WORK/PROJECT: Our host for this project is a farmer’s family on the south shore of Iceland close to the town of Vík, the farmers cultivate carrots and keep cows. This is the seventh year that SEEDS volunteers will have the unique opportunity to get to know and explore this traditional Icelandic farm.
There will be various tasks, depending on the weather, some cleaning tasks, for instance clearing fields of rocks, fences, trash, beautifying the area around and removing an invasive species called - Rumex Longifolius; which has been used in Iceland in order to control soil erosion and revegetate eroded areas; but in some places its spread is more than desirable and being a foreign specie endangers the native species.
This weed can remain viable for a long time, is helpful for vegetative reproduction, adaptable to different environments and in this habitat it benefits from agricultural practices which lead to disturbance or eutrophication. It reduces production from the field and lowers the feeding value of the grass to the animals.
Those interested can help out with farm activities, such as taking care of the animals, cultivating potatoes and vegetables. Participants are invited to take a look at the cows in the stalls, assist in milking them if interested or just tending to them in general. The group will also be taking care of trees, cutting and planting them.
The weather conditions in Iceland are unpredictable, especially during winter and in early April the average temperature is just above zero. Be prepared to experience all kinds of weather and be sure to bring warm winter clothes as the tasks take place outside and it can get cold. Bring warm under-layers, waterproofs, walking shoes/boots, a good sleeping bag and gloves.
Volunteers might be asked to do other related tasks and some flexibility is required depending on the advance of the different tasks, weather conditions and current needs.
ACCOMMODATION: SEEDS volunteers will stay in an equipped flat, in a sleeping bag accommodation, sharing rooms. Please bring your own sleeping bag.
Volunteers will receive food supplies and be in charge of cooking and cleaning. Do not forget some traditional/typical food from your home country for the international evening.
LOCATION: The farm is located in the South of Iceland, in a beautiful area surrounded by mountains and glaciers to the north and near the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The closest town is Vík.
The inhabitants here live in constant threat of volcanic eruptions and the area was covered by ashes during the recent eruptions in Eyjafjallajökull 2010 and Vatnajökull (Grimsvötn) in 2011.
Vík is Iceland's southernmost village. Mýrdalur is bordered by the glacial river Jökulsá to the west and the river Blautakvísl to the east. Its northern border is the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which caps the volcanic Mt. Katla, while its southern limits are the black sand beach and the rolling Atlantic waves. The district lives mainly by agriculture. Although this community of 600 inhabitants faces the open Atlantic, Vík is the only seaside settlement in Iceland left without a harbour due to natural circumstances. Among the many attractive aspects of Vík, are the trips to the South shore and to Mýrdalsjökull glacier.
LANGUAGE: English will be the language in the camp; basic conversational skills are needed.
TERMINAL: Closest international Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF). Bus station: Central Reykjavík (BSÍ).
SEEDS organises a “minibus option”, a shared transport from Reykjavík to the camps & back. Apart from being cheap and convenient, it allows participants to meet and have a relaxed trip, while stopping on the way for interesting sites. Departure will be at 10:00 am , April 11. We return to Reykjavík in the late afternoon of May 9th.
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 180 (Euros). Please note that these fees are to be paid to SEEDS on arrival in either Euros or Icelandic krónas.
Meeting point will be at 10:00 am on April 11th. The participation fee does not include the transportation from Reykjavík to the camp and back but we estimate the costs about EUR 45 each way, stopping at stunning waterfalls and black sand beaches on the way.
Our host will organise free time activities, depending on the weather. Volunteers have to bring good working shoes & clothes, even though summer is coming, it might still be cold and hats and gloves might be necessary.