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My husband and I have an 120 acre farm about 25km from Ballarat in Victoria . We use organic farming methods and milk dairy goats, breed sheep for a gourmet butcher and have a number of old rare breeds of animals including Dexter cattle, Aylesbury ducks, Dorking and Scots Grey hens, Sicilian donkeys as well as peacocks, pheasants, geese and a large vegetable garden and orchard.
We grow a great deal of what we eat and preserve fruit and vegetables for our own use, trading and for small markets.
We eat meat ( our own ) and also run an
accommodation service which also offers full catering. We also run cheesemaking and breadmaking and foraging workshops.
We have hosted through other volunteer/hosting sites for many years and have a lot of long term interns.
Accommodation is in the house ( we have six bedrooms) .
We always have several volunteers at the same time .
I speak both French and German enough to have a conversation.
We are interested in politics, art , music and good food.
We have a substantial library and have a lot of visitors .
We also have dogs who come into the house during the evening including a middle aged Irish Wolfhound as well as an ancient Staghound and a younger farm dog. We have four cats, some of which are in the house at times.
There is a lot to do on the farm here- there is always something happening .
if you ask to come here , we will send you a very clear document about what is expected of you and work practices.
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
We love to discuss cultural differences and learn about current affairs. We have a great laugh at the dinner table most evenings. Sometimes helpers play music together ( we have a large collection of instruments) . You will learn all sorts of rural skills- goatkeeping, incubating chickens, brewing, distilling, preserving, soap and cheese making, foraging, Op Shopping........
All volunteers help with farming and gardening. We are flexible about what is done, but it is mostly outside, not inside. Help is a maximum of five days a week. We all eat together ( the food is generous and there is always wine and beer), but help in cleaning up after meals is not regarded as " work" . At the moment we need help with painting, signwriting , market gardening, planting and preserving. People who can milk goats , cut wood or or do fencing are more than welcome !!!
French, German, English
Accommodation is in the house. Helpers have their own private bedrooms and share a bathroom with each other . We are happy to take couples ( same sex also very welcome) or singles. We can take up to four extra helpers at a time.
The bedrooms are pretty and light and comfortable.
We go into Ballarat about twice a week. That is the major town near here and has a very vibrant artisitc , sporting and social life. Helpers with cars have many many local places to visit nearby- especially small towns with specialty bakeries, rivers, lakes, mountains, wineries, markets, fishing spots.....
We are VERY hard workers and get up at 5.00am every morning to milk our goats. We do NOT expect helpers to do this, but we find laziness very irritating . We do expect helpers to get out of bed before 7.00 am and to be cheerful. My husband has cancer , but it is in remission. He has a very positive attitude. We are a close family and our daughter and son in law and grandson visit regularly. We also have older children and grandchildren in their twenties who live interstate now.
Transport here is limited, but generally someone is going into town .
Wifi is EXTREMELY limited . We do not generally give our Wifi password to helpers unless they will be careful.
A love of animals, a strong work ethic, a positive attitude and zest for life are essential to be part of making the most from your experience.
We love artists and welcome creativity.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week