We are an active family of four looking for the occasional extra set of hands to get some jobs done and help build upon a number of permaculture principle based projects around our 11 acre, bush property.
Upcoming projects include reinstating a wicking bed, maintaining our vegetable garden, preserving and building bonfires!
Both Dominique and Liz have completed Permaculture Design Courses (2016 and 2017 respectively). Liz had also recently completed Permaculture teacher training. We have implemented a number of projects, including intensive crop rotation garden beds, two small poly tunnels and a mini-forest garden orchard area. We keep chickens and, for the past year, bees.
We purchased our mudbrick dream around six years ago and absolutely love living here. Kangaroos, koalas and echidnas are regularly visitors.
We are mostly vegetarian (some seafood) and take pride in the fact we eat from our garden most days.
We are quite new to this caper but are thinking in exchange for some pretty awesome private accommodation (if we say so ourselves, hehe!), a little bit of extra help around the property would be awesome.
If this sounds like you, then please get in touch!
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Both Dom and Liz are fluent in Dutch. Dom is originally from Holland, while Liz learnt the language while living there. Our eldest speaks some Dutch and our youngest none, so some exchange could be done in the form of language lessons (children tend to not want to learn from their parents). Dom also speaks German, while our eldest is learning German.
Liz has been interested in permaculture since the mid-nineties, collecting all kinds of gardening and permaculture books along the way. Dominique completed his PDC in 2016, with Liz completing hers in 2017. We are always keen to share knowledge and learn from others in any area that helps us live more sustainably. We are both members of our local permaculture guild (Ballarat), with Liz a current committee member.
Other practical skills we can share with you include sustainable gardening techniques (including sheet mulching, raised garden beds), bee keeping (beginners), preserving and foraging techniques.
Most of the work we do is project based, so we probably can complete a project while you are here, working where possible to your skills, experience or willingness to give it a go. Naturally, these tasks have to fit in with the general day to day jobs (weeding, composting, watering, mowing, clearing etc.) that need to happen also. There may be minor building maintenance tasks as well.
During the cooler months we prepare for the summer: clearing, collecting and removing sticks. This often results in a weekend bonfire; a perfect way to end the day!
On top of this we are forage extensively (and furiously) at various times of the year collecting, among other things, blackberries, mushrooms, wild damsons, hawthorns, elderflowers, elderberries for use throughout the year. At these times of year, there are a LOT of preserving jobs to do (generally best done with a glass of wine in hand).
Other tasks may include working with our brood of chickens. We also keep bees, and our dog Betty is sure to love you to bits (just rub her tummy, seriously). Two cats also live on the property, but predominately live inside in an effort to protect the abundant bird life.
English, Dutch, German (limited)
When staying with us you will have your own mini-apartment! The previous owners of our property built a bungalow in the back of our garage to live in while building the house. It has a large living area and bedroom with ensuite. We have been slowly renovating this space, updating the kitchen, living area floor and are currently finishing off the bathroom.
We both work part time. Dom travels to Melbourne to work four days a week by train from Ballan station (15min drive), so a pick up to and from the station could be arranged ahead of time. Liz is a curator and currently works in Ballarat, and can happily drop you off in town on your day off to take in sights, including Sovereign Hill, the Gold Museum, Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Lake Wendouree and the botanical gardens as well as the numerous cafes and wine bars that have recently opened up.
If you have your own car we are equal distance to Daylesford (spa country) and there are numerous bushwalking and hiking opportunities about (we are avid bush-walkers and have many books and maps for walks in the Central Goldfields and Grampians area if you need to get some inspiration).
If you are into hiking, speak to Liz. An avid hiker she has collected a plethora of books and maps for walks (day and multiday) mostly in Victoria, and will happily chat with you for hours on what is around and help you plan an adventure.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day for 5 days a week