About the Rainbow Homestead:
We are a living and learning commons for sustainability(as well as a family homestead): practicing permaculture and
experimenting in ecological and cooperative living. We are registered
as a Not for Profit Organisation located within a farm called Zuvuya on
300 hectares of land that includes a mountain, streams, waterfalls, and
forests. Several families have homesteads on this land.
Rainbow Homestead has a permaculture garden with a small expanding
orchard. A variety of foods are grown but we are not a
commercial farm. We are aspiring to be self-sufficient and are almost
there! Were off the grid so power comes from the sun (solar panels and
batteries) and an occasional generator. Meals are cooked with solar
cooker, or gas on cloudy days. There is an abundance of fresh spring
We are 45km from Howick, the closest town. We are 65km from
Pietermaritzburg, the closest city. We are also near Impendle, a rural
Zulu traditional community, about 15km away. We can arrange for homestay and cultural tour of this welcoming Zulu community and help at the Eco-Schools with which Samantha works.
Weather: Spring is
chilly and misty. Summer is rainy many afternoons and hot during the
day. Autumn is warm during the day, cool at night and dry. Winter is
warm during the day and cold at night (going down to 3 degrees Celsius)
and it very rarely rains.
Specialists: Were looking for
creative workers with specific skills and experience in permaculture,
fundraising, un-schooling , natural building, carpentry, stone masonry,
and alternative technology and energy.
If you do not have these
skills and would like to be able to make a valuable addition to a modern
homestead we are offering a 2 week Introduction to Permaculture and
Sustainability course. You will learn specific skills in Permaculture
and homesteading systems. These include: Compost making, food
production, costs of homesteading, solar systems, natural building, Non
Violent Communication skills, nurseries and forest creation, bread
making and vegetarian cooking, water harvesting, nutrition and natural
health, observation techniques, recycling and more.
This course will be included in the normal work hours (5 hours daily)
of the 2 week Introduction to Permaculture and Sustainability course:
R1500 which is donated to our NPO and is tax deductible.
This includes 3 meals a day, accommodation, skills training and a certificate of completion after 2 weeks.
Work exchange may be arranged at no extra cost for another 2 weeks.
About the Work Exchange:
ask for 5 hours of work per day. There is a minimum stay of 1 week and
maximum stay of 1 month although up to 1 year stay with remuneration
can be negotiated if both the Helper and Sam & Shine are happy with
Garden work includes: Making compost piles,
cutting grass (summer), collecting manure, fire breaks (winter),
weeding, seed collecting, planting seedlings, hole digging for trees and
maintenance of trees, planting edibles and pioneer plants, repairing
fences, cutting and chopping firewood, harvesting crops.
work: Creation of a solar hot water system, kitchen work: making
breads, preserves, chutneys, etc., building of an evaporative fridge,
recycling insulation inside the house, natural building, and sharing
time, skills, and energy with the children. Marketing, fundraising,
administrative work and website updating are also needed. There are
horses that need training for riding.
About the Family:
Samantha and Shine share the Rainbow Homestead. They co-parent and
un-school 2 children: Oriah age 9 and Kei 7. We have a cat, Shiva, and a
We have a vision to live more sustainably on the
earth and to make the world a better place through sharing and learning
about this path with others. We enjoy spending time in nature,
attending Rainbow gatherings, playing musical instruments and singing,
hunting for mushrooms, going to the beach (when possible), doing crafts,
storytelling, fire dancing, .
We think of ourselves as
spirituals beings. Sam affiliates herself with the Unitarian
Universalist faith. We share earth-centred rituals and celebrations
together such as Solstices and those that mark the change of seasons.
Spiritual growth and openness to others spiritual paths are important
Facilities : Accommodation is either in a Caravan or
tent. Kitchen and ablutions are shared. Please bring a sleeping bag
and pillow if you have one.
Bathing is done in a fire-bath or in a
donkey system for a hot shower. Either way, you'll have to collect the
wood and make the fire when you want to bathe.
There is very
limited power as a small solar set-up provides all the power for AC and
DC power. There will be specified times when the sun is shining to
charge phones and use your own computer.
There are no shops near to us so please bring with you airtime, favourite foods, medication, etc that you might need.
the Food: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be in the family home.
Additional special food is the financial responsibility of the helper.
We are a vegetarian family but do eat dairy, eggs, honey. No meat is
allowed in the house.
On the days that you are not working (max 2
days per week), you will be asked to contribute money (R10/meal) or you
may make your own food. Part of the helping hours will include meal
preparation which is shared.
About the Not for Profit
Organisation: We run a NPO called Sihlangene Kokwethu . This
organization was set up for the purpose of environmental education and
sustainability and for local economic development. We achieve this by
providing Permaculture and Sustainability workshops to the local
community through the Impendle Eco-Schools programme, to other members
of the public through on-site tours, and through the Impendle
Eco-Tourism programme that offers overnight homestays in Impendle and
work-exchange at the Impendle Eco-Schools. The administrative office
and demonstration site is at the Rainbow Homestead.
here: We might be able to pick you up in Howick if it corresponds with
our normal trip into town. Otherwise taxis and a bus are available from
Howick. SMS closer to the time for details.