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help exchange   Host 18730
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 10
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 18730
Country: England

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Last Updated: July 28, 2017

**Long stay available from August onwards, suitable for mature hands-on person**

We are 3 adults at the early stages of developing a 25 acres smallholding on the edge of Dartmoor, 3 miles from the market town of Okehampton. We run a market garden here following organic and sustainable principles (certified by Soil Association). We are keen in working with nature to develop systems which allow us to reduce our impact on the earth.

We are in the 5th year of developing the holding and have a long list of to-do projects you could get involved with; some of the priorities are: planting trees; mulching large areas; building a propagating house; coppicing small woodland area; digging a pond, scything, fencing; pruning, general poultry jobs; general plant care, etc..This year we are building a wooden structure to live in and anyone with building/woodwork or related skills would be particularly welcome!

We have 4 polytunnels where we are growing salad and a few other protected crops. Outside we are developing an agroforestry system where crops will grow on raised beds in between avenues of newly planted trees. In this field we also have various fruit trees and bushes and two flocks of laying hens. We are also part of a growers and educators co-operative running a small farm shop in Okehampton (where we sell our own produce and that of other local producers) and various educational activities related to food and farming.

We are passionate about growing good nutritious organic food and are keen on raising awareness of problems with the current global food systems and other related issues.

We are often out, either working in the shop or delivering, so you need to be happy to work on your own sometimes; although you won't be the only person on the land as there are 2 trainees also there. Someone mature, with a certain degree of independence would be ideal.

We can offer a basic caravan as your sleeping quarters/own space; there are basic toilet, washing and kitchen facilities on site (in a barn) which you will share with us and other volunteers. Also happy to hear from people with their own live-in vehicle.

Even though the facilities are basic, we do have electricity, water and telephone.Still, you need to be reasonably hardy as there are not many conveniences or comforts and the typical Dartmoor weather can be quite rough, even in Summer. In exchange for your hardiness you'll get beautiful night skies and amazing sunsets. So, it is basic in terms of comforts, but is energising, wild & peaceful at the same time, and we love it here.

We'll provide organic produce for self-cooking and also share meals if you are happy with that. Our diet consists of loads of veg,(our own)eggs, wild fish, some organic pasture-fed meat/broths. We are happy to have people with other diets as far as they are respectful of ours, with the exception of industrial corporate junk foods which we don't like to have around!!

Please also note we ask anyone coming here not to use any toiletries or other cleaning/hygiene products containing chemicals. Please only bring natural/"eco" products (or you can use ours if needed).

The holding is a couple of miles from the nearest town down a (steep) hill, Okehampton (there you can access standard shops, pubs, banks, etc ); you will be able to borrow a bike to cycle around if you wish; we are very close to a beautiful National Park with many scenic walks and magic spots on the open moor and many small villages dotted around. The nearest city to us is Exeter which is 25 miles away, served by a bus; we also drive there once a week and could give you a lift if you need to go. However,although not in the sticks, this is a rural location and you probably won't be happy here if you need to go into town all the time. We have loads of books on growing food, nutrition, herbal medicine, wildlife and nature, forest gardens, politics of food, etc which you are very welcome to borrow, we also have some interesting documentaries on same issues. And we love to hang out with people, share meals, chat over some wine, watch the stars and share stories....

Get in touch and let us know what kind of things you like to do and are interested in...

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