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Heya! We love visitors and guests and life on the farm here is such a satisfying experience :)
We're a family moved down to the Victorian country to build a retreat and permaculture farm. Everything about this area seemed to good to be true, but it just keeps getting better!
Nick (33): Musician, couchsurfer, wine rep, but now mostly a travelling minstrel who is only occasionally "home".
Peter (63): Farmer, Project Manager, Handyman, etc, etc, but now usually at his "other" job.
Donrita (61): Teacher, Choir conductor, Bnb manager and currently trying to build a new business, assisting seniors with their travels...Donrita is the one who is home the most and would also love some help with building a new website.
Jan and Kitty (91and 92); Donrita's parents who live in their own separate cottage on our farm.
Donrita's elderly parents live on the farm with us, in their own cottage, and they LOVE getting visitors. They sometimes need a bit of assistance.
Music has a big role at our place, with Nick & Donrita both involved in music, but of late the local music has taken a back seat with Nick now a travelling minstrel and Donrita spending most of her time developing the new business and working two days a week from home for a pilgrimage company.
We can accept families, but the whole family would need to fit in the caravan. It has a double bed and two benches that can each sleep one person in a sleeping bag. When we have a LOT of workawayers at the same time, we can host them in our "shearing shed man cave" or "shearing shed studio" which seems to have suited past folks well enough.
We are now mostly in maintenance mode, though of course there are always many things to do (such as making a small hot-house in part of the vegie garden and building a bird netting structure over it). Making matters a bit more complex, now that Peter has finished building the BnB cottage he has recently acquired a FULL TIME time job OFF the farm to earn some extra money, so that means Donrita will be spending the most time with workawayers. That said, there is always a lot to do in the veggie garden and orchard, and with that comes a significant task of EATING the fruit and veggies that grow! As well as lots of preserving once we get too much. And Donrita would currently REALLY appreciate the extra help (and company).
We have a passion for living sustainably and putting healthy things into our bodies (no smokers, please). We recognise that we have a long way to go. But are keen to share our journey and the things we have learned so that others can take some aspects of all that with them to help ease the impact we have on our planet. Come and share with us, teach us, learn from us. But also come and have some fun!
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
You will learn about life in rural Australia and in particular our efforts at living a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle. You will learn to work hard and relax serenely and live simply. We have a wonderful East Gippsland Rail Trail and can provide push bikes for you in your spare time to explore this. There are also a number of local wineries, water sports on the lakes and a surf beach at Lakes Entrance for you to visit and enjoy.
We also love introducing our workers to Toastmasters as we are members of the local TM club and frequently have brought our visitors along to see what TM is all about.
Peter also loves sharing his growing interest in wood turning (has just bought an upgraded lathe with associated tools) and some of our W/A'ers leave with something they've turned themselves of wood from our place.
Each of us are working on many different projects (Permaculture, servicing the B&B facilities, music shows, choirs,business development and promotion). We need help with a number of mostly routine tasks so that we can focus on some of our projects/paid work.
The sorts of things we need help with are:
Walking the dog, feeding and tending to chickens and ducks
Maintaining fences & other farm things
Mostly gardening (planting, weeding, watering, planting, seed-raising)
Extending aspects of our permaculture-based vegie garden and orchard, including constructing a hothouse and bird netting in part of the vegie garden.
Occasional help with computer related things and taking some nice photos & videos of our place.
And when the fruit is ready/produce from the garden is ripe, then we do a lot of preserving, making jams and chutneys that you can help make, with naturally a LOT of tasting to be done as part of this! The goal is to preserve enough to last us through the less productive times, but we generally end up with enough to pass on a couple of jars to friends & neighbours, AND to Workawayers who might need a bit of sustenance on their journey to the next gig!
If you like cooking, you're welcome to help out in that department too. Donrita llikes to cook, but we like to try something different too...let's share huh?
Previous workawayers have helped us develop a checklist of things you need to know - we will provide you with this upon your arrival or, better still, if you send us your email address we will send you a soft copy to read before you arrive.
We are very open to finding the workawayer who so enjoys being with us that you will want to stay long-term (this happens occasionally) and we always love to find folks who will like to stay from before until after Christmas to help keep things going when we visit family in Sydney.
Caravan next to the house, as well as various beds and a sofa bed in the music studio and man-cave.
You can use our bathroom though.
We are 15 min from Bairnsdale Town.
Bairnsdale has trains and buses
Bairnsdale is 3.5 hours East of Melbourne by train (last stop on the line)
Buses depart to Lakes Entrance from Bairnsdale.
If we're heading to town, you're welcome to join us and we can also provide push bikes if you like to ride and are energetic.
Let us know if you'd like a lift in advance and we'll see if something can be arranged.
If you have your own car, all the better for you!
Music - there is a surprising amount of music around here. Fairly good quality too! Some restaurants have music, Paynesville wine-bar is always having a variety of well-known artists perform (it's great there!), Bullant Brewery (Bruthen) has beer tastings and live music, Many pubs and hotels have music of course (pub rock), Lakes Entrance has great shows and fireworks at NYE
Wine - There are a few wineries around that do tastings
Sport - fishing, some people go hunting deer (they're pests here), cycling - we can drop you off to cycle a part of the 100km Rail Trail and pick you up again where you leave off (we provide bicycles); you can hire boats and borrow our canoe and/or kayak or you can go surfing at Lakes Entrance.
Nature - Den of Nargun (Aboriginal Waterhole), Macleods Morass (extensive wetlands), The Amphitheatre/Billy Goat Bend (Fabulous lookout)...
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
5 hrs/day 5 days a week, ready to start daily by 8am.