My husband has recently died and I have an 120 acre farm about 25km from Ballarat in Victoria . I use organic farming methods and used to milk a lot of dairy goats, but now I only milk one. I still breed sheep and have a number of old rare breeds of animals including Dexter cattle, Aylesbury ducks, Dorking and Scots Grey hens, peacocks, finches , quail, Pilgrim geese and a large neglected vegetable garden and a productive orchard.
I grow a great deal of what we eat and preserve fruit and vegetables for our own use, trading and for small markets.
I eat meat ( our own ) and also sometimes run an accommodation service which also offers full catering. I also run workshops.
We have hosted through other volunteer/hosting sites for many years and have a lot of long term interns.
Accommodation is in the house ( we have six bedrooms) and is extremely comfortable and pretty .
We always have several volunteers at the same time .
I speak both French and German enough to have a conversation.
I am interested in politics, art , music and good food.
I have a substantial library and have a lot of visitors .
I also have dogs who come into the house including a Irish Wolfhound puppy as well younger farm dog. We have three cats, some of which are in the house at times.
There is a lot to do on the farm here- there is always something happening .
There are a LOT of visitors here. Young people and older friends. I also regularly care for my grandsons ( aged 3 and 5)
if you ask to come here , I will send you a very clear document about what is expected of you and work practices.
I need help to get my vegetable garden back on track . I manage most of the rest of the farm myself. This will be hard physical work involving weeding, ( the weeds are big, so it's easy) ,carting the weeds away, mulching beds, making borders, whippersnippering, planting seeds, setting up watering systems ....
Rural life on a real farm is hard. You MUST get up early . The food is very very good here and everyone is healthy. I need people who are genuine, tell us the truth in their profiles and are prepared to be part of farm life. This is NOT a holiday park and doing the minimum and sitting around on Facebook is not what I am on about.
Sometimes people have stayed here a very long time - 8 or 9 months and I am fine with that.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We love to discuss cultural differences and learn about current affairs. We have a great laugh at the dinner table most evenings. Sometimes helpers play music together ( we have a large collection of instruments) . You will learn all sorts of rural skills- goatkeeping, incubating chickens, brewing, distilling, preserving, soap and cheese making, foraging, Op Shopping........
All volunteers help with farming and gardening. I am flexible about what is done, but it is mostly outside, not inside. Help is a maximum of five days a week. We all eat together ( the food is generous and there is always wine and beer), but help in cleaning up after meals is not regarded as " work" . At the moment I need help with painting, signwriting , market gardening, planting and preserving. People who can milk goats , cut wood or or do fencing are more than welcome !!!
This host offers a language exchange
I am always happy to improve my language skills in french and German or to learn more Italian !
Accommodation is in the house or can be in a separate house on the farm for families . All helpers have their own private bedrooms and share a bathroom with each other . I am happy to take couples ( same sex also very welcome) or singles or families . We can take up to four extra helpers at a time.
Rooms are pretty and light and comfortable.
I go into Ballarat about twice a week. That is the major town near here and has a very vibrant artisitc , sporting and social life. Helpers with cars have many many local places to visit nearby- especially small towns with specialty bakeries, rivers, lakes, mountains, wineries, markets, fishing spots.....
I have always been a hard worker in every profession ( I managed health services for a long time ) and find laziness very irritating . I expect helpers to get out of bed before 7.00 am and to be cheerful. I am a very positive person and we have lots pf positive and fun visitors- young and old.
Transport here is limited, but generally someone is going into town .
Wifi is EXTREMELY limited . We do not generally give our Wifi password to helpers unless they will be careful.
A love of animals, a strong work ethic, a positive attitude and zest for life are essential to be part of making the most from your experience.
We love artists and welcome creativity.
We will not tolerate the following - lying, laziness, a patriarchal attitude to women, drug taking, keeping bedroom dirty.
If you wear SYNTHETICS and NYLON here and do not have the right clothes, I will lend you second hand clothes - which is what I wear. This is not dirty, it is what farmers do. We will under no circumstances tolerate people who want to look fashionable on this farm who will not wear second hand clothes.
I do not tolerate people who waste food, electricity or my time. I DO NOT WASTE ANYTHING !!!!!!!!!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Not an issue.
Yes, but we expect people to look after their pets properly.
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week