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We are now well established on the family farm following a few successful seasons. Most of our longer term projects are finished or nearing completion.
The contractors are finishing up the fencing of the horse paddocks and we hope to receive our first horses in spring 2019.
Renovations to upgrade the barn to a rustic wedding/events venue catering for 48 people is to start within the next few weeks. Our first wedding booked is at the end of February 2020.
The small nursery continues to provide the trees and other plants we need to green the farm. Mulch, chop-and-crop, recycle, repurpose and multi-use are not words any more but part of life on the farm.
The cottages rented out for extra income and the ongoing documentation of the indigenous fauna and flora is going well.
We keep some animals and try to integrate them into our longer term goals. The cattle feeds on the small fields around the house, keeping the grass short and thus maintaining a low fuel load fire break. They save us from mowing while looking pretty. Chickens, ducks and geese are used to feed in the orchard and garden, taking grubs, seedlings and greenery. They provide us with eggs and meat. The dogs, the undisputed stars of the farm, sleep in the sun, chase baboons, take visitors on walks, charm volunteers and scare chickens. All in one day.
I'm keen on expanding my Spanish vocabulary and get my German going.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
You will live on a fairly traditional farm in South Africa applying somewhat unusual soil caring techniques for the area. Traditional farming is still very strong and banana circles, permaculture and swales are quite foreign.
We visit friends and family quite often and usually try to take volunteers with. We also receive personal guests on the farm often and there will be many opportunities to meet locals. It is safe to independently cycle the 7km to Swellendam and meet the local townspeople.
The farm borders the mountainous Marloth Nature Reserve and there are plenty opportunities to get out and explore.
We would need volunteers to help with general day to day activities, upkeep and maintenance. We expect sporadic projects of a building or gardening nature.
Routine tasks include:
Feeding of young animals if we have any. We're looking at getting three day old calves during September
Cutting alien plants to chip for mulch in the garden
Planting perennial grasses in the paddocks to feed cattle
Planting trees, local indigenous for shade and windbreak, others for food, etc
Laying out of vegetable and other gardens, upkeep of current gardens
Cleaning the two cottages we rent out to tourists
Playing with the dogs and taking them on walks, or rather let them take you for walks
Afrikaans, English (fluent), Spanish (basic), Hebrew (very rusty)
Room/s in main house. Sometimes we move volunteers to the dormitory depending on our personal guests. The dorm has four single beds double stacked. Locker, etc. Two bathrooms, not en-suite. Full kitchen access. This accommodation is separate (a few steps away) from the main homestead where we live.
We provide food for all meals. Volunteers are encouraged to partake and serve up dishes that remind them of home or their chosen lifestyle. As the gardens are expanding our focus is shifting more to field-to-fork than shopping. We like to forage too and if you are lucky (and it is in season) we'll collect mushrooms (cepps) and berries (eg. brambes and goose berries) in the fields and plantation. We use meat, eggs, milk and other animal products. Some animals come from the farm, some for other places. We consider the industry practices specific to the animals in the context of South Africa when we do purchase. We welcome tasty alternatives. There is a lot to learn.
*️️️️️️️️dayzero*️️️️️️️️ The house and cottages rely on rain water for drinking and household use. This is a limited resource. We strongly encourage thoughtful use of water. *️️️️️️️️dayzero*️️️️️️️️
The local town, Swellendam, has recently been named a top ecofriendly destination and is 7km away. Is has a real sens of history and are a popular stop over between Cape Town and the Garden Route. As a result there are many restaurants and eateries catering to all tastes.
The cheese shop on the way to town is worth a visit. The berry farm where you can pick your own in season too.
We are well located in the Western Cape: Two hours from Cape Town on the N2, an hour from the coast, and hour from Route 62 in the Klein Karoo and two hours from the Garden route. Several shuttle and bus services connects to towns and cities: Greyhound, Intercape, Langeberg Mini-bus, Potgieter Mini-bus, Bloukraan Shuttle, Citiliner, City to City and Translux busses. We like going on day trips around the area.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week