Author Archives: Coline Vanlaeys




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(Until now, the newsletters have been written in French, but they mostly contain pictures! In the future, it will be translated in English and Romanian as much as possible)

To see the previous newletters, see below:


Newsletter – Spring 2018

Hello everyone!

It’s already been more than a month since spring landed in force at the Ermitaj: sun, days already (too?) hot, and rain already too rare.

After a big cleaning of the buildings and their surroundings (which never ends, of course), our days are very busy in the garden: to prepare new plots, to mow, to cross, to weed, to sow, to plant, and especially… to mulch a lot!
This year we are experimenting with 4 different ways of growing potatoes. We observe this very closely, and you’ll know more in a few months after the harvest 🙂

We had the pleasure of welcoming Alan for 2 weeks for his internship, who studied the composition of the soil on different parts of the land. Thanks to him for his precious help!

We visited the Provision Transylvania project during their “open house” day: the opportunity to meet beautiful people in an inspiring place!

Last week we were also invited to make a presentation about Ermitaj project as part of one of the “Da mai departe” days in Targu Mures, another great opportunity to meet interesting people and projects!

We spend as much time as possible with our donkeys, to prepare them for the long hike scheduled for July.

And the agenda of this summer begins to take shape! We are already pleased to announce two courses about permaculture:

– On the 31st of June and the 1st of July there will be a weekend of introduction to permaculture, in Romanian language, with Tudor Petrutiu from the Romanian Association of Permaculture.

– From September 1st to 16th, we have the great honor to welcome Graham Bell for a certified permaculture design course, a unique opportunity in Romania!

Do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible to register, because both courses begin to fill 🙂

On Saturday August 11, we will also hold an open day at the Ermitaj. On the program: a presentation of the project, a visit of the place, meetings, a festive evening, and a night to watch the shooting stars. Welcome to all!

We are also looking for volunteers to help us to lead this busy season. Go to the page about volunteering and / or our WWOOF and HelpX profiles, and contact us if you are interested!

Another way to help us to face this year: become member of “Ermitaj pe Vale” association!
Thank you very much for your precious help and support 🙂

Regarding the construction sites: we have drilled a direct entrance to the room on the west side, to allow easy passage for a wheelchair. We are waiting for the door!
Next, we plan to: change the wooden staircase that leads to the attic, build a new solar shower and a second dry toilet.

We leave you with some pictures of this beginning of the season.

Nice spring to all, and see you soon!


Becoming a member of “Ermitaj Pe Vale” association

Would you like to support us by becoming a member of our non-profit association?

For that, you just need to:

  • send us an email with your details to
  • send us your annual fee of 15 €
    Either in cash during your visit to Ermitaj
    Either by payment, on the bank account of the association (communication: Your name + “2018 subscription”)

Ermitaj Pe Vale ASBL
Rue des Croisiers 42B – 7500Tournai
IBAN: BE 34 5230 8094 8090
Triodos Bank (Rue Haute 139/3 – 1000 Brussels)

This does not commit you to anything, you are free to renew or not your membership each year.

You will receive information related to the General Assembly of the association, and will be kept informed of our activities.

This money will also allow us to take out an insurance policy for all the people active on the site: residents, volunteers and participants to our activities.

By this contribution, you allow us to ensure our independence and the sustainability of our project. This is of great importance, and we thank you in advance!


* We think money should not be a barrier! If paying this amount of 15euro is problematic, but you still want to be a member of the association, do not hesitate to let us know, and we will consider the solutions together.

Newsletter winter 2017-2018

Hi everyone!

We stayed silent for a few months, but it doesn’t mean that we didn’t do anything!
During this winter, we made great progress for the project.
See instead:

The creation of the non-profit association “Ermitaj Pe Vale”

In January, we created a belgian non-profit association (NGO), that will manage all the activities at Ermitaj.

The statutes of the association (available here in French) will ensure that the fundamental values ​​of the project will always be respected, and that the money received or generated will be used for non-profit purposes: to improve the non-profit organization and the place that welcomes it.

This non-profit organization allows us to work in a transparent administrative structure that is easier for us to manage.

It will also make it possible to easily expand the team, by integrating new effective members, who will take an active part in the management of the project and its development.

This non-profit association will also facilitate fundraising, either through requests for subsidies or support fees from sympathizing members.

Do you want to invest in the project, or simply support us by becoming supporting member of the ASBL?

Nothing more simple, for all explanations, it’s here!

Update and translation of the website

As you can see, the Ermitaj website has been updated, and new content has appeared.

But the big news is that the entire site is now available also in English and Romanian!

Thanks to the small flags at the top right, you  can easily switch from one version to another.

We hope that this will bring us better visibility and will open new doors, abroad but also and especially in our host country, Romania.
Because a better local anchoring also goes through an accessible and effective communication!

From now, newsletters will also be available in all three languages.

Program of next summer at Ermitaj

The schedule of our activities is in working progress, and will be announced soon!

But to give you already an idea, here is an overview of some activities planned this summer (subject to confirmation):

– Weekends focused on gathering and cooking wild plants and mushrooms
– One (or more) weekend of introduction to permaculture (in Romanian)
– A “well-being” retreat (yoga, slow food, meditation …)
– Workshop(s) focused on sociocracy (decision making, NVC …)
– The welcoming of a scout camp
– Hiking and activities with donkeys
– Working days with volunteers, and “claca”
– Open days, festive meetings, …
– And … a Permaculture Design Course (in English) with … an internationally renowned teacher!

We do not tell you more for the moment 😉

Winter at Ermitaj

Enough speaking, this newsletter will not derogate from our habits: here are pictures of the winter at Ermitaj, from November to February!

Time is suspended, even if some wild animals roam around the farm (the chickens have been decimated), and our Ermite watches, while engaging in winter activities: renovation of furniture, crafts, … not to mention the party nights ang games by the fire!

Also, we are very sad to announce the passing of our dog and companion, Sherlock.



See you soon, with more information about our program 2018 at Ermitaj!

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