Gardening, mechanical work, growing food and landscaping in SW Cork, Ireland



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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    We are an active newly retired English speaking couple with a large garden, interest in growing some food, cooking and new ventures. We live between the villages of Ballydehob and Schull in SW Cork, Ireland. The area is quiet and very rocky and beautiful scenery surrounds us. We are near the sea and there is a beach and a small harbour nearby.

    We have a site of about 2 acres. We have an orchard of 35 trees from which we make cider, vinegar, chutneys and jellies and raised vegetable beds for our own use and we are new to growing our own so open to ideas.
    I garden but my husband does not. I am developing an untouched 2 acre site into fields and growing areas for fruit , veg and flower borders. We would love help to instal features and make it easier to manage....some wow factor wished for. Any help in landscaping the grounds would be greatly appreciated. Our next project will be the maintenance of old stone walls, some wood work, erecting field gates, possibly fencing and creating a new prairie border and of course weeding to keep the flower borders looking their best. We have lots of ideas so your skills would be welcomed into the mix.

    I was a teacher and my husband electrically trained then we jointly ran a business. He loves music, good food, vintage cars and provides t.l.c .to the machines and old cars we have.
    I cycle, cold water swim and keep fit. We love to laugh , have good senses of humour, like to have a project on the go and like to be with people but not on top of them. We both sail an open day sailing boat during the summer months

    We are new to workaway having started inOctober 2020 and with our workaways we have built a horse shelter, weeded the garden, made large wooden planters for climbers, added to the field drainage, painted the floors of the barn, renovated the vegetable garden, serviced a vintage tractor, planted 2,000 bulbs, built steps, made decorative artefacts for the garden, made and erected field gates, pruned the orchard trees, painted the barn, welded and mended farm machinery, made a trailer from scratch [ Donald], but a retaining dry stone wall, We have mostly worked alongside those that have stayed here and like to do that.

    Our daughter lives nearby and has horses and if you are interested you could ride. We have 2 collie dogs who are walked daily, though one is old and his mind is more wiling than his body!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Due to the current travel restrictions it would be preferable if anyone applying to stay here was already in Ireland and we will accept those from UK. with the testing and vaccination advice adhered to. We will review this as restrictions lift but at the moment we want to be mindful of our local community and the govt. advice. This is however changing weekly!!

    You will learn about the local way of life in Ireland. The area is steeped in history with stone tombs, ancient burial sites and local museums and extraordinarily beautiful scenery. The old grave yards provide many a story about the life locally from past times.
    The coast is nearby, half an hours walk or quicker on the bike and it is rugged interspersed with sandy areas. There are a lot of open water swimmers here who swim in the sea locally and there are local yoga groups[ covid permitting] or create your own.
    We garden to suit the environment [ wild area plenty wind ] so you will learn about plants and their care in this rugged place and if you have knowledge of gardening this will be welcomed.
    There are various woodworking projects we have on our wish list and are working through them we like to look at the ideas and adapt to suit and welcome opinions and experience of others.
    We are most of the way through renovating a cottage nearby and there may be opportunities to help with that, using the cottage for weather beaten days not usually sunny ones.
    You will learn about life on a rural peninsula area and the politics of Ireland is something most folk have a view about.
    The people here are resourceful and we have a lot of incomers who stay and set up small businesses making this an active area for local markets and small businesses. Underneath the relaxed exteriors are lots of busy people running enterprising businesses.

  • Help


    Our next project will be setting and maintaining field gates, the maintenance of an old stone wall . Help in the garden, weeding [ always plenty of weeding ], mechanical jobs on old tractors so some experience/ knowledge is really preferred.
    I have a plan to build an archway, a path and possibly a moon gate about which we know nothing. There are also plans to build some more steps in the garden and to develop another orchard. In the Autumn there will be bulb planting and bare root hedging and trees to plant
    The ability to ride a horse might be useful but the horse involvement is not essential. We can provide bicycle[s] for local use if that suits.
    We live outside a village in a lane which has local walks from the house. We can drop you off in villages or in Skibbereen if we are going there but not able to provide taxi service.
    Maximum help a week would be 25 hours each person.


  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    French: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    We speak English and poor French

  • Accommodation


    A one bedroom cottage which is near the main house. Downstairs is an open plan living space, small kitchen, dining bar, comfortable seating, with wifi , tv and music. There is also a shower room . Upstairs is a bedroom with a bath that is placed to look up at the sky. It is heated, clean and modern. We can eat some meals together and\or you can have your own space. We will buy the food you need and either prepare some meals or let you do your own [ we really don't mind ] Your cupboards will be well stocked, we eat local fresh food when we can and cook from raw ingredients. The cottage will hold 2 people comfortably. A friend has lived there for 2 years and loved it. You will be responsible for keeping your own living space clean and to leave it clean at the end of your stay.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We live in an area of outstanding beauty with walks and cycle rides on our doorstep. There are beaches and lanes and hilly areas to explore. The larger town of Skibbereen is about 20 mins away by car. This is a foodie heaven area with many artisan food providers. There is a bus service to Cork from the villages or from Skibbereen and from there to other cities by train or bus. There are cafes / bars in both our nearby villages and more walks and lanes from each of them from which to enjoy fabulous coastal walks
    If you have transport you will be able to explore remote out of the way places and will get the best out of a wider area.
    We live near to Sheeps Head peninsula. Our peninsula is the Mizen.
    There are infrequent buses to Cork City along the coast road so calling at villages and towns along the way.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have a large driveway and parking area near the house and outbuildings.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hours a week

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Host ref number: 184427621889