Welcome Explorers

You are reading this page because you would like to participate as an Explorer (participant) at the Catfarm!

PLEASE READ EVERYTHING CAREFULLY <3

Let us start by saying that this will not be your usual Erasmus+ program. Aside from the Youth Exchange workshops, you are about to embark on a new lifestyle of COMMUNITY, SUSTAINABILITY & CREATIVITY.

We don’t make Info Packs. All the information you need to know is on this page. Do you have questions or is there something missing? Contact us on telegram or by email at trainings@catfarm.com

But worry not! On this page, you will find out all you need to know on how to make the most out of your experience!

What is the Catfarm?

The Catfarm is an off-grid community that welcomes volunteers from all over the world to help grow and develop the community with a wide range of skills. You will meet them at the farm and they are called CATS – not to be confused with our animal cats Beyoncé, Meow and Ziggy!

The CATS are young (sometimes the same age as yourselves) and they will be your hosts in the community, where you will be known as Explorers.

Read more about the Catfarm in the Who we are.

Also welcome to explore our whole website so you really understand where will you be landing!

 

How is life in the Catfarm different?

Water and electricity: at the Catfarm every water drop and power watt matters! Our farm is powered by solar energy and our water comes from a natural source. We have built our own electricity and water systems so we know exactly where our resources come from and how much they last. You will also be challenged to change your perception of water and electricity as a given and learn to value them!

 
 We are aiming to reduce our impact on the planet.

Only charge devices during daytime!

Recycling/Upcycling: reducing consumption is only one of the steps into lowering our impact on the environment. We also need to make sure we are using everything to its full potential before throwing it in the bin. We use waste to build things that make our community prettier and more functional. For those things that really do not have any further use, they are properly separated and sent to recycling centers.

Food: we could not try to reduce our impact on the environment without reducing the burden on animals. Besides the cruel methods used to turn animals into food, cattle ranching is harmful to the environment as the cows release crazy amounts of Methane gas into the atmosphere and it causes forests to be deforested to make room for pasture. Currently, 80% of the deforestation in the Amazon is caused by cattle ranching.

For that reason, the Catfarm is a vegetarian community (but vegan-friendly too!) and we have a small gardens with fresh veggies and herbs. We also have our friendly chickens –  who are treated like pets and not eaten. At the farm, you will learn that there’s plenty more to food than steak and chips, and that lettuce and tomato are not the only vegetables in the world!

Self-hygiene:

We only use biodegradable soaps.

Please don’t take any non-biodegradable soaps with you to the farm since they can damage our septic system!

Also always remember to throw the toilet paper in the bin.

When we say everything is used to its full potential, we mean EVERYTHING. Including poop! At the farm, we have a compost toilet where you can deposit your lovely poop so it becomes delicious compost for the plants!

We kindly ask you to use the compost toilet on the Catfarm and we understand that for some people this is a big step. But it’s part of the experience. DO NOT use the compost toilet IF you are on any medication, birth control, antibiotics etc.

Community living: if we want to look after the world we live in, why not start with our own community? The Catfarm is a co-creation from all the people who have lived here, including you! You will have the freedom to leave your mark on the farm with your skills in arts, gardening, cooking, or whatever it is that you’re good at! However, we also expect you to be responsible for the community and make sure the mark you are leaving behind is a nice little painting and not broken chairs and dirty dishes.

Now that you know a bit more of what the Catfarm is all about, please make sure you have a look at our Principles of Community Living. These principles will ensure you get the most out of the experience and make it an enjoyable time for everyone at the farm.

Principles of Community Living
1) If you use anything, put it back the way you found it. This goes for dirty dishes, cutlery, paint, chairs, tools, chickens, etc.
2) Clean up after yourself. No one likes to live in a dumpster so please keep the place clean and tidy and do not expect the Cats or your fellow Explorers to clean after you.
3) Save water. Do not take long showers and do not wash your hair every day. You’re also going to try this new thing of turning the water off while using the soap. It’s great fun, I promise! Also, use water toilet only for pees, so poopies go in the compost toilet (if you are not on medications) 🙂
4) Save energy. We heavily rely on solar energy to have electricity and I am sure you know the sun is not out around the clock. So do not charge any devices after the sun is down, turn off the lights after leaving the room and why not shower cold from time to time?
5) Respect our neighbors. There are families living next to the farm so there are silent areas in the farm where noise is not permitted after 10pm. After midnight, the whole farm is a silent area so please keep quiet after that time.
6) Please do not put toilet paper in the toilet and, again, make sure to use the compost toilet for poopies. Mother nature appreciates it!
7) Do not bring meat/fish into the farm kitchen or fridge.

Bring an outfit!

There is a story that connects all the activities.
A thematic acts as a glue for the entire exchange and helps the participants to bond together.

One of the days we will decorate the entire farm according to a theme. This can range from medieval to futuristic, and then we will invite all knights, princesses, heroes and time-travelers to join us and expect all participants to bring a costume according to the theme. In the email from your partner and on the Facebook event page you can find more information about the theme of the Youth Exchange.

Participants will be hosted by two in a 3 person tent with two separate airbeds This is a comfy tent for two. We supply air or sponge matrasses.[/caption.

 
 

Transportation to the Catfarm

We expect you to choose the greenest and most affordable way of traveling.

Address:

Catfarm
699 Cabrolous
34560 Poussan
France

Choose the train or bus unless your trip would be longer than 24 hours 🙂 Also, do not take an Uber unless there is no other way, or first class seats unless it is cheaper.

PLEASE! Try to arrive at Catfarm before the evening (after that there might be no more buses).

The budget for traveling is 275 euros max – 30 euros from the participation fee = 245 euros

Why do we want you to travel green? check out this article on our blog.

  • Rail/Coach is obligatory for travel not exceeding 1000 km (2nd class only).
  • Plane (economy class only) can be an option if travel exceeds the
    a distance of 1000 km or 24 hours of total traveling time.
  • We accept receipts from alternatives like Blablacar.
  • Arrive before 5pm in Montpellier to still be able to go by yourself to the Catfarm.
  • In case you are not able to arrive after 5pm in Montpellier, communicate with other participants to arrive in a group.
    We can pick up groups (4-6 people) in the evening/night by car, but only in case there are no options for you to arrive before 5pm! Please make every effort to be at the farm by yourself as the CATS will be busy preparing the projects for you.
  • Check all the transportation you need to get to arrive at Catfarm – the village of Poussan (not only to the main cities around like Montpelier and Sete).

tip: Arrive a day or two earlier and explore Montpellier and Sete!

 

Check our calendar on Facebook for upcoming Youth exchanges and other events.

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After the project, you will have 2 weeks to fill in the reimbursement form to get your travel costs back

Check out some pictures of previous Youth Exchanges