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Devon
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 2.4
Persons: 1 or 2 sometimes 3
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 7681
Country: England

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Last Updated: July 24, 2017

Hi
We are looking for helpers from 7th of August to end of October

Due to our lifestyle we believe it would be hypocritical to host vegetarians, so please only apply if you are happy to eat home grown free range meat.
We prefer helpers to stay a minimum of 1 month, but are very happy to consider long stay helpers, our longest stayed 9 months, during your stay you should make sure you have medical cover in case of illness, as you would if you were on holiday.
We eat together, and we eat English style, this is normally cereal or toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and a cooked meal for evening, helpers can help with meal prep but not cook separately for themselves. I cook many different styles of food, for example Indian, Chinese, Italian and English. If you drink fizzy pop, alcohol or eat fresh fruit daily you will need to bring it with you and supply your own during your stay.

We are 7 years into setting up a 6-acre smallholding in West Devon, a lengthy all consuming project. The land has many natural springs, a small lake, paddocks and a 2-acre wood. It is situated in a small village called Clawton, between Holsworthy and Launceston, approx 12 miles from the beautiful beaches around Bude and 20 miles from Dartmoor, ideally situated for surfers and walkers. There is limited public transport but there are buses from Holsworthy to Bude and Exeter throughout the day. We are happy to take you into Holsworthy to catch buses on your days off.

We have 8 egg laying chickens and 3 Dexter cows, Quadra, a 7 month old bull calf called Bertie and Zonda who is 18 months old. The animal care is a very small part of each day, gardening, construction and cleaning take up the larger part of the working hours.

Our aim is to be as self sufficient as possible, we have one large polytunnel to extend the growing season and another smaller one.
We have planted an orchard, we chose very old varieties of apples from the local area to be as traditional as possible, as well as other tree and soft fruits. Unfortunately the terrible wet weather has all but destroyed our efforts, with only some recovering last summer so onward and upward.

Our accommodation is usually a king size bed in the main house with us but when we have lots of helpers the last booked is in a single z bed in my sewing room, all meals will taken with Sally, Pete and Sally's mum Stella, life is lived pretty much as a working family, if other family members arrive helpers are sometimes asked to spend a few nights in the sewing room to make space.

There are a large range of jobs and we plan each day from a massive "to do" list once we see what the weather is like, we are looking for flexible people who are willing to have a go at all different types of jobs, even if they have not done them before, some of which will require muscles and determination. It can be heavy work, so if you are strong it will be a great advantage, but we never ask people to do anything beyond their ability. We need assistance in gardening, digging trenches for services, making a path, grass cutting, pruning, putting up a fruit cage, all this as well as the general day to day animal care and household cleaning. During wet weather there is not always outside work to do so be prepared to clean the house thoroughly. The soil is clay so can be heavy to work and challenging in wet weather.
Be prepared to get muddy and dirty whatever the weather, running a smallholding is mostly about moving manure, or getting very dirty, I am afraid many people have a romantic view of farming and find that it is not actually like that.

Ideally we would like people to work approx 6 hours a day, 5 days a week in return for all meals and accommodation, the work is done in spells throughout the day, not as one 6 hour session, due to the animals, the weather, and the need for frequent tea breaks in the English tradition, the last jobs of the day are washing up the dinner dishes and making sure all the chickens are safely locked up in their coops. Days off are by group agreement to make sure we always have some helpers working, and are not necessarily at weekends as a farm needs looking after 7 days a week.
Helpers are vital to us to keep the smallholding going as Pete and I have very limited working ability due to ill health.

We look forward to giving a warm Devon welcome to our helpers.
We have wireless internet access, but slow speed, because of our monthly usage allowance Helpers may only use the internet for Facebook, Skype or e mail. Please be certain you are prepared to live without downloading or streaming TV/films etc as we rely on our internet for our business. We have a good supply of DVD's.

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