Learn permaculture skills off-grid in West Cork, Ireland



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    This small project is in West Cork, Ireland surrounded by the mountains near the source of the river Lee.
    I live in a little cabin in a field where I grow vegetables, sometimes keep poultry and grow fruit trees. Its a small site but there are lots of different things to do here and plenty healthy vegetables to eat.

    I am a self-employed permaculture designer and this is my home where I try out ideas. I also provide an orchard care service mostly apple pruning in the summer and winter. Hosting volunteers can also be a source of motivation for me to organise and do work that I may have already grown accustomed to, and I am very happy to share the design concepts behind any work we will be doing. If you are interested in permaculture and motivated you will be able to learn quite a bit on the job : )

    It would be an interesting place for anyone interested in permaculture, cooking, gardening, poultry and preserving food. Its important for me that you are already good at sharing space and conscientious. Its an advantage if you have an interest in, and are happy to cook and prepare meals with natural ingredients, prioritising the efficient use of the organic vegetables that we are growing here.

    I'll be with you to show you how to do every task at the start and really enjoy working with volunteers, inevitably however as I also am running a design consultancy I sometimes will have to leave to tend to those other commitments, including over night at times.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Depending on how long you stay, and on your prior skills and motivation, and what is happening here at the time you could learn some or alot of:
    - how to operate a low maintenance poultry tractor system
    - sheet mulching
    - hot compost making
    - french drain building
    - building skills
    - vegetable gardening skills
    - other permaculture related skills/info

    This is a Gaeltacht area. It could suit someone studying the Irish language, but English will work here too. I also speak French and Spanish relatively well. If you are interested you will be able to pick up some permaculture design concepts and techniques plus some of the Irish language.

  • Help


    The main activities that I'd want help with here are (depending on the season and other factors) :
    - weeding and hoeing
    - cooking & baking
    - cleaning
    - planting vegetables
    - drain building
    - making hot compost
    - sheet mulching of the nursery and garden
    - watering
    - painting
    - Looking after poultry if I have them at the time. This involves moving the electric fencing & mobile chicken house, cleaning it out and collecting eggs.
    - fruit tree care
    - harvesting vegetables
    - preserving vegetables - making kimchi and chutney

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Irish: Fluent
    German: Intermediate
    Italian: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    I'm happy to speak Irish, Spanish French, German or English with volunteers, but its important for me that your primary motivation is practising permaculture and sustaunability skills.

  • Accommodation


    There is a caravan for volunteers. It has two sleeping areas at either end and a gas cooker in between. It has no running water or electricity however. During the summer camping may be an option especially if you bring your own tent and gear. At night, especially in the winter and spring months, it can be cold. The caravan has small wood burning stove but as yet is not well insulated. If you don't have much experience of camping or how to use a stove you'll need to want to learn how! You'll have to have experience in or be eager to learn how to keep warm.

    This is a wild and beautiful place - but it is still wild and beautiful because it is remote and sometimes inhospitable. Everyone wants to be in touch with nature, but not everyone wants the discomfort and challenge that truly living in nature brings. The living is good here, but quite simple.

    The place is basic in some ways - compost toilets, limited electrical power - especially in the winter, but this also puts us in tune with the environment.

    Spring water on tap in the cabin. There are two rooms to the cabin - my bedroom and the living room-kitchen-office.

    Meals are from the garden vegetables, foraged vegetables, and eggs from the chickens (if I have them at the time), supplemented with a mix of bought organic and non-organic food from town. Vegans/vegetarians welcome but its important to accept that I also eat eggs, dairy products and meat, and occasionally kill animals here for food.

    I give preference to volunteers with positive feedback as in most cases they have worked out very well here. If its your first time volunteering you'll need to match the criteria I'm looking for really well to come here.

    There is a gas shower we can use and compost toilets, but these are about 60m away
    I share a well with my neighbours and water use is often restricted in drier weather.
    Unlimited bathing opportunities in a beautiful but cold river pool nearby - I go in here all the time but its cold, deep and about 800m away.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Beautiful scenery and nature. Great but cold swimming places. I'm near Gugán Barra which is a famous beauty spot with hikers and pilgrims.

  • 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

    A smaller size van could potentially work.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Accuracy of profile: (4.8)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 588268997214