My name is Kate, I am a crone-age mum and live with my daughter,Lilac, our border collie, Midge Bodge and small cat, Cozy Toes.
I love diversity and everything it brings with it.
My life is split many ways;
-My gardening business;
-Occasional forest school practitionering;
-Helping out with our new workers coop plant nursery which grows and sells edible and useful perennials;
-Upcycling and dreaming of a forest food garden paradise and regenerative small holding.
-Obsessing over great designs from van life and tiny house videos.
-I also love making and learning to make anything ! 🙂
When Lilac is not at school and I am not at work, we both love having a giggle, spending our time reading awesome books, playing games, creating curious play areas outback, listening, making and dancing to music (and making playlists), climbing trees, going to festivals and exploring the local area. We want to make our home a truly warm, welcoming, nourishing and sustainable place to live both now and in the future.
In the past, I travelled and lived in Africa for 4 years, and spent many months in India studying yoga and biking through the Himalayas. I can understand/ speak a little Spanish and to a slightly better degree, french, after spending 10 weeks walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostella and gaining a few pen pals along the way.
Lilac and I both have a deep love, curiosity and respect for the natural environment and try to engage with as many pursuits as we can which bring us closer to it. We love hiking, wild swimming, surfing, geo-caching, cycling and rock climbing or just hanging under the trees in the hammock to name a few of our favourites.
It is perhaps important to mention that we are quite a strict vegetarian, non- smoking house, though we make an exception on the meat for our pets, Cozy and Midge (who aren’t too fond of lentils and broccoli for some reason?) but otherwise it's a meat-free zone.
I like to think of myself as a bit of an eco- warrior and continue to benefit from my growing involvement and understanding of Permaculture ethics and principles in order to try and build resilience into our lives moving forwards. I like the idea of using these principles where possible ( or any other particularly brilliant low impact living ideas anyone may wish to bring ) as we try to regenerate our lovely homestead into a more sustainable and fun place to coexist. The ideas of ‘Making do and mending ‘ and living with zero waste are close to my heart, so I like to recycle and upcycle materials for projects where possible.
With climate change at the heart of many of the choices I now make, overseas travel is not something I feel comfortable engaging with so much anymore, so the opportunity to have a little slice of the world coming here to share in our home life and surroundings for a little while seems wonderful.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We would love to invite you to join us (when possible) or sign post you so you can explore and enjoy our wonderful surroundings...If you like the outdoors, this is the place for you!
Having lived in the area for most of my life it means I can share some great locations and opportunities for outdoor fun - and indoor if that is your thing!
There are many great restaurants and cafe’s nearby as well as town and country pubs and micro-breweries. The nearest 2 pubs are only a 10 minute walk: one out of the back gate along a country footpath that takes you straight to the pub, the other straight down the footpaths to the main road.
The Derwent Valley where we live is a UNESCO world heritage site and steeped in history, and often called the cradle of the industrial revolution. There are 3 local market towns; Belper (1 mile), Wirksworth (10 miles) and Ashbourne (13 miles) and numerous local thriving artist/maker communities. We have our own repair cafe, and green exchange where you barter for goods with no money exchanged.
If cities are your thing, Derby is 15 mins away, Nottingham = 35 mins, Sheffield = 45 mins, Birmingham = 50 mins and Manchester = 1 hour 45 mins. Even London can be reached in as little as 1hr 40 mins depending on the time of day. We are lucky to have very good transport links with regular buses and trains too.
Derbyshire is a great county, boasting numerous stately homes ( Chatsworth House, Kedleston Hall, Hardwick Hall, Calke Abbey, Haddon Hall, Sudbury Hall to name but a few) and fantastic surrounding countryside in the dales and Peak District National Park if you like to explore and have an adventure. It is a Mecca for rock climbers and cavers, mountain bikers and hikers.
There are many nature reserves, woodlands and forests and opportunities to get away from the hustle and bustle.
Carsington water is only 11 miles away which offers numerous Water sports, a yacht club , nature reserve, cycle hire and walking.
If English language is something you want to improve I’d Be more than happy to help in any way I can. I speak some french, and a spot of Spanish (though always a little rusty at first) , but love learning about other cultures, languages and trying out delicious new recipes from afar! 😍
Having travelled and hitch-hiked a lot, I regularly experienced first hand the remarkable kindness of strangers. It is therefore a great pleasure to be able to offer a reciprocal warm welcome to anyone wishing to experience this part of our little island and hopefully the stranger who arrives will leave as a friend.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We arrived in our new home In 2019 and so have been spending some time coming up with exciting and sometimes wild ideas for how we would like to shape our lives here in the future.
It’s nearly 3 years on and we are starting to make some positive in roads. It’s fascinating to see how our ideas evolve as we become more intimate with the land and house over time.
The plot outside the back door is a good size - approx 1 acre - so there is always plenty to do there and it never fails to surprise and delight everyone who comes through the gate when they see it . 1/3 acre is garden with mature trees, small fruit orchard and shrubs and 2/3 acre is unimproved grassland paddock with a large greenhouse, chicken coop, small Birch copse and a large bramble , bracken and bluebell patch which look out over delightful views of the Derwent valley.
The interior of the house needs a few finishing touches, but is generally very homely and welcoming 🙂
Myself and 3 friends have set up a workers cooperative and so part of the land is dedicated to a nursery growing edible and useful perennial plants for sale.
Some of the tasks we have in mind are set out below, so if you think you have the skills, knowledge and interest, we’d love to have you around to help tick some things off the list.
Because my work commitments often take me away from the house, we prefer workaways to be up with us and ready to start the working day around 9.00 -9.30a.m. This way there is plenty of time to talk through jobs and answer any questions before the day kicks off proper.
IN THE GARDEN :-
The lawn and grass is slowly being converted to a food forest garden in an attempt reduce our food miles and increase our food security, soil health, biodiversity and resilience to the impacts of climate change.
** CURRENTLY(October) WE HAVE A LARGE LOG PILE WHICH NEEDS PROCESSING FOR WINTER, SO IF YOU HAVE CONFIDENCE AND EXPERIENCE WITH A CHAINSAW AND MAUL WE WOULD REALLY VALUE YOUR SKILLS**
- making new 'no dig' beds.
- creating wildlife (dead) hedges.
- moving and improving soil
- making compost
- making Compost and fermented teas.
- making leaf mould.
- seed sowing/ saving.
- Taking cuttings and propagating.
- hedge trimming and planting
- Fix and repair water capture and storage systems
- collecting /moving manure/ woodchip for new beds.
- chop/ split and stack fire wood.
JOINERY AND CONSTRUCTION
We love to repurpose, recycle and reuse materials if we can as well as create things which have stacking functions ie more than one use. With this in mind we would love to:-
- building a timber framed, polycarbonate roofed shelter for bikes and other wheeled things currently going rusty.
- build a vented polytunnel. We have the basic metal frame already.
- create a cob, wood- fired pizza oven.
- make a compost loo.
- design and build a no - nails tree house. Not sure where to start. We have a tree though!
- Design and make L-shaped bench seat with storage for the main hub inside the house.
- build a wooden, stand alone, lean to porch / mud room / covered pergola type thing.
- Create useful storage spaces- Think tiny house design.
- Put up shelving.
- Garden cabin base laying and building.
- Fence and gate repair.
- Decking construction.
- Shave and re- hang 2 doors.
- Put up architraves and skirting boards.
- Make pallet planters.
- design / build and attach a lean-to porch to the side of the house
PAINTING AND DECORATING.
- various small jobs inside the house.
- internal walls.
- Caulke and paint some doors, skirting boards and window sills.
Fix a front step and build a small wall.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
Our home is a 3 bedroomed semi- detached house situated on a hillside rising up from the banks of the river Derwent.
The property has a Large garden/ paddock area at the back covering 1acre and aside of the immediate 2 neighbours , we are surrounded by nothing but fields thereafter.
The house comprises a long kitchen, downstairs loo, conservatory/ dining room, utility room, lounge, 3 upstairs double bedrooms and a shared bath/ shower room.
Inside the house you will have your own room with a back garden outlook which comprises a space saving day bed (which can easily be pulled out into a double bed if required) plenty of shelving, coat/ clothes hooks, a set of drawers, and a desk, lamp and chair.
We also have a small, soon to be self contained caravan on the drive which could be an alternative possibility for permanent accommodation if it suits you, but primarily as a space to isolate if required in light of covid 19. It has cold running water, 2 gas rings for cooking and a spare if required , a moveable heater and a table with bench seats which converts into a double bed and an additional 3 single bunks. It has a lockable cubicle with compost loo and hand pressurised shower, portable wash basin with mirrored storage cupboard.
Outdoor sports you may be interested in accessing are :-
Climbing (3 local indoor walls in addition to the extensive range of well documented outdoor routes)
Canoeing and water sports ( Carsington Water and Sailing club)
Outdoor swimming pools (Hathersage and Matlock Bath) & Indoor pools ( Belper, Derby and Matlock)
Lots of wild swimming spots.
Fell / park running
Cycling ( Derby velodrome, numerous cycle tracks and bridal ways and the National BMX track and skate parks ), Caving/ potholing, and these are just for starters.
We have 3 Cinemas nearby, a theatre, art gallery, 3 libraries and a museum within 8 mile radius. There are farmers markets, arts hubs, music and food festivals ( depending on time of year) , craft groups, fitness classes , live music, restaurants , pubs.... I could go on!
The Derwent Valley mills complex have historical interactive tours and many of the mills are now home to local traders and artisans selling their creations and experiences.
The fabulous ‘Museum of Making’ has also just opened in Derby 5 miles away. A definite must visit to interact and experience the rich creative history of our amazing valley.
There truly is something for everyone.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.
This host can provide space for campervans.
Friendly dogs are fine by us but MUST be ok with cats.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week.
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