All Year: yes
Area (ha): 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 30040
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Last Updated: November 2, 2019
We can take one person for December but otherwise are now looking for helpers from the middle of February and for the rest of 2020. Minimum stay 3 weeks.
We are close to town and sea with Dartmoor nearby.
Whilst we do prefer longer stays we will take people for as little as 3 weeks. But not less than 3 weeks, we find that the early days can be difficult for everyone and it takes a while to get to know each other. It also takes time for helpers to learn the routines.
We have a small holding in Devon where we aim to grow as much of our own food as we can in an organic and sustainable way. So we have a small orchard a Kitchen Garden for vegetable growing, a fruit garden for soft fruit plus half an acre of flower gardens. We also have poultry (Chickens, various ducks, and geese) and there are bees which belong to a friend. The poultry are not for eating, but do provide us with a plentiful supply of eggs for most of the year.
Although not self sufficient in fruit and vegetables we do try to grow what we can, so there is usually fresh veg in season.
All that we do here is on an organic basis often growing heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables.
We also have cats who share our home so it is not a good idea if you are allergic to them.
Our needs are for people with either knowledge or an interest in gardening, vegetable/ fruit growing or some practical experience with woodwork, poultry keeping or grass cutting and using machinery. During the winter months we also need help preparing wood for the winter. If you are willing to learn we will do our best to teach you.
Ideally we need someone who has some experience working outdoors with animals and gardening and who is self motivated.
Some of the help we need doing is heavy, and some of it is repetitive, so if you are not prepared for physical work then we are probably not the place for you.
Please can I say that we have had contact from some lovely people who tell me that they are good with children.
We are a smallholding with no children.
*To be sure that you have read our profile could you please write to me personally by including my name, Katy at the beginning of your message.*
Type of help wanted:
Help with Eco project
A vital part of the help we need is the daily poultry care which consists of:
Morning routine 8am (later in winter): Letting the birds out (a 5 minute job for one person)
9am working day starts with the bird routines; checking they have clean water, collecting eggs, labelling and storing them. Assuming you choose to have an hour for lunch the working day finishes at 3pm
Evening routine for the birds is between 6.30pm and 7.30pm in summer (earlier in winter): Feeding, and shutting the birds away, second egg collection. (about a 20 minute job shared between everyone here.
All the birds need cleaning out once a week. (A pretty heavy, dirty job)
The rest of the days work required here varies with the time of the year - from digging over neglected flower beds to stone wall building. Carpentry is a huge benefit since we have chicken sheds and goose houses in need of renovation/replacement.
With a kitchen garden providing much of our veg, in the summer and autumn, and an acre of garden I need additional help with gardening and garden maintenance including fruit picking, and preparation, in season.
We are still in the process of renovating my sadly neglected flower beds, this involves some heavy digging because, although the ground has been dug over before we are on heavy clay so you do need to be reasonably fit. We also have an acre of lawns/grass which need cutting and maintaining during the growing season. Attention to detail essential.
With an acre to look after plus lots of animals there are always projects on the go.
Since this is a smallholding and the help needed is outdoors it is a good idea to come prepared for English weather. Coats/waterproofs and boots useful, (even in the summer). We have some spares which you are welcome to borrow but cannot accommodate all sizes. We do provide gloves, unless you prefer to bring your own.
So in total we are looking for 5 hours per day (plus a little extra for the bird routines) 5 days per week, with 2 days off, usually after the first 5 days. But we are always open to discussing this and will be as flexible as we can.
Because the birds need putting to bed in the evening this does mean that free time in the afternoon becomes very short in the winter as it gets dark early.
We live just outside Torquay in the beautiful county of Devon. There are good shops about a mile (under 2Km) away and we have bicycles you can borrow. The nearest bus stop is under a mile away (about 1.5Km) and Torquay town is a 15 minute bus ride away. Once in Torquay there are good links to the rest of the West Country with many wonderful places to visit. A day ticket on the buses cost just £3.50 for students and £5 for non students.
We are always happy to help you to get around on your days off.
Hopefully volunteers will come here because they want to join in our various projects and become involved, this is not a cheap way to have a holiday.
In exchange for the work our helpers have their own private self contained bungalow with it's own kitchen and living space. The bedrooms all have en-suite shower rooms.
We provide all bed linen and towels and essentials. (soap etc)
Because you have your own kitchen we provide essential food items for breakfast and a snack lunch which you prepare for yourself. There are shops within a 25 minute walk from the house if you want to provide extras for your self.
I cook a full meal in the evening for us all to enjoy together. This is our opportunity to talk, exchange views and learn about each other.
We have enjoyed experiencing other nationalities' cuisine and we are always happy if people want to do the cooking for us occasionally, although this is not essential.
We do not eat red meat and I do not buy any. Preferring fish, poultry and vegetarian meals. I am sorry but I can not provide for a vegan diet.
We do try to live as eco friendly as we can and request that people respect this by not wasting food, water and electricity.
I am sorry but we do not take smokers
A TV is provided and internet access is available.
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities:
Phil and I come from very different work backgrounds to the life we lead now, so we both have a wide circle of interests which we are always happy to share with our helpers.
We are both proud of our commitment to sustainable living, both in terms of the technology we use here and also with the food we grow.
We truly enjoy the exchange of knowledge and ideas that we gain from our helpers.
Ideally we would like someone, or a couple, who would like to stay for a few weeks or even months, assuming that we all get on. Compatibility is all important to us as is communication. If there are problems it is better to talk to us about them.
Although you have your own house to live in you are sharing our home so it is really important for us to know that we will all get on well together. So when you write please do tell us plenty about yourself, your likes, interests, reason for travelling, why you think you would enjoy staying with us and what skills and experience you can offer.
The more information you give about yourselves the better for us to be sure we will work well together and enjoy our social time.
Please could you also make sure that you have a picture on your profile, or arrange to send us one.
Our aim is to have some weeks where we are not tied to the farm 7 days a week and can be confident that our lovely poultry and cats are in good, safe hands whilst we have a night away.