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All Year: Yes
Area (ha):
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 49580
Country: England

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Last Updated: March 13, 2019

Beautiful old cottage and 'gardens' in the Tamar Valley, Cornwall, an area of outstanding natural beauty - between Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, one mile (on foot) to the River Tamar, half an hour to the south coast and one hour to the north coast (by car).

Sue (Mum) and Grace (daughter) live here, Marcus lives up the hill, and various friends and family visit and join in. We are in the third year of a new plan for our land. Sue has been here for 35 years, raised a family, grown food, flowers and herbs, worked as a healing therapist and run courses and ceremony.

Much of the land is sloping, with limited sunlight hours but last year we got a south-facing flat piece of land! Our aim is to develop a new community project to grow more food, keep more chickens, plant a new orchard and develop the healing and community side with an emphasis on reconnecting with nature for health.

What’s needed is enthusiasm and flexibility for a wide variety of tasks – and extra strength and physical energy! Hours will vary from day to day, and depending on the weather. We have had single helpers, but would also like to have two non-smoking friends, or a couple, robust physically robust and emotionally self-reliant, for one week at a time, plus some long weekends, and maybe a bit extra at certain times of the year.

Currently looking for help in 2019:

We have a caravan for you to stay in, so there is privacy for both you and us. You would arrive on Friday evening, and start work with us on Saturday, for one week with 2 days off in the week - usually Tuesday and Wednesday. We work from 10 to 5, with lunch and tea breaks. You would make your own breakfast in the caravan, and share other meals with us. Food preparation, cooking and clearing up is shared by all.

There is a train to Calstock via Plymouth, which is about 3 miles away by road (less walking through the woods) and we can collect and drop off on Fridays. If you are driving, you will need directions as satnav does not get you here (we like it that way!) There is no mobile signal here.

The land is very beautiful, and the bird life is wonderful. We have buzzards, owls, heron, blackbirds, thrushes, robins, wagtails, tits, swallows, swifts, wrens all nesting right outside the door or very close by. There are challenges because we have a lot of slopes and a lot of water. For many years the valley was filled with old cherry trees, and part of my plan is to replant more trees and re-establish a more respectful, sustainable, harmonious relationship between humans and the land.

Tasks in the next year include:
Continued work on permaculture plan
Potting seedlings, planting, composting, mulching, weeding, harvesting, seed collecting
Tree felling, hedging, cutting hazel
Collecting, sawing, stacking wood
Planting new orchard
Building a compost loo
Building, erecting, fixing structures
Painting buildings and signs
Strimming and grass cutting
Caring for chickens
Playing with/ walking dogs (deerhound lurcher and whippet)
Sharing food preparation, cooking and clearing
General cleaning, sorting, organising and mucking in

Although we do our best to match people with tasks that utilise their skills and that they enjoy, as this works best all round, sometimes we all just have to get stuck in. We need people who are confident and self-reliant, and who can be left to get on with a task alone, as well as working with others as the situation demands.

About us:
Sue, 63, needs peace and quiet (no radios), water and trees. Mother of 4 grown children. Ex home educator. Healer, mentor, teacher, celebrant. Crystal sales business. Currently adapting to brain still being able to visualise the day’s work that I could do at 30, but body not keeping up.
Grace, 26, studies kinesiology.
Marcus, 66, lives up the hill. He is an acupuncturist and astrologer, works with earth energies and leads sacred journeys. He is the only one who can use the big strimmer, and he’d like to share it out a bit.
Seren is a large, hairy, loving deerhound lurcher who loves people.
Isabel is a sweet, energetic, young whippet.
We currently have just one rather old hen, but plan to have more soon.

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