What do volunteers do at Yamana?

Volunteers at Yamana have the opportunity to plant crops, harvest edibles and learn how to cook them, produce homemade fermented foods, bake fresh food, interact with the farm animals, and much more.  Every day is different, and the work also varies with the seasons.  A typical day starts at 9am and ends at 4:30pm, with a two hour lunch break in between.   Many volunteers come as WWOOF’ers (World Wide Organization of Organic Farms), and receive free food and lodging in return for working each day.

Taiwan encompasses several diverse ecosystems, and volunteers at Yamana will experience both sub-tropical and temperature agricultural techniques. Volunteers may also participate in monthly courses Yamman holds on traditional food production.  Examples of past class topics have included soy sauce, vinegar, tofu, cheese, wine, jelly, and clay oven-baked bread.

To hear about the experiences of past volunteers, check out the following links:

Testimonial 1

Testimonial 2

Testimonial 3

Testimonial 4

Lodging

The farm has two buildings for volunteers.  The women’s house can comfortably sleep 5 people, and the men’s house 3 people.  Beds in the farm houses are arranged in the lofts on the second floor.  Please note that volunteers wishing to stay at the farm should be in good enough physical condition to climb the ladders to the lofts.

Volunteers living here at the farm will also need to bring their own sleeping bag and pillow (although some extras left by past volunteers are also available).  In the winter, it can be cold at night as the houses are relatively open, so please plan accordingly.

There is a new campsite under construction that can sleep 1 person or a couple staying together at the farm.

For volunteers who feel more comfortable in a traditional housing site, Yaman has room for 2 people to sleep in his home’s spare guestroom, located in downtown Taipei.  Volunteers living here will receive transportation to and from the farm everyday.

The farm has on outhouse and a shower onsite, although the water temperature may be cold at times.  Volunteers may also choose to bathe at the local hot spring bathhouse.





Women's Lodgings

Men's Lodging

Food

In addition to lodging, volunteers working at the farm 6 hours per day receive 3 meals per day. For breakfast fruit or foods purchased downtown are brought to the farm for volunteers.  Volunteers prepare lunch communally with Yaman, and volunteers at the farm usually make dinner for themselves.  Volunteers may harvest any of the crops on the property for meals.  Staple foods, spices, and cookware are all available at the house.


Safety

The farm is located in a rural area, and bug repellant may be necessary. However, serious mosquito born illnesses such as malaria and dengue fever are not common. All the produce is washed and cooked before eating, and water is boiled before drinking, so food safety should not be a concern for most visitors.  Serious food born illnesses are also not problematic at Yamana, since animal waste is not applied directly to most crops. The area surrounding Yamana is a quiet farming community.  Living at the farm is very safe.  Two dogs live in the house to provide company and an extra measure of safety for volunteers.

What to Bring

  • Sleeping bag (some sleeping bags and pillows may be available for volunteer use)
  • Pillow
  • Personal Hygiene Items – toothpaste, soap, etc.
  • Flashlight
  • Thongs/flip-flops for showering
  • Towel

Other Opportunities

Hiking – Yamana Garden is located within walking distance of Yangmingshan National Park and many other hiking trails

Sightsee in Taipei – while public transport to and from the farm is difficult, the proximity of downtown Taipei (30 min by car) makes it convenient to sightsee before or after your stay at the farm

Hot springs – Yamana is located in the heart of many natural hot springs on Yangmingshan Mountain, 30-40 minutes walking distance is a local free hot spring that volunteers may visit

Visit nearby farms – Yamana sits next to many small farms, walking 5 minutes up the hill brings you to a goat farm with homemade goat-milk ice-cream, and many other interesting farms are also very close