European Solidarity Corps

Our Volunteering Programm

If interested, you can subscribe for our ESC -programme

At Aarde-Werk de Stegge, we have designed our project with the help of many volunteers. Young people from all over the globe have attributed to the developing and flourishing of this beautiful spot. 

As not-for-profit-organisation we need the help of volunteers and they willingly have offered their help so far: wwoofers, helpx-ers, permaculture adepts, nature-restoration activists, whatever your inspiration is: be welcome!

After 10 years of volunteering with Wwoofers, we have changed our policy in the volunteering work. Thanks to the European Solidarity Corps, which has given us a Quality Label, we can now invite volunteers through this programm. This means that we can offer you as a volunteer, coming from a EU member-state, a grant for travelcosts and a pocket money during your stay for at least 2 to a 10 months stay. 

We offer you a very inspiring and learning experience and will support you in this. With 2 volunteers at the same time in the same programm, you will have a chance to work and live with people, coming from different countries and cultures, you will learn about the dutch culture and language and you will share our daily farmlife. You will also work on your personal learning goals during your stay, and, after finishing your report at the leaving moment, will be honoured with a Certificate form ESC. 

You will be hosted at our farm in our Stroyurt, where 2 seperate bedrooms are available. You will share a living room with a cosy fire place, kitchen and bathroom.

Hot meals will be prepared by yourself or shared with other volunteers and our Garden-woman Edith. Once a week we eat with the whole group. Our standard menu is vegetarian and we eat as much as possible our home-grown organic food (vegetables, potatoes, beans, eggs, fruits, nuts, tea, jams etc.)

Onze a week, you will have the opportunity to work on your learning report, dutch language- online course and support-sessions with your mentor, Dirk.

Gea lives in the farmhouse and she will be involved as general manager of the farm. She loves to explain to you, how she has built up the farm with her late husband Jan-Willem, who, sadly, died in december 2018. 

Check out our ESC project here.

Description of Aarde-Werk de Stegge: 

In short:
Projectname: Volunteering at small scale Permaculture farm in the Netherlands. (Organisation ID- 003006-ORG-00001)
Manager: Gea Boessenkool
Mentor: Dirk Hart

You can apply to this ESC project with your motivation and personal data, through or directly by email:

Aim of the organization to participate in ESC.  
- Offering a lasting learning experience for young people from other European countries on designing a sustainable way of living for themselves
- Offering an opportunity to contribute to a sustainable designed farm-life on a daily basis
 - Offering a learning-by-doing opportunity by a 6-10 months living and working together on the farm.

 Type of activities: Seeding, planting, harvesting in the herb- and vegetable gardens, pruning and harvesting in the orchards and foodforest. Helping in the kitchen with cooking and cleaning, restoring and maintaining handtools, cutting firewood. Watering plants and fruittrees, taking care of the animals (chickens). Small-scale maintenance of fences, buildings, sheds, landscape and ornamental gardens.

One of the main goals of the organization is to create and maintain an optimum on producing and consuming in closed cycles, as an inspiring example to replicate and a fulfilling way of living and working for all the people who stay on the farm for a shorter or longer period. This means for volunteers that they can experience and learn about living a resilient lifestyle with almost no harm to nature and learning about sustainable techniques and lifestyles.

Profile of the participant: 

We look for you as our volunteer if you recognize yourself in this profile:

multi tasker, eager to learn, with social skills, curious to natural processes and Nature, eager to living outdoors and curious for knowing more about permaculture. We love someone with skills in building and carpenting.

Longer Description of the location and organization:

The smallscale permaculture farm ‘De Stegge’ is located in the rural hamlet of Kotten just outside Winterswijk, in the Netherlands. Situated on two hectares of rich and biodiverse land the farm consists of a small forest, meadows, orchard, wetland features and an organic vegetable garden, with many secluded spots to withdraw, sit, relax and connect with the natural world. The extensive vegetable and herb gardens, forest, apple and pear orchard, chickens provide a year-round bounty of organic food, building and medicinal supplies.

The farm is overseen and run by Gea Boessenkool who lives onsite in the farm house . More people are living on the property (Edith, the gardener and workorganiser of volunteers, Dominica , musician and taking care of guests and visitors. Since Gea and her late-husband took over the farm in 2006, this has led to a complete transformation of the site from a corn field and a meadow to the natural and biodiversity supporting heaven it is today. In addition to Gea’s farm house there are several accommodations on the farm, including:

The Schoppe: an onsite training and accommodation venue was converted from a 19th century barn to a highly insulated building from only natural materials, offering a large space for training and events, a fully equipped kitchen and beds for up to 7 people. In the Schoppe are held courses, workshops and concerts.

Hay house: built with strawbales and a reed-covered roof, fully equipped with kitchenette, shower and toilet.

Radhuuske: a very typical old workplace, transformed in a nice and cosy house where Dominica lives.

StroYurt: a truly unique strawbales-structure that accommodates up to 2 people, where our ESC -volunteers are accommodates.

the Stroyurt where you will be accommodated.

Teaching and learning on the Farm
Gea and the team at Aarde-Werk de Stegge offer a range of training programs and opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds, that are aligned with the overall values and ethos of Aarde-Werk de Stegge: internships, volunteering, courses, farmtours and jobshadowing are offered.
At the farm ‘De Stegge’ everything is based on sustainable living and working:
- In the garden we grow organic vegetables, fruits, herbs and nuts, using permaculture principles.
- In the Food Forest you learn how to grow food in the 7 layers of the forest, which are
bulbs, herbs, berrybushes, low fruittrees, high nuttrees, climbing plants and mushrooms.
- We have different courses at the sustainably renovated and furnished training location (The Schoppe) with a healthy and pleasant atmosphere and very low energy consumption.
- Waste water is being purified on the farm and used in the toilets and energy is provided by the farm’s solar panels and onsite biomass burner
 - Everything is organized in natural cycles, so as much as possible waste products reused, recycled and form an important part of the farm’s cycles .

If you are interested, please checkout our website:


We are fully booked until 31 st of march 2022. You will find new opportunities on PASS after that date. You can send an application through PASS.

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Stegge mensen afbeelding
Stegge mensen

Gea Boessenkool, oprichter met haar man Jan-Willem van de Velde (overleden december 2018), woont sinds 2008 op de Stegge. Zij bewoont de boerderij en is actief als algemeen manager van Aarde-Werk de Stegge vanuit haar eindverantwoordelijkheid als eigenaar.

Ellen van den Adel verblijft sinds december 2020 bij Aarde-Werk de Stegge, maar is al enige jaren voorzitter van het stichtingsbestuur. Ze ondersteunt Gea onder meer bij de ontwikkeling van programma's en de daarvoor benodigde fondsenwerving. Ellen maakt graag foto's, ook voor de website en de sociale media van Aarde-Werk de Stegge.

Hans Blom verblijft sinds december 2020 bij Aarde-Werk de Stegge. Als vrijwilliger zet hij zich in voor de natuur en biodiversiteit. Daarnaast levert hij een bijdrage aan de communicatie via de website, de nieuwsbrief en de sociale media.

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