We live in an isolated off-grid township of about 100 people in the North West of Tasmania. With views to Cradle Mountain and surrounding valleys, it is home to a rich and diverse community (including about 20 free-range (home-schooled!!) children).
We aspire to build a small earth home for our family of four (2 girls – 8yo and 6yo) that embodies the principle of simplicity and low embedded energy-i.e. minimal use of fossil fuel and use of local and salvaged materials. We see the building of our home as an expression of deepening our connections with land and with people.
The property on which we will be building has been developed as a small-scale intentional community of five households. It is over 100 acres in size and has shared energy and water infrastructure and a Studio for artistic and social activities. On this property, we are hosting a group of 5-7 people for 3 months to help with building the house and garden and to develop the skills and qualities required to live and work harmoniously.
Other aspects of the wider community are:
– a community owned and run Hall;
– a food co-operative, with Saturday afternoon coffees;
– freshwater lake with kayaking and glorious afternoon summer swimming;
– a Buddhist Spiritual Centre;
– a local organic vegetable farmer supplying seasonal vegetables to the community;
– multiple existing natural buildings;
– rainforest walks with towering man-ferns
Our valley is also home to wallabies, wombats, echidnas, wedge-tailed eagles and platypuses that live in our dams.
Cooking / shopping
This is now our third year of building with this community model. We have learnt many valuable lessons about living and working together in a way that feels collaborative, empowering and fun! Additionally, we have learnt much about natural building. For this building period we hope to focus even more on the personal and group skills/insights required to work and live well together. We hope to continuing living in this way and sharing this knowledge long into the future.
We believe this project provides a wonderful opportunity to learn about natural building, gardening and living in a dynamic and multi-layered community. “Multi-layered” because we will be working in a group of about 7 people on the garden/building project, which is on an intentional community of about 15 people, which exists within our wider community of about 100 people.
We have a dedicated team of local builders focusing on the carpentry. We also have two experienced and passionate earth builders from France, who are managing the earth-building project.
We are seeking five more individuals who would like to experience off-grid living. We are also looking for individuals who are interested in staying for a long period in order to fully appreciate the richness of this lifestyle, and to develop deeper relationships with us, the other guests and local community members. After an initial trial of three days, we request that you commit to a minimum stay of one month. We expect to be building until the end of March. We welcome families with children, by prior arrangement.
We work Monday to Friday, with volunteers working 25 hours/wk.
We are seeking two people who are keen to learn about, and to do, all things earth building. Earth building skills are helpful but not necessary.
We are seeking two people who are passionate about gardening, and whose primary focus will be on establishing and maintaining our edible garden that we are at the very initial stages of developing. Tasks will also include firewood collection and animal husbandry. We anticipate there will be opportunities to assist with the earth building at various stages.
Finally, we are seeking one person who will be dedicated to helping with cooking and home maintenance duties for our family during this busy building period. This person would experience what it is like to live in an off-grid home - cooking on a wood stove, creative meal planning based on seasonal/local availability, limited refrigeration and preserving. Tasks will include: cooking for our family, and doing general household duties such as washing and cleaning in the home. We anticipate that there will still be opportunities for this person to help out with building and gardening projects, particularly during periods when our family will be away.
The main projects we will be working on over this period are:
- the house – straw bale wall construction, rendering cob walls, earth floor/tile construction. If you have carpentry skills, we need help with framing the straw bale walls, roof (including one sod roof) construction, window framing, other joinery.
- the garden – build greenhouse from recycled windows/timber, start garden cage and planting, tree planting
- rocket stoves – we hope to get 2 – 3 rocket stoves constructed to complement the pizza oven we have already built. This should enable us to cook with no gas!
We welcome families as well as couples and singles. If you are planning to come with children, we can work out an arrangement to cover their food ($10-$20 per day depending on their age- or a bit of extra help) or you can provide their food separately. There is no cost for adults who are able to help.
There is a yurt and a canvas tent with double mattresses to sleep in. You would need to bring your own sleeping bag. For the waking hours, we have a communal kitchen/living space. Toilets are composting. For washing, there is an outdoor bath with a spectacular view down the valley; however, we often just swim in our beautiful fresh-water lake on hot summer afternoons.
Food will be prepared in our small kitchen on the wood-stove. We intend to take turns cooking and cleaning. We will provide all the staple foods. Where at all possible, food will be organic, locally sourced and minimally packaged. This includes a local organic market garden, Kindred Organics, for grains and other delicious Tasmanian produce. Vegans and vegetarians welcome, and some local ethically sourced meat may be available for the omnivores!
It is usually easy to organise transport in and out of our community to Sheffield, Devonport, Deloraine and Launceston. There are people that regularly travel to these places at various times during the week. There are beautiful walks through rainforest, kayaks you may borrow to paddle on the lake and it is easy to hitch to Cradle Mountain from a nearby junction. We have guinea pigs, 3 miniature goats (2 of which are kids), rabbits and chickens to hang out with!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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