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help exchange   Host 27661
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 10
Persons: 1, 2 or 3
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 27661
Region: New South Wales

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Last Updated: August 20, 2018


Educating and investing in the good

We live in the rainforest hinterland behind Byron Bay. The nearest town is Mullumbimby 20 minutes away, Byron is another 15 minutes from there.

We are developing an edible forest garden on a permaculture design and returning the rest of the land to rainforest. We have a large variety of native flora and fauna. Native birds, lizards, bees, frogs, wallabies and micro-bats thrive here. There are two ponds that sometimes have platypus living in them, and blue fresh water crayfish (not for eating). We have one flow hive for low stress honey collection from European bees.

We are not aiming to be self-sufficient in food, rather to have an abundant food supply, which we supplement from the markets.

Love. People. Increasing bio-diversity on this wondrous piece of land. Doing positive stuff for the planet. We allow our minds to wander and think outside the box. This place supports wonder.

We benefit from all the help that is offered and love the companionship of sharing the journey with like minded folk or those just beginning on the path of sustainable life style.

We expect four hours work a day for five days a week. Our helpers have stayed from a minimum of one month to a maximum of three months, and some leave for a beach break, and then come back.

Work includes maintaining gardens and forest; weeding, digging, mulching and planting; experimenting with food we grow (like green paw paw with couscous; juice-extracted from green star fruit as an electrolyte; yakon syrup as a diabetic safe sweetener; preserves like lime/chilli/ginger pickle, and grapefruit marmalade) building maintenance; rainforest regeneration; collecting composting materials such as cow poo from a nearby dairy (where we can buy raw milk). This is for our large hot-compost bins. We spread the compost over the fruit trees and into the vegie garden, thus building soil depth.

We maintain a koala corridor through the back of our property up against the steep slopes of Nightcap National Park. Each koala requires a large number of special trees for a year's supply of leaf tips. During the mating season they are noisy but mostly they are out of sight.

Please bring old clothes, boots and wet weather gear as we carry only a few spares. We get ours from one of five charity shops in Mullumbimby!


Accommodation is a detached sunny self-contained bungalow close to the main house. It is a retreat space that overlooks one of the orchards with glorious views into the valley below. You can sit out on the deck and watch the sunrise through the mountain mist, listening to the morning chorus of birds.

The kitchen has a water filter, fridge, electric frypan and a hot plate, a microwave and a small griller oven, plenty of pans, cutlery and crockery. We provide all food for your self-catering. You tell us what you like to eat and we will endeavour to provide it. (If you love cooking we will love eating with you.)

It has a queen size bed (with mosquito net if needed) and a single bed. It is ideally suited to a couple, friends or siblings traveling together. We provide all the linen. Bathroom/toilet are en-suite. We have a clothes washing machine and dryer in the house.

It has a wood fire that keeps the place warm and dry in winter.

There is mains power, WiFi, a TV & DVD player with a large DVD library, and a digital library of permaculture videos and documents. Mobile phone coverage is poor but always enough for SMS.

The mountain air, the feeling of isolation and the quiet is fantastic. Well, it's not always quiet. The early morning kookaburras and forest birds are noisy, cicadas in summer evenings, and at night you may be disturbed by the frogs, fruit bats, paddy melons, koalas and other native animals eating, mating and chattering above and around the buildings. They are mostly nocturnal creatures and hard to find during the day. When it is really noisy we use ear plugs to sleep. We advise you to bring your own! In spring we sometimes see fire flies and glow worms.

We will share some meals, and plan activities, chat over a glass of wine or beer and sometimes play a card or board game.

Our spring water comes from world heritage listed Nightcap National Park behind our place from where there is a leisurely five hour walk to Minion Falls.

If you don't have your own transport, we will include you in our own travel plans for the week or lend you a car. There is also a school bus service from our place to Mullumbimby and a bus service from Mullumbimby to Byron Bay.

We are not certified to give you a second year visa.

Mary is an emergency nurse and remedial massage therapist. Peter is a writer, painter and a couple therapist.

We have two dogs, five chickens and abundant native fauna. Parrots, pigeons, owls and doves including the wampoo fruit dove, goshawks, eagles, wallabies, pademelons, potteroos (on the endangered list), bandicoots, antechinus, spiders, insects, and scary things like snakes, lizards, ticks and leeches (most are avoidable). We have field guides and binoculars on hand to identify the creatures we share this magical place with and are lucky enough to see.

If you are interested in a stay with us, please include your email address and your mobile phone number (if you have one) in your request.

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