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A little bit about us. René (46, economist in a think tank in Vienna), Elke (39, veterinarian for swine & poultry), Raphael (8, unemployed philosopher), Ilja (6, toddler rebel and inquisitor) and Valerie (3, feminist master of unicorns) are the exhausted but happy inhabitants of a small and very old farm on the edges of the Dunkelsteinerwald (dark stone forest) just north of the provincal capital (St. Pölten) of Niederösterreich near Vienna. Our 6 horses (lead by spinster Flora), a flock of chickens, a bunch of cats (I really don't know how that happened!?) and two undeniably charming Dalmatian dogs (Nathan The White & Nervous Nelly) make our home quite lively. Not to forget the bird families, hedgehogs and other little critters that made our inner courtyard and in some unfortunate cases, my workshop, their homes.
We have a keen interest in gardening and enhancing our grade of self-sufficiency and extending the garden. Thus, we've built the horse, cow and chicken stables ourselves and are continuously renovating and upgrading the farm. This summer, we have torn down parts of the roof and are now building a new floor on top of our house. That is a lot of work and can be very interesting especially for handy(wo)men who want to help us with that, well, adventure.
In general, the range of help needed (see below), is wide and of course also depends on the interest of the helper. We grow some fruits (apples, pears, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts,...), some veggies and turn them into wonderful jams, compotes, juices and things that have no English name like wonderful Powidl. We used to have free range turkeys, cows and broilers, but we are done with eating animals for numerous reasons. We miss having them but we don't want to kill them anymore. Thus, Tofu, Seitan, soy, pea protein and Tempeh have moved in with us.
Our place is great for taking short trips to the surrounding area (E.g.: the famous region of Wachau around the river Danube) to trek/cycle from winery to winery, to old fortresses on the hills alongside the river or just visit gorgeous towns like Melk, Krems and Dürnstein by foot, we can provide you with useful maps, tips and (mountain-) bikes. If you like spending time strolling/running over fields and meadows or take a mountain bike up the wooded hills behind our farm, you'll love it here. Especially since nothing is as refreshing like cooling down in the pond on hot days after a long hike or hard work. We might just join you on a few excursions, as we are very enthusiastic about those pleasant things in life.
After a busy day we love to light the bonfire for bbq, the wood fired clay pizza oven or spend an evening cooking with/for friends and having lively discussions about interesting topics like politics, economics, music, life and whatever comes to our mind. At least as long as Raphael, Ilja and Valerie let us...
Coming originally from Vienna, which both of us dearly love, we can provide you with good recommendations on where to go and what to see - sightseeing, museums, going out to nice cafés and bars, to the theater and if you love football and are ready to chant and jump with the Ultras, you can join René to matches of SK Rapid Wien. The city is only a 10 min car plus a 25 min high speed train ride from our tiny village.
Please consider us as your hosts of choice only if you really are energetic adults, that take initiative, are reliable and willing to join the family rhythm (and don't smoke)! We'd also love to hear your ideas on tackling things, since we are far from being real farmers, yet. If you actively want to take part in our little project and feel like we have common interests, we are happy to have you as our long term guest(s). Also please be aware that due to environmental and animal welfare reasons, we eat very little meat.
(in Covid News: We have already contracted Covid in Nov'20 and are now, of course, vaccinated. You can already guess, no anti-vaxxers, pls.)
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Help around the house
We have horses, chickens, dogs, cats and bees. And since your main job will be to take very good care of the animals, you will learn much about and around these lovely creatures. Have we mentioned that Elke is a vet? So there is a resource of answers for your questions. When we slaughter, you will take part in the whole process of making a wide variety of delicious foods like Salami, sausages, dumplings etc. Same goes for harvesting and processing fruits and veggies, of course depending on the season (jam, cider, apple juice,...).
We are constantly renovating and improving the farm or building more rooms. By helping us, you can learn to build/repair fences, gates, coat walls with clay, build stuff from wood, how to plant an apple orchard and so on.
And last but not least, since you will enjoy (hopefully) complete inclusion into our family, you will experience our Viennese culture (dark and demanding humour, great cuisine, music, etc) and our -partly horrible- history. If your up for it, politics, economics, alternative food/farming practices and history are interminable sources of conversation.
If you you read through the reviews we received so far, you will find a whole lot of information about us and what staying here entails in terms of work, experience and cultural exchange.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
So what do we expect?
Depending on your skills and interests, we are grateful to have a helping hand:
a) ... continue/finish building the new floor on top of our house. The outer walls and the roof are done. Now we are starting to build the interior. laying the floor, plasting the walls and all sorts of jobs that come with it.
b) For the time being, we would love to find someone form an English speaking country, who loves to spend time with children, wants to stay with us for a longer time (say 3 months and upwards) and helps us with looking after them and with the daily business of keeping afloat. So even if you don´t have any experience with horses etc, our place could be just right for you.
c) with the horses (watering, mucking out etc) the garden (weeding, planting, picking fruits, pruning, ) with our animals (feeding, watering, mucking out, being really nice to them) and wherever something needs to be processed (jams, juices, cider, sausages,...), repaired, built or refurbished.
Our next projects:
tending the garden, building raised beds, tile the Pizza oven, build a couple of wood benches for the garden, plant trees, repair stuff, picking and processing fruits (eg apples and turn them into fine traditional English cider (October, mostly), plums to make delicious "Powidl"), cutting & storing firewood for winter,...
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.
You'll have your own room with your own entrance, an extra kitchen and bath/toilet. Truly high speed internet with access to our media server.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
we have broadband internet
This host can provide space for campervans.
as long as they are well trained, don't hunt chickens, cats and don't poop/pee everywhere.
depending on the weather, season & workload - max 25
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