Category Archives: camps

Camptier (participatory workcamp) 2021

From July 12 to 31, Ermitaj invites you to participate in its first “camptier”!

The idea of ​​the “camptier” comes to us from Pascal Depienne, professor of permaculture, and his French association “Terre-Paille & co”:

“The ‘camptier’ is a self-managed participatory worksite, we facilitate the transmission of know-how in natural construction and we share a rich moment of life with our participants. We carry out all the collective tasks, whether it is the kitchen or the dishes (the food is provided), and we only work 6 hours a day with one day off per week. This experience allows a completely informal and free education while encouraging the development of each one and the discovery of a permacultural way of life. We also share other activities such as bread-making, gardening, harvesting, processing, or simply time for games and rest, hence the name CAMPTIER. ”

This year, at the Ermitaj, we have decided to organize our first real “camptier”, which will last three weeks, and during which we will work on the exterior aspect of the barn, and its multipurpose space in which we organize most of our courses and events.
We want to take this opportunity to experiment and share several plaster and finish techniques based on natural materials (clay, straw, sand, lime, wood).
The idea is to have a pleasant, beautiful, functional place, and at the same time to experiment and show different natural building techniques!


Here is an idea of ​​the program (we may not do everything … it will depend on the number of participants and how fast we move forward!):

For the AAC block part (the current donkey house):
– interior wall (South) in clay-straw plaster, cob frame for the whiteboard + cob shelf
– east wall: ‘fake’ cord-wood (fixings of wooden washers and lime-clay-sand plaster between them)
– North and West walls => clay-lime-sand plaster or wood cladding

For the wooden part (the current workshop):
– remove the polystyrene plates from the east and north facade (will be used to insulate from the inside and / or for other uses) – wooden sign “Ermitaj Malin” on the east facade
– Filling of the holes between the wooden planks from the inside with light clay straw
– Installation of second hand windows

Creative finishing plaster on the wall in ‘torchi thai’ (made in 2019 during the PDC with Pascal Depienne) – manufacture and installation of a wooden door

 In practice:

– The camptier will take place from July 12 to 31 (arrival July 11 and departure August 1)
– It’s free!
– We ask participants to register (by email), and to stay at least one week (we ask, if possible, that arrivals and departures take place on Sundays)
Camping accommodation (a few places in dormitory will nevertheless be available – first come, first served!), with dry toilets and outdoor shower.
The Ermitaj provides the food (vegetarian), but the cooking (as well as the dishes and the maintenance of common areas) will be self-managed by the participants
– Every morning we will start with a briefing to determine the different tasks and working groups.
– We will work 6 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Thank you for reading and agreeing to Ermitaj’s Internal regulation. 

The number of participants will be limited to 20 people present simultaneously.

Prior registration required:

Please specify the duration of your stay (arrival and departure date), send us any comments (special diet, health problem, allergy, etc.), and do not hesitate to tell us about your experiences and / or skills that could be valued during the camptier!

Some illustrations of different projects around the world, to give an idea of the creative and aesthetic potential of clay-based constructions and plasters:

Convergence of Permaculture in Romania 2019

After a 3 years break in the series of convergences of permaculture in Romania, the Romanian Association of Permaculture togheter with Ermitaj Malin took back this tradition, trying to find a new format, beneficial for the movement of the permacuture. The preparations started a week before, to make sure that everything will be as well as possible for our guests: we made provisions of local food, we prepared the group activities, some places of the farm were arranged and even donkeys helped us by mowing the grass!

During three days, and with to the help of a team of volunteers, co-organizers and facilitators, Ermitaj Malin was the theater of many activities, dedicated as well to people already involved in permaculture, as visitors or curious enthusiasts. This edition was an opportunity to raise a big question: “how can we grow the permaculture movement in Romania?” And with the help of people already involved in this movement, we have thought of many solutions. It was also an opportunity for the participants to do some networking, to feed their curiosity, to enjoy nature, and to relax.

Thus, for our great concern, community building activities and exercises were organized to create a space of trust, empathy and freedom of expression at the center of the discussions. We sat in a circle in the shade of the great charm of the Ermitaj and we met (or met again), we opened up, we played. Permaculture manifested itself socially through our meeting.


Together, we co-created a definition of permaculture, clarifying any ambiguity. The mantra for the first day was: “We are all in the same boat!” … on the same road, with similar visions and challenges. So, with all this concentrated energy, we worked together to answer the questions raised during this convergence.

People from different professions were present: urban gardeners, educators, people living off-grid, farmers, eco-builders and designers. With all this diversity of knowledge and experience, we have created a World-Cafe, thanks to which we have generated dozens of ideas, some of which we hope will soon become a reality. A hot topic of discussion was the centralization of the permaculture movement at the national level and the need for local representatives in the different regions of the country. We all agreed that to help the evolution of this movement in the country, the next step would be to synchronize local projects, associations and initiatives in a single national network with local representatives in all regions of the country. Thus, a structure of this type will allow national decisions, the international delegation of representatives of Romanian permaculture and the creation of a unique network of people in permaculture.


At the same time, the prospect of a big meeting in the near future, a permaculture festival that would bring together hundreds of people, professionals and curious, was discussed. Thus, permaculture stakeholders from all regions would come together in a single movement that wants to have a strong impact, creating visibility and arousing growing interest around this concept.

The first two days of convergence were entirely devoted to permaculture and the people already implicated in this movement. The third day was a day when we opened up to all the curious, those who sympathize with the concept of Permaculture, but also those who could not attend the first 2 days, but who are on the map of Permaculture. So there were a lot of key activities and meetings. In addition, the Ermitaj received a surprise visit from the mayor Mr. Constantin Toma from the city of Buzau and the mayor Mr. Mureșan Ioan from the commune of Nușeni, two representatives evoking their interest for Ermitaj Malin project and for the future of the permaculture in Romania. In this perspective, the city of Buzau was presented to us as an actor – beginner but nonetheless important – in the field of permaculture, where large projects of permaculture and circular economy must be implemented.

The activities were organized using the technology of “Open-space”, which means that the program was spontaneously co-created with those present, according to the needs of the group and what each participant had to offer. Soon, the empty board that we posted on the wall at the begining of the day has turned into a coherent and diversified program, with several activities taking place in parallel. The future of the ALPA association was discussed, ecobuilding technics were discussed, projects like Ecoruralis and Cutia Țăranului were presented, a bio-intensive gardening course was organized with the Romanian Permaculture Association, a workshop about plants identification with Permacultură Tureni, and many others.


With all this energy channeled in one direction, that of the development of permaculture in Romania, many great ideas and projects have come to life and will be put into practice thanks to the collaboration of those who want this change. And that makes us happy and motivates everyone to continue on this road, the road at the edge of nature. After all, in permaculture, we don’t just need a handful of people to do great perfect things, but rather, we need everyone’s participation in small steps to make this world a place that respects nature and humans, and that will prosper with all of us.


Text written by Tiberiu Marcu on, freely translated from Romanian.