A Day At Sunseed
A typical working day
(Monday – Friday)
7:30 am Wake up call
8 am Breakfast
8:30 am Job allocation – All Sunseeders form a circle and each department coordinator presents the jobs that are available for the day. On Monday’s it is community day where we all work together to clean, repair and make Sunseed a beautiful place. Other work day’s include activities such as:
- Organic gardening – Preparing seedbeds, Planting seeds, Weeding, Preparing compost
- Drylands management – Plant research trials, irrigation line, waste water management
- Appropriate technology – Maintaining the solar energy system, Developing low-tech products
- Sustainable living – Baking, Harvesting and Preserving herbs, olives, fruits, and vegetables
- Communication and Education – Website updates, Writing/translation information boards, Signs, Leaflets, Photo-journalism for the Sunseed website
- Eco-construction & maintenance – Repairs to doors, windows, buildings, Building compost toilet, shelves, furniture, Cleaning out the Nacimiento to ensure steady water flow
10:30 am Break – Refreshments and then back to work
2pm Lunch followed by community announcements and Friday reflections
4pm Seminar/activity led by a coordinator or personal project developed by volunteer in liaison with a coordinator. Examples include language class, European identity and citizenship, presentations, films, discussion groups, demonstrations, dance classes, workshops, and also free time, siesta!
5pm Keep working on morning tasks
- Optional activities such as yoga or meditation,
- Free time
- Working on personal Project Pack or Research
8.30pm Free time – Includes weekly activities such as live music session on Tuesday, film screening in the community dome, smoothie night on Friday, arts and crafts, reading, etc.
Weekends include beach trips, trips into Sorbas, community activities, and loads of free time!
If you are interested in coming to Sunseed. You may find more information at:
One (very hot) Monday in August 2009
It´s summer just now so we try and get up at 6.45 to start work by 7.30 (it´s later in the winter). Today, the project manager made breakfast (the staff take it in turns) and then woke everyone up. In the height of summer it can be quite difficult to work after about 11am.
Work consists of tasks chosen from the range offered by the coordinators the day before. This morning people were making a frame for a solar hot water panel, others harvesting plums, tomatoes and green peppers, others shopping for food and the rest helping in the tree nursery, planting nisperos and using tree grease to protect the pomelo tree from the ants.
We break for snacks at 10 at the moment as the sun is strong now and we ate some of the plums and left over roast potatoes from last night´s meal – no pudding and custard left unfortunately!
Then we had another hour of work before lunch.
Today Nico, Jojo and Enrico cooked lunch – pasta with mushrooms, squash and garlic accompanied by a lentil stew and a colourful salad. I´ve noticed that it often goes unusually quiet when we all first tuck in. Everyone´s hungry from the morning´s work I imagine.
One volunteer pointed out that the only complaint he has about Sunseed is that he thought he´d lose some weight with all the healthy meals but the food´s too tasty.
Before everyone scatters to make coffee, wash up or to chase after the toddler that´s here at the moment, Someone calls for “Job Allo!” or job allocation. This is the time when the coordinators say what they´ll be up to tomorrow and how many people they´ll need help from. The visitors who´ve arrived most recently choose first. After everyone´s chosen announcements are made by staff and visitors – today we´re given the option of having a guided star gazing session from Rod (Sunseed is in a natural park and the stars are extraordinary). We need to wait until the moon wanes (its light outshines a lot of stars) so we´re going to watch the sky on Thursday at 10pm.
This afternoon those that are full-time work on their projects which are a mix of academic and practical. The part-timers go down to the Caña Pool – part of the river that runs through the village.
We organise ourselves by means of a rota. Everybody chooses a couple of chores – washing up, cooking and cleaning the house – it´s great you only have to wash up and cook once a week and you learn lots of new recipes. I had no idea how good pasta is when it´s cooked with a little bit of potato.
Dinner is at 7pm and tonight its stuffed cabbage and lentils followed by polenta cake. (The Sunseed diet is mostly vegan with some eggs and cheese). We have a lot of fruit from the gardens at this time of year so there´s lots of fresh jam and dessert around. There´s no evening activity this evening so a few of us worked off the ´postres´ by cycling up the mighty hills into Sorbas for a drink. Some nights we have a ´Green Speak´ event covering an environmental hot topic. Last week it was a debate about population control. Sessions in the past have included biofuel, genetically modified agriculture and sustainable travel. Other evening activities have included Spanish classes, five-a-side football, the weekly jamming night at the Pita-Eco-School down the road, circus workshops and of course the weekly solar powered cinema.
There are some things that it´s important to know before booking you visit. Our life style is a very simple one. There is one telephone on which people can receive and make phone calls. Access of the phone and internet depends on the weather and amount of sun being transformed into solar energy. For volunteers working on their projects, we do organize weekly trips to Sorbas, the nearest town, where there are shops, internet cafes etc. Sorbas is about an hours walk from Sunseed and about 30mins on a bicycle. We have a good solar heating system for the water for showers, but this means that when there is no sun hot water can be limited. Our masonry stove also heats hot water during the winter but if there are lots of visitors we usually operate a rota to make sure that everyone gets a turn at least twice a week.
Aside from sleeping well, lots of visitors report having vivid and extraordinary dreams. Is Los Molinos a place of dream tourism? It´s a unique yeso (gypsum) valley but can this really affect the way we sleep? Our jury is still out, you decide