We are a family of 4, myself, my husband and our 2 children. We'll technically 9 as we have 5 dogs! As such I think here is a good place to mention that any workawayer should be comfortable around big dogs!
As you can guess from the title, we do a lot of upcycling! What, is used where, is generally what we have in garden that will do the job!
We recently bought this old croft, it had not been lived in for well over 10 years when we bought it! As such a complete renovation project. We are completely off grid, so are running off a generator but in the process of installing renewable to make the place as eco friendly and self sufficient as possible! I will also be replanting the garden, to have as many edible and medicinal plants as possible alongside a vegetable plot to improve self sufficiency.
About us as a family, well you could say we are one of a kind, most people think it is madness to take this step back from mod cons, however it suits our laid back, make do and mend attitude! All I can say is so long as we are fed, warm, clean and happy what more does one really need?!?
We are not a religious family, we do eat meat, we have allergies, hay-fever and asthma in the family. My husband is pretty open minded and I am as open minded as they come I think, I am always keen to learn new things or expand my knowledge base. With particular interests in yoga, crystals, nature's energies, medicinal plants, gardening and anything really of a spiritual nature! The children will be being home schooled, this is something new to us all, there particular interests are nature, plants and how they can be used, dinosaurs, lego, minecraft. Anyone with a knowledge base they would be willing to share would be an amazing opportunity for a different way of learning for them!
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We are in an old croft, up a Glen, up a hill! The property was built in the 1800s if not before so a historical building, of which the cattle byre is still in place so it becomes apparent how people used to live here! The scenery is stunning and the aray of wildlife on the doorstep is amazing for the UK! We regularly see black grouse, deer, weasels, buzzards, falcon, last year we had a cuckoo in the spring, and the usual aray of wee birds in the spring and summer. Also an amazing variety of caterpillars and butterflies! Wonderful activity to do with children!! As we are on the West Coast of Scotland there are a variety of tourist attractions. Inveraray is the closest town which is 12 miles by road and has food shops etc. As it is a tourist town there is a fair amount to see there including Inveraray Jail museum!! There are also many nice walks around the area, including Beinn Ghlas, which is the hill over the valley from us! Also Auchindrain open air museum, which basically shows us how people used to live in the townships in this area! In houses exactly like ours! Same layout, everything! Amazing to see!
In terms of experiencing a local traditional life, well we are not a typical Scottish household, I am English and my husband is Scottish! However being rural and off grid we do live a different way of life. If you are looking for a peaceful, fun place with beautiful scenery, experiencing off grid living, roughing it and making do when needed, I think you would like it!
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We need help with almost anything you can think of! We basically have a blank canvas of a refurbishment, garden and cabin! We are undertaking the project ourselves, doing as much as we can with what we have got.
The first part we will be on the cabin! Has a log burner and renewable all on site, unfortunately I have not had the chance to install these yet and the cabin is a bit relegated to storage, which is next on the priority list of jobs! Knowledge and experience with renewable energy would be a bonus, primarily so I can learn from you, ;-) especially solar panels and wind turbines and I am looking to learn about hydro power. As would any carpentry work! Building with wood is so not my forte! But I want to learn!
Specific help we will be looking for is general maintenance, building from upcycled materials, painting and decorating. General help with the cooking (knowledge of foraging and cooking foraged food would be amazing!), keeping cabin and house tidy (well as tidy as a refurbishment project can be! 😆) This will include daily tasks such as bringing coal and wood in, cleaning and lighting fires, keeping them stoked etc.
Outdoors, general building maintenance painting, clearing guttering etc. A blank canvas of a seriously overgrown garden, which will need a complete overhaul. Would welcome any garden lovers to help with designing, building, planting vegetable garden to make the place as self sufficient as possible.
We are also needing to build "accomodation" for duck, chickens and rabbits! A new untried venture, with little experience! Steep learning curve ahead!
Accommodation will be initially the caravan (we are looking for individuals with their own van etc. during july/August as we are needing to use the caravan ourselves while we have workmen plastering! Well beyond my skill set unfortunately!) The caravan is a 4 berth, touring caravan which is in garden.
Living area at front converting to double bed and seats at back into bunk beds. The kitchen space is mostly functional, oven heating etc. All work, unfortunately the water heater has packed up and we need to dream up an alternative source of hot water, a kettle boiled is sufficient for washing up dishes. There is access to house bathroom as I cant guarantee we will have fixed up caravan bathroom when it is first available! If this is an area of experience, I would do a happy dance!
The caravan, basically runs itself, solar charges batteries, with the use of the inverter to plug in to 240v sockets! (I am a little proud of myself with this one 😁)
There is also the insulated cabin! There is enough space in there to comfortably sleep 2-3 people! This is however a project, we have the majority of fitting out, solar wiring etc. waiting to be done and a log burner all waiting to be installed. Once this is done it will be a lovely wee cabin, as it stands presently it is basically a storage facility but given some TLC it will be somewhere to get your head down for a good sleep!
The house itself has bathroom and kitchen which will be shared with us!
You are welcome to use the kitchen, but please tidy up, and an important point to mention is that there are food allergies in the house so thoroughly cleaning things used and area used to prepare food is essential. Especially if using beef, fish, shellfish, dairy, lentil etc.
Local sights, well directly opposite is Beinn Ghlas, ideal for hill walkers.
Inveraray has a lot of tourist shops and seasonal attractions, including events such as Highland Games and Best of The West Festival. Furnace is the next village along which has the Leaccain Walk, with Auchindrain open air museum in the middle of it. This is an old township, of interest to us as our cottage is basically an Auchindrain house!!!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Hi, there is a small space to park a wee van, makes turning quite tight. Though if you are happy to get dirty and help dig to clear landslip from turning circle at gate, there will then be plenty of room!
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week