All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 45
Persons: 1,2 or 3
Category: Non Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 21164
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Last Updated: February 8, 2018
Our farm has heated accommodation and warm hospitality for the right person who will need to be enthusiastic and dedicated when it comes to our precious livestock.
This is a lovely old fashioned farm set in the very heart of the beautiful Devon countryside. The location and landscape is unspoilt and offers easy access to the wilds of Dartmoor.
Ben and his wife Larry and Benís Mother Tessa along with our volunteers and students work together to maintain and develop the land, livestock and a sustainable way of life.
We enjoy life on our 400 year old traditional Devon Farm and manage over 100 acres consisting of culm grassland, hay meadow, ponds and woodlands (43 acres), all worked by our shire horses. Our Woodlands provide a wonderful opportunity for preserving the time-honoured skills associated with traditional woodland management such as coppicing, charcoal burning and horse logging.
Modern techniques and home comforts are embraced but where possible the farm is run pretty much on a 1940s basis. We love eating our own food and our aim is to produce all our own meat and vegetables on the farm. The fields are worked with a team of shire horses and as much home produce as possible is grown in our vegetable gardens.
We have three vegetable gardens, a herb garden and a poly-tunnel. From this, we can enjoy on our own vegetable produce almost all year round. For meat, we breed Oxford, sandy and black pigs and have a herd of Ruby red cattle. We also keep chickens and ducks for eggs.
We are now into the third year of our Shire Horse breeding program and usually have either a foal or a youngster we are bringing on. There are at least two working geldings for the land and a brood mare Ė all pure Shires. Plus any other working horses that may be here to be trained.
Ben, Larry and Tessa all work on the timber sculpture business which helps to sustain our lifestyle and are happy to share their creative knowledge with the courses and workshops which are frequently held at the farm. These skills include heavy horse work in general and forestry in particular, woodland crafts (charcoal burning, rustic furniture, green woodworking, hurdle making, coppicing), basketry, food preservation and country wine making.
Accommodation for our volunteers is in a well equipped and comfortable heated modern mobile home, with most mealtimes shared round the family table.Bedding and towels are provided and we have WiFi internet access. Weekends are less structured to offer the opportunity to explore or play.
We have made many friends with those who have helped over the years and particularly appreciate the opportunity to share work over a longer length of stay. All volunteers are expected to help with the daily work routines associated with looking after livestock, which in itself many people find hugely rewarding. Apart from seasonal tasks such as this, which are shared and need to be carried out regularly, we encourage volunteers individually to undertake and be responsible for projects and initiatives which are of interest to them. These are normally ongoing long term projects which provide a great opportunity for skill sharing and learning. People who are helping at the farm are often able to join in with workshops and courses we run here.
We may not have the best of everything but we aim to make the best of everything we have!
Please Bring with you
Wellingtons or working boots
Wet weather Gear
We have one vacancy each year (normally from around the end of summer) for a year long internship here at the farm.
We run courses training people to work with heavy horses and are therefore ideally placed to provide the successful candidate with a thorough training.
This placement will provide the necessary skills and ability for the participant to go on to care for and work confidently with their own horses. Skills shared will include general horse care and feeding, most types of farm work, wagon rides for the public, horse logging, heavy horse breeding, pasture management, working horse training, harnessing and types of harness, vehicle maintenance, repair and restoration, showing and participation in off-farm jobs and events which usually attract public and media interest.
All applicants for the internship will be interviewed and an assessment made for their potential to join us here at the farm. For the right applicant we are able to provide good year round private accommodation with wood burning stove as well as all meals.