Learn about Light Earth Building, and help us with our kitchen garden, bread and yogurt making, tree planting and seed sowing outside the beautiful town of Daylesford, in Victoria, Australia.

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Australia

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    Last activity

    18/10/2019

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  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    We are an LGBTQIA friendly eco farm just outside the beautiful town of Daylesford, in Victoria, Australia.

    We have built a straw and earth home with a north facing greenhouse which is used for heating, growing plants, and drying clothes.

    We are still building our home and would love help with various painting jobs.

    We have an extensive vegetable and fruit garden. We are growing berries, fruit of all kinds (our trees are still babies), and lots of vegetables.

    All our waste water is recycled and used to water our garden.

    We have a large herb and bee garden.

    We have created a beautiful wetland and are establishing Australian trees, grasses and wildflowers.

    We love to cook and make and create and build.

    Our long term goal is to produce our own meat, and we are working every day to achieve this.

    We have planted oaks, and chestnuts and hazelnuts in the paddocks to produce shade and food for our future animals.

    Both Ralf and I have studied environmental science and hence we want to put into practice what we have learned.

    We have a farmstay and welcome your help with cleaning and getting ready for guests.

    Night time temperatures drop to 6C from May to December, so please bring really warm clothes. A warm woollen jumper is a must. We live in Victoria and Victoria is known for having four seasons in one day. We do not have heaters in the bedrooms, our house is a stable 18C, so if you are used to higher indoor temperatures please bring warm clothes. If you arrive during summer, say from December to March, please bring a white cotton shirt with long sleeves to protect you from the sun. This is very important and please bring a really good summer hat. And good outdoor shoes as we have really beautiful snakes visit our farm in summer.

    Our daily work is influenced by seasonal patterns. This means that we are doing different things at different times of the year.

    WINTER
    Planting new trees, fruit trees, Australian native trees and vegetables.
    Firewood collecting, storage and chopping.
    Weeding, pruning, mulching and managing various plantings.
    Fencing, maintenance and new fences.
    Bread baking.
    Fermenting.
    Soap making.

    SPRING
    Cleaning and organising the larder to prepare it for spring and summer preserving.
    Weeding.
    Planting, sowing, propagating.
    Preparing kitchen garden beds for new plantings.
    Digging in green manures and collecting stable manures from nearby horse stables.
    Yoghurt and cheese making.

    SUMMER
    Harvesting from kitchen garden
    Harvesting from community fruit trees and roadside trees.
    Preserving.
    Fermenting.
    Bread baking.
    Yoghurt and cheese making until May.

    AUTUMN
    Continue preserving.
    Bread baking.
    Yoghurt making.
    Cheese making until MAY.
    New plantings.
    Weeding.
    Pruning.
    Firewood collection.
    Cleaning and organising for winter cold.

    Ralf is working part time as a Water Conservation Engineer. I am working mostly at home: developing the kitchen garden, fruit orchards, bee garden and native wildlife corridors.

    Our daughters are both at school and are vibrant articulate children.

    Our weekly routine involves: baking sourdough bread, making yogurt, planting trees, vegetables, and weeding. Working on various building projects around our home: carpentry, painting, sanding, landscaping.

    The morning starts with getting the girls ready for school and making breakfast.

    In winter it often involves a hot breakfast of porridge, or fried eggs, or fried rice, or toast, or leftovers, or polenta, or rice and tuna, sometimes savoury sometimes a little sweet.

    After breakfast, cleaning the kitchen, washing dishes, sweeping floors and getting ready for the day's activities.

    The tasks that follow will change according to the seasons, and resources available and off-farm commitments.

    The day starts at 9am and finishes at 3:30pm with a one hour lunch at midday and a tea break mid morning.

    You will be free from 3:30 - 5:30 and from 7:30pm onwards.

    We will make dinner together at about 5:30 -6pm.

    We need active people with a zest for life, motivated and willing to take initiative.

    We are mostly vegetarian, this means many of our meals do not include meat. We include meat with 2-3 meals.

    We are not able to accommodate vegans, really sorry....we find it too tricky. If you are vegan you are extremely welcome to stay with us, but we will need you to take a break from your vegan diet during your stay. We source most of our meat from our farming neighbours, who are free range farmers.

    We are on tank water so during your stay we ask that you have 3 minute showers and if possible only every second day.
    And please bring extremely warm jumpers and pants.

    We are in a cool climate, many of our days are cold even during the peak of summer, and most nights are very cold. Please bring warm socks, hats, jackets, a woollen jumper, and warm pants. We almost never light our fire during Spring and Autumn.

    We are on solar hot water which means that when the sun is not out, there is little to no hot water. We have an electrical backup system, which we use once a week only. We want as much as possible to use the sun.

    We look forward to hearing from you. All the very, very best with your travels.

    Arrivederci, Mara

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    Babysitting / child care
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Farmstay
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I think that between Ralf and I we have many, many skills to share. We are motivated by people who are good listeners, who are focused and willing to show initiative.
    Carpentry skills
    Preserving, harvesting, fermenting skills (most of the year, and one of my favourite tasks).
    Foraging skills.
    Wild mushroom harvesting skills (autumn, winter and spring).
    Cheese making skills (when milk is available)
    Soap making skills (we make soap twice a year only so check with us about the timing).
    Pasta making skills. (all year)
    Cooking skills, pastry making, etc (all year)
    Revegetation, tree planting and garden planting skills, propagating and sowing.
    Language skills: English, Italian or German.

  • Help

    Help

    We need help making bread, cheese, yogurt, ferments, home made pasta, jams, preserves, foraging, harvesting, soap making.
    We need help, planting, weeding, transplanting, watering.
    In winter we look for edible mushrooms in the nearby forests and need help harvesting.

    We will teach you and need only your enthusiasm, positive attitude, care and a great volunteer work ethic.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    Italian, English and German.

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    We have two choices, etiher the guest room in our home or the mezzanine room in the shed. The choice is yours. The mezzanine is not heated, while the guest room is heated when our central fire place is lit.

    We ask you to please bring really warm jumpers, and hats (summer and winter hats). Not all parts of Australia are hot. Our area is often very cold, truly very cold, so please bring really warm clothes, at least one woolen jumper and woolen socks. We only heat our home during winter. We rarely light the fire during the rest of the year so please bring good clothes.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We live in a very vibrant community, full of creative people, artisans, ecologists and sustainability practitioners.

    We are ten minutes away by car from the picturesque town of Daylesford. On your days off you can visit Daylesford cafes, galleries, Daylesford Convent, Museum, the Wombat Hill Historic gardens and on Thursday mornings the Friends of Wombat Hill.

    I drive into town once or twice a week, sometimes more and you are welcome to come into town with me on those days.

    There are walking tracks around Daylesford lake, or along creeks and rivers. In winter there are wild mushrooms to be found in the pine forests and surrounds. You can volunteer to take part in our community garden working bees, or attend the local library or Cinema. There are day spas, and the Hepburn Bath House. Fabulous live music at Blue Bean Love Cafe, the Hepburn Grande Hotel, Belvedere Social, The Perfect Drop and the Old Hepburn Hotel to name but a few.
    The food culture here is fantastic and the permaculture movement abuzz with workshops. Once a month the Culture Club hosts free fermenting workshops.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours per day five days a week or as negotiated.










Host ref number: 156998244574