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Newtownards
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 1/2
Persons: 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 33160
Country: Ireland (N)

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Last Updated: September 20, 2017

Things are slowly coming together here at the Permaferry. We are creating a Fukuoka style natural farm and food forest, which actually means less work to do. However in spring there is a lot of preparation to do, building soil and getting ready for the growing season. We will scatter seed balls soon, mulching beds with seaweed, planting more trees and shrubs, building a beehive. The yurt needs an urgent clean. We also need a couple of periods during the spring and the autumn for a house sitter while we looks after our food forest in Italy.

A brand new project to add to our existing place in Italy (host 9132). We just purchased a cottage on the beautiful Ards peninsula south of Belfast, a mile from the Irish Sea and 3 miles from Lough Strangford. The intention is to eventually set up a centre for permaculture with courses and events. Early tasks are to clear the garden and plan and implement a design, converting part of a barn into volunteer accommodation, setting up a yurt for the same purpose, planting a hedge etc. So there is plenty of scope for creativity in this brand new project. If you have any previous experience or at least an interest in permaculture or if you have any building and or wood craft skills you will be more than welcome for short or long-term stays. Eventually we will add animals to the system. We are planning a big launch event for the first weekend in May with talks, workshops and live music. We need help getting the place prepared in time. We have now spent the winter clearing the worst of the debris from the previous owners and the growing season is starting. Many systems are now in place, but there is plenty of scope for more creativity and projects to be implemented.

Volunteers will become part of our little community during their stay. Own initiative is something we very much encourage in our helpers. We now have the yurt up for people to stay in.

After a few months in operation we have made some great progress. The garden was turned from a jungle and rubbish tip to a flourishing paradise, 2 ponds with a connecting river have been created, a water harvesting system off the roof is in the implementation phase, some chickens have moved in, a beach bed, 2 hugelkulturs and 2 herb spirals have been created and the whole place is looking great. Other projects still in the pipeline are renovating the larger animal shed to get ready for some sheep or goats to move in, converting part of the tool shed into volunteer accommodation and turning its roof into a green roof. Thank you to all the volunteers who have lent a hand so far and looking forward to the next batch.

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