We are a young family who made a tree change into country life about 15 months ago. We have moved back into the family home I grew up in as a boy and are now raising my own family here (3 children, girl, boy, girl ages 4, 3 and 1).
We live on about 1,300 acres of farm land (farming cereal and legume crops) but we do not farm at the moment. We are free to wander around the farm but we don't work it.
Up until moving to the country we have lived in various cities for the last 20 years. Mostly in Australia but we have both done our fair share of travelling. I lived in London for a couple of years and worked in finance for about 15 years before realising being in an office was no longer for me. Bronwyn has always been a teacher and is very dedicated to the profession. We met in Perth, Western Australia and both miss the beaches and lifestyle of Perth but love the country at the same time.
I currently own and operate a small cafe in the nearest town (10kms away), and my wife (Bronwyn) is a teacher working 3 days a week in a small town in the other direction (15kms away).
As a busy family / household we are looking for help in various ways. We always have a few projects in the garden going on, as well as doing small bits of renovations to the house. And needless to say we can always do with a hand getting the kids organised.
We enjoy gardening but are certainly not experts at it, we sometimes take more of an experimental approach to gardening. We have a compost and some chickens and would love to learn more about permaculture and the like if someone is wiling to teach us.
Our days are usually fairly busy but living in a small country town we also like to relax and catch up with others in the community when we can. Given we have small children we usually don't venture too far but instead like to do activities around home on the weekend. We are fairly relaxed people who have had an array of cultural experiences and we are open to exposing our children to different backgrounds. We like to eat reasonably healthily but also indulge occasionally, we like a drink at the end of the day but usually are in bed at a reasonable hour as the kids get up early.
In winter we usually have a fire outside on a Sunday afternoon and have some neighbours over for a drink while we watch the sunset.
For the most part we live a pretty simple life but we have varied interests and can usually speak pretty freely about most topics. We like to read (when we get a chance) we like to listen to music, we sort of keep up with current affairs (although less so these days), I practised yoga every day for about 8 years, and we like to listen to Podcasts when we can.
We are based in Victoria near the border with South Australia. I cross the border everyday to go to work so while we live in Victoria we operate on South Australian time. Its a little quirky we know.
While the region we live in may not be considered the most picturesque we can see the beauty in it and hope visitors will too, while helping us grow our garden, our home, and our family.
We hope that anyone who comes to stay and help us will be warm and friendly, respect our home, interact with the kids easily, and be willing to help with our tasks.
We will give you a uniquely Australian experience being out in the Mallee. Its a different kind of bush to lots of the rest of Australia. We often have Kangaroos in our backyard. We have an open expanse of farming land around us. And you will learn to appreciate the juggle of a small family. :)
We also live in a warm community that will welcome you with open arms.
We don't require any specific skill sets just a willingness to do some hard work and be open to trying new tasks and learning. If you don't have any practical knowledge then maybe our place isn't for you. It would be great if you have experience working with small children but this isn't a must. Otherwise if you're only here for a short time we will just put you to work on any projects we have at the time. Some days of work may be longer than others but we will be sure to even it out with other days of less work.
Some of the projects we are planning include: prepping and planting out a new garden area; building some veggie beds; repairing a pool fence; planting out some tank rings; installing a fireplace; fixing holes in the laundry walls; cutting firewood; cleaning up dead trees; planting new trees; building stone walls etc etc.
You will have your own cabin separate to the main house. The cabin has a comfortable queen size bed with plenty of cupboards and hanging space. You will have your own toilet and shower but this is located back in the main house, a short walk along the outside of the house. Its a comfortable cabin but is a little thin on insulation so can get warm in summer and cold in winter.
The local area has an amazing array of Australian wildlife to see. The Mallee region (where we are situated) has some very unique characteristics. There are plenty of 4WD tracks around if you're into that, or plenty of bushwalks. Locals will usually spend a lazy Sunday driving out into the bush and setting up a campfire for the day (during winter) just to have a BBQ and a few drinks while the kids explore nature. The nearest town also has a great 9 hole golf course, tennis courts, and two country pubs.
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