Nursery, vegetable growers and kennels in the Western Cape, South Africa


South Africa


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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    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.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Helping with Tourists
    Language practice

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    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.

  • Help


    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

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    Afrikaans, English (fluent), Spanish (basic), Hebrew (very rusty)

  • Accommodation


    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*️️️️️️️️

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    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.

  • 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?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Taking a swim in the river
The keepers of the guard. Optel, Spikkeljan and Skollie
The very rampant banana circle at Jansehuis. It is now 18 months old.
The coops and kennels are now nearly complete. We have started planting fruit trees around it but many more needs to be planted
Chuan and Belen from Spain planting the corner posts of the camping plots
Repair of the rammed earth animal enclosure using traditional methods
Livio and Amandine from France digging a wide and shallow drainage channel
Sam and Becca from the UK planting indigenous trees to form a wind break
Time for a rest!
Hard work rewarded, picnic under the trees. With a view.
Propagation time, over 200 rose cuttings for next season
Chickens, ducks, pigeons. Yay!
We like to add value to our produce. This is quince jelly made from the peels, cores and other offcuts of the fruit.

Host ref number: 377523719967

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