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Volunteering as a chef

Unlike general volunteers who are welcome in spring and autumn, chefs are welcome all year round. And actually: the best food we have in fall and winter! We pick mushrooms in the forest, wild thyme in the field, the last raspberries and kaki's get ripe, we pick rosehips to make delicious sherry-like wine... The oven is on all day so we can bake bread, muffins, crackers, pies and what not.

As a volunteering chef you team up with Nol, our fun teenage son, to guide him on his pathway to becoming a chef. He loves food and good ingredients, he is a master at making pasta (lasagne, tortellini, ravioli, canneloni) but his vegetarian dishes need some work ;-) As a young man he loves meat and he didn't find a way to fully appreciate all vegetables yet.

Together with Nol you are free to experiment, try out, find new dishes to add to our menu. There are some limits, like we prefer to eat from our land or the local market and not from a supermarket or out of season or climate. We also prefer to eat vegetarian half of the time. We usually bake & fry with lard/the grease (vitamin D!) from a local pig, or seed oil.
>> More on our ideas about food

"This magical place, the 5 stars cooking"
Jurriaan, The Netherlands >> more

Traditional Croatian pekaIn the kitchen you can find a wood stove with a big oven and gas burners. We have pots and pans all sizes (up to 30l), a kitchen machine and blender, juicer, smoothiemaker, meat mincer and sausage maker. We have access to a big smoke house (in which we dry & cure bacon, meat and sausages) and a small smoker (for brisket and fish) is just outside the kitchen.
We like to cook outside on an open fire, grill, we have a tripod with hanging cauldron, a big cast iron "peka" and a "kotlovina".


"Nol: thanks for the recipe of lasagne and all the delicious food! You have good talent of cooking.
I believe if you spend more time on it, you will become an excellent chef!"
Wenjia, China >> more

What you can expect

Nol cooks in the pekaYou can experience a fun family with a natural lifestyle in a beautiful edible landscape. A simple, fulfilling life in the countryside, in harmony with nature.

If you are interested, you can learn about growing vegetables, legumes, herbs, fruits, nuts and grains. We have a variety of food-growing systems, like an ecological garden, a greenhouse, a nut orchard, a food savanna, a food forest and a failed food forest.

We are on our pathway to self sufficiency and you can learn all about the implications of that choice.
>> More on our ideas about self sufficiency

We like to ferment; we make sourdough bread, sauerkraut, kimchi, carrot sticks, kombucha, yogurt, wine and sometimes beer.

In November we usually butcher a pig from the neighbours, in spring we buy a lamb from the neighbours. Every 2 or 3 months we butcher a few rabbits. Our chickens we only butcher when they are really old (for soup).

We not only provide humans with delicious food from our terrain, also the animals have their own food growing here, and the soil and its plants gets fed as well. We brew compost tea and we ferment herbs as garden medicine. We have a hot compost heap and a slow cold compost heap.

"We learnt so much about fermenting, animals and how to chase dreams. We shared some delish food, and the mushrooms oh la la! We promise to return to enjoy a meal in the grand outdoor restaurant"
James & Catherine, New Zealand >> more


Pizza nightYou can stay in a tent, in our caravan or camper (or in a room in the house in colder months).
Of course you keep your space clean and tidy. You are a guest and we're not your mother.
There is always a possibility that you have to share your space with another volunteer.

You can use the bathroom/toilet in the house and outdoor (camping) showers in summer. Outdoors we also have two compost toilets (but only for people who are not vaccinated against corona).
Please bring environmental friendly & bio degradable soap & shampoo because everything eventually ends up in the garden.

Colourful food

Applying as a volunteer-chef

Please send an e-mail to volunteers@bogatasuma.eu with:
- some information about you,
- what drives you/what are your passions,
- what is your cooking education and experience,
- how do you see your future and
- what attracts you in Bogata Šuma.


Outdoor cooking

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Visit us

 on our campsite for a holiday in nature

 for a course or workshop

 for a great organic lunch or dinner


Stay with us

 for a few weeks as a volunteer

 forever in our village


Learn with us

 permaculture, social permaculture and Cultural Emergence

 sustainable living and self sufficiency

 about living your life differently