Curious to know what it looks like? At Boskanter you will find places to sleep, cook and eat, practice handicrafts, and much more. All located in surroundings with lots of “wild” nature. It’s very diverse and filled with possibilities to experiment with ways of living in and with those natural surroundings.
Our land lies on the top of a hill in the Flemish Ardennes, a hilly region in the south of the province of East Flanders in Belgium. On our land is a small forest area, which is part of a nature reserve. Nearby, and part of the same reserve, you will find more forests, streams, natural water sources and hiking trails to carefully explore them. For example: on ten minute by foot you’ll find yourself at the edge of the Brakel Forest (Brakelbos). Along wide lanes framed by large beech trees and discreet, little paths it will bring you to a number of bars in La Houpe / D’Hoppe on the border with Wallonia.
On the second floor of the barn you’ll find two bedroom for one person, two bedrooms for two to three persons and an open space with three more beds.
The spaces aren’t heated or cooled. So expect them to be around the same temperature as outside. But there are plenty of quilts and hot water bottles available, so you won’t be cold in winter.
As an extension to the barn you’ll find a light and insulated kitchen. It’s mainly used by the volunteers, but it can also be transformed into a bar in case of activities. It’s equipped with:
- Stovetops to cook food. Cooking is usually done on the rocket mass heater during winter. But this can be challenging if you haven’t cooked on one before. In which case assistance will be given.
- Enough pots and pans, and tableware to serve meals to larger groups.
- A tap for cold drinking water and a tap for cold rainwater. (There is lukewarm to hot rainwater available depending on the amount of sunshine. Apart from that both rain and drinking water are usually heated when the stove it lit during colder periods.)
- Herbs and spices to cook with, teas and sometimes coffee, and bread spreads.
- Some general appliances, such as a small hand mill for oats, a mixer and a handmixer and such.
- And when it’s summertime and hot, and you’d rather not fire up the rocket mass heater inside to prepare food, we’ve got you covered! Outside there’s a rocket stove, a giant wok and a solar cooker to cook meals with during summer. And these meals can also be served outside. There’s a lawn where seating can be arranged for up to around 30 people.
On the barn’s ground floor there are three spaces: a cold storage, a hall and a living room. The living room serves primarily as living space for the volunteers. But it can also be transformed into a big dining room and a workshop, in case such is needed for activities. It contains, among other things:
- ample space to sit comfortably,
- a bookcase with a sizeable and inspiring collection of Dutch and English books on subjects such as gardening and permaculture, self-sustained living, handicrafts, and cooking,
- handicraft materials and tools for sewing, knitting and spinning,
Outside, next to the workshop, there are two compost toilets. You can wash in an outdoor shower or the washing room next to the compost toilets. And the warm water heated by the sun and from the stove can also be used for washing.
Boskanter is easily reachable by public transportation. We consider ourselves somewhat spoiled, even, as there is a frequent bus 10 minutes from here by foot. We also have parking space for around ten cars. Further cars can park on the nearby Leinstraat.
More information on reaching Boskanter can be found here.
There is a small bakery with a large, wood-fired, masonry oven. It is primarily used for baking larger quantities of bread: up to 25 loaves at a time. But it can and often is also used for other baking purposes, such as the occasional pizza, casseroles, cakes, cookies and veggie pâté.
The oven may only be heated by a qualified volunteer of Boskanter.
Apart from everything described above, you will also find here:
- fast Wi-Fi,
- and a washing machine that runs loads weekly.