The ” Naturalist House” begins with the idea of promoting tourism that respects the environment, while guests enjoy nature and a quiet life in the countryside. Its surroundings offer the possibility of hiking and discovering the Asturian Coast (Meron natural beaches, cliffs, the sea inlet of Villaviciosa). The house was built on a traditional Asturian “quintana”, and renovated respecting its original characteristics. The entire rural house is for rent. It has two double en-suite bedrooms on the upper floor and a living room-kitchen on the ground floor, all heated. There is also a shared house. It has a large living room with fireplace, and a kitchen- dining room on the ground floor. Upstairs there are five ensuite double rooms plus another small room. In the surroundings, there is a large garden, a “pomarada” (a field of apple trees), and an organic kitchen garden. We offer homemade meals, small gardening duties, guided tours, educational workshops and shows of traditional Asturian music. The access is via the AS-256, km.4. It is 9 km from Villaviciosa and 23 km from Gijón.
Sustainable agriculture/ farming:
We have an assorted vegetable garden, guaranteed by the Regulatory Council of Ecological Agriculture of Asturias (COPAE). We offer our customers the possibility to pick up veggies, and if they wish, to cook their meals. We also sell local products, cultivate large areas with crops from the area (beans, corn, pumpkins, cabbages..), respect traditional cultivation methods, rotate and organise yields. These products are sold directly at the house, or indirectly through local fair trade shops or home delivery organic baskets. Menus offered in the house are mainly based on the products available in the garden during each season. Vegetarian menus are also available upon request. We offer information about the situation of organic farming in Asturias, and a list of organic producers. We organize courses on organic farming to our guests.
Cultural Heritage and Rural Development:
The house is built on a traditional “quintana”, and has a pile granary and a “panera”. It was restored respecting local traditional materials and its original architecture. We carry investigation works for the Ethnographic Museum of Eastern Asturias, thus we can provide wide information about this topic. We are active members of traditional asturian culture associations (“vezos astures y danzaina”), and organize activities related to rural traditions such as “esfoyazas”, “esbillas” and elaboration of natural cider. We try to live off the land and in the countryside, preserving the traditional family structure of rural asturian homes.
We have implemented basic measures for saving energy: low energy light bulbs; human sensors; time clocks; and water tanks with adjustable discharge. We use, when it is possible, environmentally friendly cleaning products. We clean without overconsuming detergents and soaps, and reduce the use of water to its lowest. We have a selective waste collection system, and an organic waste bin for compost. We inform and teach how to separate disposals (reduce, reuse, and recycle).
The organic vegetable garden requires a good environment. Our purpose is to create a balance in the environment by having a pond, shelters, bird feeders, nest boxes, and mustelids shelters. We pretend to attract animals, many are already endangered, that are beneficial for the garden. We use local seeds in both the kitchen garden and the fields, respecting native flora. Since 1993, we have been working to raise environmental awareness. In 1995, we created a Nature Interpretation Room “El Busgosu” so a higher number of schoolchildren could have access to environmental education. We offer nature guided walks and workshops, where we try to teach how to respect and understand the nature and the rural environment. We collaborate with FAPAS as nature guides.