help exchange   Host 88492
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 21
Persons: 1 to 4
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 88492
Region: Victoria

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Last Updated: January 18, 2020

Our small farm in Porepunkah is a spectacular property with private Buckland River access, wonderful views, wildlife - wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, birds, and a substantial fruit and nut tree orchard. Some activities on our property include bush walking, bike riding, swimming, blacksmithing and archery.

We are located at the base of the iconic Mount Buffalo with its numerous walking tracks, waterfalls and views, 3 minutes from Porepunkah which has wineries, cafes and a pub, and 10 minutes to the popular tourist town of Bright with many interesting shops, galleries, brewery and the Ovens River. There are countless historic gold mining sites of interest, and an endless network of bike trails to explore the area.

No house to stay in yet, accommodation is in your own tent or camper van, or we can provide a tent, mattress and bedding upon request.

Our time is divided between living (camping) on our beautiful, peaceful land in Porepunkah, and living in our house in historic Beechworth, 45 minutes away, so your stay with us might be at either place. In Beechworth we have a spare bedroom for you, with a queen sized bed.

We are working on many projects, for example, building vegetable gardens and compost making, pruning fruit and nut trees, landscaping, making mud bricks for a house, cleaning up weeds, building a couple of small huts for accommodation, building walking/bike trails around our property, planting bee friendly plants... there are tree guards to make, veggies and herbs to plant and water, harvesting fruit and nuts, raking leaves for compost, building drystone walls, shouting at the possums and wild deer to leave our trees alone...

We particularly welcome people who are passionate about gardening and caring for the earth, who love healthy outdoor living and are energetic, and perhaps have skills in construction or some type of trade. If you don't have experience in these things but are willing to learn, you're welcome! We would love some help with any of the above projects we are working on.

We offer you a place to stay and all meals (and a little wine or beer if you like, at the end of a productive day!) and appreciate around four hours of help each day in exchange. We like to get started on projects straight up in the morning, preferably by 8 or 9, leaving the afternoons free. The average help is 4 hours per day, but may vary day to day depending on the tasks at hand and the weather.

We can accommodate up to four helpers but prefer two, and prefer that you stay with us initially for 3 nights (two full days) then we mutually decide if longer.

Accommodation is in your own tent or camper van, or we can supply a tent upon request. We have a rough kitchen and shower set up, and an outdoor composting toilet. If we are staying at our home in Beechworth you will have a spare bedroom to use.

We prefer non-smoking helpers. It might be possible for children to stay if you arrange it with us.

We eat meals together, and expect helpers to share the responsibility for preparing and cooking meals. We mainly eat vegan and vegetarian meals, but eat fish or other meat about once a week. We usually cook outside on the fire when at Porepunkah.

We speak English. We have two children, Akeidha and Samadhi, who speak a very small amount of French and Italian.

Caring for our land...
We have not used any chemical sprays on our land in the two years we’ve been there, and don’t believe the previous owner did either. Weeds are hand pulled or cut out with a hoe or shovel. We try to leave nature to nature as much as possible. We use only a small amount of soap for showers and dish soap for dishes - no perfumes, sprays, deodorants, make up, etc, and appreciate if you can live as naturally as possible while staying with us, as if used these chemicals find their way into the soil, and in turn pollute our food and waterways.

About us...
Andrew is an historian (has been since he was a child!) and his work has involved building walking tracks to and surveys of historic gold mining sites, producing documentary films, books, archeological excavations, historic re-enactments, presentations, tours etc. His other interests and skills are numerous, and include making desserts that look like science fiction cartoon characters for our children, building functional stuff including huts and houses, and listening to classical music - on random occasions, dragging out the gramophone and cranking it up for some scratchy old tunes.
Rebecca is passionate about preserving and protecting nature, loves trees and forests, growing and eating food, health, music, creating from reclaimed materials and is studying furniture making.
Samadhi and Akeidha (11 & 14) currently go to school in Beechworth. Some of their interests are playing guitar, tin whistle and piano and composing music, climbing trees, swimming, archery, reading fiction, painting & drawing, desserts, maths and science. Chocolate and lollies.

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