofs made with plants, creating natural insulation along with the straw bales used in the structure.
Roundhouses have very low carbon footprints and with upkeep can last for centuries. They are made with sustainable and renewable local resource and materials including any wood used in the structure will come from the farm of surrounding area. Oak will lead the build with Project World School over your stay, sharing his expertise, providing guidance and imparting valuable life skills in building through the construction.
Oak is an experienced cob and straw bale builder of Roundhouses and long time member of the Tir Ysbrydol community in Pembrokeshire. The community lives completely off-grid in the foothills of the beautiful Preseli hills in West Wales. The community is dedicated to developing a deeper relationship with the earth and its nature spirits. The community works sensitively with the land and the elements, honoring the sacred and remembering the diving source of all life. They seek to live with the intention of healing, balancing and integrating different aspects of their lives with the natural environment in which they live.
Quote from Oak:
“Circles of Earth are straw bale roundhouses. These are organic structures which combine the wholeness and sacredness of the circle with the beautiful elemental materials of the earth. They are peaceful spaces which nurture well-being, connection and creativity. They are earth-friendly structures with a very light environmental footprint which sit quietly within any green space. Each one is handcrafted and unique. I welcome private commissions and offer courses in the gentle art of roundhouse-making. My hope is to inspire and empower as many people as possible to choose ways of being and structures of living that are in harmony with nature and spirit.”
BeeKeeping with Sam Cooper, New Quay Honey Farm:
Sam owns and runs New Quay Honey Farm, a small-scale honey farm situated near a few miles from Troed y Rhiw. He has been beekeeping since he was 9 years old and has a wealth of knowledge to share from a lifetime of beekeeping. He now tends hundreds of the Honey Farm’s hives that are spread on a land throughout Ceredigion county. Troed y Rhiw farm has fourteen of the Honey Farm’s hives and has been running collaborative courses with Sam for several years.
In order to qualify for the early bird discount, you must get your application in by May 20th, 2016 AND pay the $1,000 deposit to hold your space. 50% of your deposit is refundable if you cancel 60 days prior to the retreat (June 19th, 2016).