We are a family of five (kids born 1998, 2001,2009) that after travelling the world settled on an old farm in the wonderful hilly region in East-Styria. We are by no means a fully running farm, not even a real homestead, more a house with lots of landscape around it (7ha property). We had tried to be farmers, experimenting with different things (herbs; pigs, sheep, chicken - we've had it all, but reduced now as we are too busy with other stuff to take responsibility for livestock. There's still a dog and a cat), but found out we simply are no farmers. So now it is just a big piece of land, and we harvest from it what it offers willingly (fruits, wild herbs, nuts...), but it could do with some loving care... Lots of wildlife loves our property, as we keep it as natural as possible (and lots of fruit etc never get harvested...). Archery is a big focus of Gerhards work, as he is a bowmaker and avid archer.
Cooking / shopping
You will learn a lot about working with wood, learn about herbs, do archery or you can build a bow for yourself (longer stays) - Gerhard is an avid archer and bowmaker. Good English books on agriculture and other themes to read (and discuss).
We are very interested in old crafts and knowledge and we like to pass our knowledge on (that's why we also used to give other seminars apart from bowmaking on our farm, in scything, herbs, basket sewing, spinning...).
At the moment we are mainly busy with bowmaking workshops, so that the property hardly gets any attention. But if you don't mind working on your own, the garden will love you!
We are trying to take better care of our neglected fruit garden and transform it into a forest garden.
Otherwise there are 100 nut trees to take care of, herbs to harvest and process, fruits to can (if we find the time when they are ripe...), firewood to make etc
And Gerhard is also grateful for help in his workshop, making arrows etc.
As I have to cook for our seminars and for us even though cooking is not one of my favourite pasttimes, I am always happy if somebody else does it.
And our dog Lucy loves to be taken for walks.
German, English, some French
We can only take helpers from April to October, as your accomodation is a cozy motorhome (with heating for colder nights). Helping times vary, there might be busy days and then again lazy days. Also depends on your interests.
We love to get to know people from other countries, but you should speak English (or German) to make communication easier (we love hearing stories). You will be part of the family, sharing meals and living room. We like to take turns in cooking, providing our guests with typical Austrian food (but also some Italian, international etc) and in exchange love to taste meals from your homecountry. We are flexible and often spontanous, with quite a few jobs and projects also away from the farm.
Marion is a professional storyteller and author, so any "classic" tales from your homecountry are very welcome! Gerhard loves to play GO, and is always willing to teach this demanding game. Our two boys are home mainly to gulp down some food or sleep, but Emma, our youngest, loves to play cardgames with our guests.
You can go for nice hikes here, visit the celtic village museum, learn all about apples (we live in the apple region of Austria), do archery on our property, play GO or enjoy the great number of herbs and learn about them. Graz is worth a visit and if you love chocolate we can take you for a tour at the most famous chocolate factory of Austria.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week