Looking for helpers for for autumn and winter. Bring warm, rainproof clothing!!! Short term helpers very welcome, but interested also in longer term helpers.
I check my emails ONCE A WEEK. If you need a quicker reply than that, please don't write to me, as it will only be a waste of our time.
The work is weeding, cutting wood by hand, making cob, planting blackcurrant, elderberry and willow cuttings.
Come and join me on my six acre smallholding on a hill 25 km from Sligo. There are 3 cats, a dog, 2 chickens, 2 ducks and lots and lots of fruit trees and bushes, rhubarb and other trees (mostly alder, willow, birch). If you are interested in Irish culture, I am one of only four or five Hosts in all Ireland that can speak the Irish language.
Please take note: I need helpers who are able to start work early and work with enthusiasm. I am an honest and a fair man, but not interested in hosting lazy people. If this is too much hassle for you, do not waste your time (and mine) by writing to me. Wake up at 0600, do an hour's walk (or run or cycle) before breakfast at 0730, with a view to starting volunteering at 0800 or say 0830 if we play a few tunes or sing a couple of songs. Of course, I am very aware that sleep is essential, and if there has been a late night dancing and playing music, the waking time is later. It is common enough that as you travel, eat different foods and do physical work, that small ailments can develop: an ache in one set of muscles, a sore throat a minor tummy upset. If you tell me you are not feeling 100 percent you can have your choice of lighter work or the day off to rest completely.
PLEASE,PLEASE, PLEASE DON`T WRITE TO ME IN ENGLISH IF YOU KNOW ANY OTHER LANGUAGE; even a minority language. I can translate any language using Computers, and it will be a pleasure. just let me know what language you are using, and we´ll take it from there.
The aim is to establish a Fukuoka style forest garden with a wide range of edible and useful plants, and eco-friendly, low energy accomodation, where a small community can live without money, fossil fuels or plastic. There is a long, long way to go yet, but a start has been made.
The disadvantages include extremely primitive accomodation and washing facilities, swarms of bloodsucking insects, lots and lots of rain, wind, cold, hailstones and clouds, hard physical work outdoors, remote location, BUT: I'm flexible on volunteering hours and days (as long as you work well and fast), and almost always have availability to take helpers!
If you want to learn or improve your English, I will be helpful, but can only guarantee one hour per day of English conversation (with me). The rest of your english language learning must come either from other helpers, radio, ipod or by you making the effort to visit the local village and talk english there. I much prefer speaking Irish (Gaelic) and if you want to learn a few words, it will be a pleasure.
NO internet (nearest public internet is 8km away). NO television. For the -blatantly obvious reasons, I do not allow the use of mobile phones or computers in the house (There is a covered area outside where you can indulge your addiction). I offer ONE free charge of your electronic gadget per week: if you need more, discuss it with me.
In my house there are musical instruments, a wide selection of books, paper and pencils, clay, wood and knives for carving. There may be interesting people to talk to. If, faced with all this choice, you think you would "like to watch a film" in the evening, then please don't write to me!
Compost toilet (yes, the bucket has to be emptied regularly!). Wash yourself with a bowl of hot water and soap, or try the outdoor bath (light a fire underneath and in half an hour you have a very warm bath).
There are a couple of bikes for the use of helpers. To encourage helpers to take good care of the bikes I request a 50 euro damage deposit, fully refundable if you return the bike in working order. (If you hit a pothole while using the bike, you can buckle the wheel badly, and a new wheel is 40 euro!)
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Cooking and cleaning in the house. Weeding in the polytunnel. Tree planting. Sowing seeds. Moving manure in a wheelbarrow. Mulching. Cutting rushes with a scythe. Small woodwork jobs. Mostly using hand tools. Playing with our daughter.
Soon I'll be starting to build a small cob (mud) house. Tasks will include building a foundation with natural stone, putting up the roof and, of course, mixing and applying lots and lots of glorious mud.
Old Church Slavonic, Old Bulgarian: Beginner
1.Small caravan, suitable for a couple, or for close frriends.
OR 2. Sleep in the attic of my tiny wooden shack, but while there is visual privacy, noises will carry. To spell it out: If you are a couple, you must sleep in the caravan!
My current favourite book is "Born to Run" by Chris McDougall. The best bits of the book are a mindblowing account of the Raramuri tribe of the Sierra Madre mountains of northern Mexico. They wear their own traditional clothes, speak their own language, avoid the use of money (their economy is based on helping each other!), are extremely honest, grow their own food, make their own alcohol and enjoy running long distances even into their 90s. They know none of the major diseases or problems of the "civilised" world. Oh, one other detail: as well as the simple healthy diet, the manual work and helping each other, these guys really know how to party! (using natural, homemade music and alcohol of course).
If you want to learn how to run without getting injured, I can teach you.
I sometimes bring people on kayak tours on the lake, and if there´s space and you´ve worked hard, you will be welcome to come along.
You can learn how to use a scythe, make bread, mix clay and sand to make cob, clean an animal skin and cure it, cut turf, carve wooden spoons and weave baskets from brambles. You can also learn to make felt from raw wool.
There are mountains, lakes and miles of forest, and some of the oldest megalithic structures in Europe within a 30 km radius of here. Plus some amazing surf beaches.
How to get here: Ireland is the island next to Britain. There are ferries from France (16hours) and Britain (4 hours). Check out Stena line and Brittany Ferries.
The nearest airport to me is Knock (Ireland west), but relatively few flights to UK, France, Spain and maybe a few other places. Belfast and Dublin are about the same distance, but there´s more choice to Dublin.
From Dublin, take a bus (bus eireann) or train (iarnrod eireann) to Sligo. I live in LEITRIM, but go to Sligo first. The train is very expensive but if you book online in advance you might get a oneway ticket for 10euro. From Sligo there are two buses a day (except Sunday) to DROMAHAIRE. From there, you can get a cab (I reccommend Ciaran Clinton 0879164000: he knows where I live and does the trip for 10euro) to my place, which is in the townland of KILLAVOGGY. It´s 500 metres up the hill from Killavoggy church. It's best to text Ciaran the day BEFORE you arrive, as he is often busy.
If you take the taxi all the way from Sligo it´s only 30 euro (with Ciaran Clintons cab). The single bus ticket Sligo Dromahaire is about 6 euro.
If you decide to walk from Sligo, it´s only about 25km. BE WARNED! There is part of this route which is on a narrow, busy, curvy road, with NO FOOTPATH. It is EXTREMELY dangerous, and if you walk it you must pay very careful attention to the traffic, and be prepared to jump into the ditch at a moment's notice! In Sligo, find the Garravogue River and follow it along through Doorly Park as far as the path goes (a fabulous walk through woodland), and then keep going on the road, past the Holy Well (Tobernalt), until you rejoin the busier main road about 1 km before Dooney Rock. For the next 3km you´re on a busy, narrow, windy road, so take extreme care. But once you reach Slish Wood, your troubles are over. There´s 4km of delicious track (no cars) through woodland on the shores the spectacular Lough Gill. You go back on the road at Inishfree, but these are very quiet roads, another few km to the quanit village of Dromahaire, past the ruins of monastery and over the River Bonnet.
Walking from Dromahaire to Killavoggy: Only 8km. Go out the village in the direction of Manorhamilton, past the Clubhouse Bar, and just past the nursing home, the main road bends left and the minor road goes straight ahead. Take the minor road for a few km until you ´get to 5 Crossroads. Don´t take the main road to your left, take the next left, a smaller road. Follow this road, staying on the main road until you get to Killavoggy. If you get lost, ask somebody. Unless it's nighttime, nobody will mind if you wave down a car or knock on a door to ask directions.
Hitching. People do it, and it sometimes works very well. But take great care who you get into the car with! And make sure the driver is bringing you to somewhere close to your destination.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
variable 25 hour max