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Devon
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 45
Persons: 1,2 or 3
Category: Non Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 21164
Country: England

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Last Updated: October 27, 2019

Ben and Larry live the good life - or at least we try to!

Our farm is our home, work and life and every aspect of our numerous activities go towards making a life, not just a living.

Ours is a working farm and we aim to use traditional methods alongside modern techniques. We endeavour to take the best of the past and combine it with the best of the future. Our objective being to create a low environmental impact and respect for our surroundings, we think of it as ‘Heritage In The Making’.

We grow the majority of our own food and try to eat in tune with the seasons with home produced feasts for celebrations but all meals are special for us and provide an opportunity for daily gatherings.

We have two kitchen gardens, a herb garden and a poly-tunnel as well as our new venture of a market garden plot. From this, we can enjoy on our own vegetable produce almost all year round. We forage and gather in the hedge rows and preserve the seasonal abundance for the leaner months of winter. The search for imaginative and innovative ways for year round enjoyment is a constant challenge so the kitchen is an important part of the farm.

For meat, we breed Ruby red cattle and keep Oxford sandy and black pigs. We also keep chickens and ducks for eggs and Peacocks as they are highly entertaining and very sociable pets.

Ours is a traditional Devon Farm of about 60 acres – over 400 years old it also includes hay meadows, ponds and woodlands allowing us to practice the skills associated with times gone by.

We breed our own Shire Horses and usually have either a foal or a youngster we are bringing on. There are at least three working geldings for the land and a brood mare – 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 and food preservation.

We enjoy our home comforts but very much have a make-do-and-mend philosophy. We love to find, restore and reuse gadgets and equipment from days gone by.

The farm hosts a number of volunteer helpers at any one time and we are grateful for their valuable assistance. In return we are happy to share our experience and encourage participation in workshops and farm events and of course we offer our hospitality with good accommodation and meals.

Accommodation for our volunteers is in a well equipped and comfortable heated modern mobile home, with most mealtimes shared round the family table.We provide all basic ingredients for any meals our helpers prepare for themselves in their own fully equipped kitchen.Bedding and towels are provided and we have WiFi internet access. Weekends are less structured to offer the opportunity to relax, 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, in fact we do ask that helpers are with us for a minimum of one month. 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
Work Gloves

INTERNSHIP

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 so the emphasis for this placement is very much about learning to work with horses.

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 food, accommodation and hospitality.

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