We have set up an official NGO "Spolek Hvozd" to bring our visions together and make it real together with people of same interest and various experience.
We aim to create and open "culture-educational space in countryside" in a place where people from different environments, countries and cultures can meet locals, and get to know each other. Our educational programs and practical workshops and culture events will also bring benefit into local comunity - village. Reviving and development of czech-germans cooperation with regards to history of our region.
Our aims are to rebuild a traditional farm homestead into energy-selfsuficient house and maintain surrounded land, meadows and orchards and the whole site as an eco-farm based on permaculture principles.
Our target group is people who take care of their environment and look for ways to live a self-sufficient life - be it in the area of energy, food production, wellness, creativity, happiness. This can be people of all ages and races.
Regular activites in our NGO include general maintennance of the venue, team work with other volunteers and visitors, preparation of educational events, seasonal work in the gardens, orchards and the site, also taking part in the cultural and seasonal events in the village.
Spolek Hvozd is located in Merboltice (architectonically protected village) in České Středohoří mountains area – nature protected area. The NGO consists of one big house- where Eva and Lukas Pilnaj and volunteers lives and one small cosy house where Katka Horackova lives. Around us we have 2,5 ha of orchards, gardens, and wild corners, forest and a water spring. There are two workshops attached to the house. One is mainly for art-carpentery and another for wood and metal processing for needs of NGO.
On daily basis, there are the works in the gardens and orchards and forest – preparation of plants, transplanting, maintaning old fruit trees, planting new trees, cutting grass, making compost in all different ways, collecting the harvest, processing the harvested fruits and vegetables, collecting seeds and seed propagation, some forestry work such as maintaining the paths and collecting fire wood. Thease activities are dependent on season from April to October, those experiences are important for learning principles of gardening in permaculture way.
In the kitchen we do: homemade bread, eat local food, use local herbs, ferment vegetable from cabbage, and pickles, pestos.
In the workshop we do: work with traditional tools in the wood workshop, – mending and creating furniture, musical instruments, sharping and maintenance of tools.
In the housebuilding we do: clay plastering including specialized techniques of plaster finished such as maroccan stucco, water resistant clay finishes, restoring an old timber house using traditional techniques and local materials.
We are interested for: recyclation, energysaving technologies, DIY manufacture.
Our village Merboltice (190 inhabitants) itself is unique for its vivid community consisting of new young incomers and with families, and local inhabitants that together set up a „Neighbours of Merboltice NGO“ (Sousedský Spolek Merboltice) in 2006. Its aims are to develop and strengthen relationships between neighbours and create various projects together – maintain small historical sites, work with the ex-inhabitants of the village, cultural events, seasonal celebrations, etc.. In many aspect the goals are very similar to our own Spolek Hvozd NGO and therefore we have been cooperating very closely. For volunteers it means that they will also be involved in projects in the village and working on them together with locals who mostly speak English. There are two organic animal farms in the village. Pages of village: www.merboltice.cz
Lukáš Pilnaj - a founding member, profesional musician (Duo Deši, Deshane) and music instrument maker (didgeridoo gallery), carpenter. Studied Faculty of enviromental protection. Experienced volunteering in several organisations in Czechia and Slovakia, organizing of cooperation and communication with other EVS projects and Czech volunteer organisations – TamJdem, WWOOF CZ.
In NGO is responsible for carying out technical projects, assisting and teaching volunteers how to handle tool and techniques of different type. Is a main coordinator for EVS volunteers and contact person for Erasmus+ programm needs.
Eva Pilnaj Žižkovská - a founding member, professional musician (Duo Deši, Deshane) and teacher of art education (bloghttp://evazizkovska.blogspot.cz/), responsible for media work, publishing articles. Eva graduated at the Pedagogical faculty in Pedagogy of Art department. In the NGO Eva is responsible for the logistics, administration, managment, creativity, orders and maintanence of the facilities. She will help and guide the volunteers with gardening and cooking, and informational part of the site.
Katka Horáčková – a founding member, permaculture teacher and garden designer, with 20 years of experinece in volunteering in many Czech and European NGO and farms. She helped set up many community projects, gardens and websites, volunteers in several organisations connected to self-sufficiency and organic farming. In NGO Katka is responsible for holding space for the permaculture education and practicals connected to it, programme preparation, communication, publicity and cooperation with Czech NGO sector. She will spend time with the volunteers in the garden and orchards, workshop and kitchen. www.permakulturacs.cz , www.permajoga.cz
Pavel Jablonský - a mentor, social worker, professional maker of stained glass
Petra Vrbková - a control person, active neighbour