Just me and my dogs and 40 acres.
I have a dream to be as self sufficient and eco friendly as possible on my 40 acre block of raw bushland. I am located 30 minutes south of Agnes Waters/1770 and 1 hour north of Bundaberg in a locality called Mount Maria.
Getting gardens and orchard areas cleared and ready to set up, building chicken coops, putting up fencing for goats, clearing areas of bush by hand and making tracks/pathways to the seasonal creek are some of the jobs that I need your help with.
Comprised mostly of Eucalypts, wattles, acacias and grass trees. So much vibrant greenery contrasting with the black charred trunks of the trees still standing after the fires came through 2 years ago. There is quite a bit of dead wood still standing and on the ground that needs to be cleared away from the building and garden sites and cut up for firewood.
What I am offering is a little different to the usual.
I am still in the early stages of settling on this property. I have just finished building a cabin to live in, sort of finished...(and finally done with living under a tarp! Thank goodness). I have the basics set up for off grid living with a solar and battery setup to power the cabin and tools as needed. I do have a generator onsite as well for those times when it is overcast for long periods. I also have a now got a water tank set up to collect rain from the roof of my cabin.
My bathroom set up is an outdoors one. I have a gas hot water shower and a very basic composting toilet. This whole system needs upgrading and is one of the jobs on my list to do. I'd like to create a worm farm composting toilet, called Vermicomposting Toilet. There is some info online if you are curious.
So, I am happy to share this basic set up with you water (that you can cart over to your camping spot), toilet, shower. You can also charge any phones laptops etc during the day off my battery setup.
Your camp is located about 100m away from my cabin setup and is just a bare bit of ground. One of the jobs I will need help with is upgrading the facilities at your camp spot. (When I say úpgrade', there is nothing there, we will be making an outdoor shower and toilet facility there) , and prettying the area up.
Normal Workaway stays have meals included in exchange for 4-5hrs of work per day. What I propose is a work for the site deal. The terms can be negotiable depending how long you wish to stay.
I don't eat much, and have a very small footprint in regards to a grocery bill. I propose that you provide your own food in exchange for less work, a free camp site and use of the off grid facilities. 2 hours of work per day or the completion of a set task. This can be worked out upon arrival. I am also happy to discuss other options such as doing more in one day and less on another. For example if you are happy to complete the task in the one day working most of the day, you would have the rest of the week free to explore the area. As I said, we can discuss details upon arrival.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Previous to this, I owned a place in Hervey Bay that was nearly self sufficient in milk, eggs, veg and poultry meat. I did a lot of preserving and drying my produce. I like to follow permaculture principles as much as possible. It is both satisfying and rewarding.
I would love to be able to set up something along those lines here too. At this stage I have two small raised hugelkulture garden beds and an area set up as a 'mother' garden. From which we can take cuttings, or split off to include in the food forest. It serves as a seed raising area and nursery.
Right now I am (your will be helping) set up the foundations for animals (goats) to help with the manual labor. Things like clearing the bush for the food forest. The animals will in turn supply us with other great products down the track. We can raise goats to sell, butcher for our own meat supply and milk them for drinking milk or cheesemaking.
Once there are chickens here, (first we need to build a coop) they can supply me with a constant source of fertiliser, they are very helpful at turning old garden beds and de-bugging them, ready for a new lot of plantings. We can also raise them for eggs and meat.
You can learn how I work to create a slice of earth that serves me as I serve it. To live a life as close to self sufficient as can be. It is not an easy way of life, but it is simple in its most basic form.
Agnes Waters and 1770 are just a quick 30 min drive north of here. Great beaches and cute little towns to explore. This is where I go for a food shop.
There are also national parks nearby that are worth a look. Baffle Creek and Rules Beach, which you can drive on (at the right tide).
Or you can just trapse around on my 40 acres....
As mentioned above the work involved is all outdoors preparing areas for the next stage of development. Ideally you would need to have an idea on how to use some basic tools (not essential though) or at least be willing to learn. I am a very hard worker, and while I don't expect you want to work in my projects as I do, I would like to see that you have an eagerness to help.
I am more than happy to show you how to do things and to explain reasons behind ideas as we go, but the willingness to be constructive and go getting is up to you.
Some of the upcoming jobs include:
I am wanting to get goats in very soon to help with the clearing of a large area that will eventually become a food forest.
So setting up a shelter and goat proof fencing is one of the main jobs on the list. This involves clearing bush for the fence. This involves removing deadwood, cutting down dead trees with a chainsaw, ramming in star pickets, putting posts in the ground, digging holes, running wire out, and running electric fencing out along the perimeter of the area which is roughly 200m.
I am also about to create a vermicomposting toilet system. Where the worms turn our human waste into compost. It is an interesting idea that I will trial out, and is quite involved to set up. Some digging will be involved, trenches, shovelling trailer loads of material around, potentially building a bathroom structure as well. Some good luck will be required in the hopes that it all works!
Another job that is something I haven't been able to get around to is creating a pathway through the bush to the seasonal creek. It is approximately 100m away from the campsite. This will include whipper snipping, removing young saplings from the pathway, clearing dead wood away. Sounds easy enough, but it will be a challenge.
There are a multitude of other jobs to be done on a daily basis which come part and parcel in living off grid, but as mentioned above, we can discuss terms upon your arrival. Whether you chip away at a particular job for 2hrs each day, or choose to complete the set task in a quicker time frame and have the freedom to play for the rest of your stay can be negotiated.
Most of the time I will be working along side you, especially in the beginning to ensure you have a full understanding of what needs to be done and how to do it. Then, when you are settled into the work, I will leave you unsupervised with a periodical check in.
This is a bush block. There are no manicured lawn type camping areas...yet.
The area available is a drive through camp site surrounded by nature and quite private. You have your own fire pit, with plenty of wood for collection nearby.
Power and Water:
There is no power or water available at the site. If you do not have your own solar setup, I can help out with charging phones and laptops if required.
I am in the process of setting up a rain water collection area at your camp site. It's not there yet, though. So perhaps come with your own water. I am happy to share from my water tank, this means you will have to cart it over to your site though.
Telstra mobile reception is quite good here. Optus has no service.
There are no toilet and shower facilities here. Yet.
Note: I use a compost pit toilet currently. It is only suited for one persons use (two at a maximum), and mostly only for number 2's. As urine is what makes a toilet like this smell bad, it is collected separately and used a compost pile enhancer.
In mentioning this I may be able to share this system if you are not opposed to collecting your own number 1's in a bucket and emptying daily, and pooing in a hole.
I know....not the most glamourous subject to discuss, but this is what off grid living is all about.
I have two big dogs that live with me, and no fencing around the property. Mac and Rue. Mac can be quite protective in the beginning, but once he has met you, all is fine. He doesn't get along very well with other dogs though, so unfortunately you cannot bring pets.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host can provide space for campervans.
More than two
Maximum 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week