My husband and I have an 120 acre farm about 25km from Ballarat in Victoria . We use organic farming methods and milk dairy goats, breed sheep for a gourmet butcher and have a number of old rare breeds of animals including Dexter cattle, Aylesbury ducks, Dorking and Scots Grey hens, Sicilian donkeys as well as peacocks, pheasants, geese and a large vegetable garden and orchard.
We grow a great deal of what we eat and preserve fruit and vegetables for our own use, trading and for small markets.
We eat meat ( our own ) and also run an accommodation service which also offers full catering. We also run cheesemaking and breadmaking and foraging 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.
We are interested in politics, art , music and good food.
We have a substantial library and have a lot of visitors .
We also have dogs who come into the house during the evening including a middle aged Irish Wolfhound as well as an ancient Staghound and a younger farm dog. We have four 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 .
if you ask to come here , we will send you a very clear document about what is expected of you and work practices.
NOTE!!!!!!!!!! WE NO LONGER TAKE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO EXPERIENCE OF RURAL LIFE !!!!!!! WE INSIST that you read our whole profile . This is not a cute 5 acre plaything. This is a real organic farm.
Rural life on a real farm is hard. You MUST get up early . The food is very very good here and everyone is healthy. We 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 we are on about.
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
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. We are 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 we 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 !!!
Accommodation is in the house. Helpers have their own private bedrooms and share a bathroom with each other . We are happy to take couples ( same sex also very welcome) or singles. We can take up to four extra helpers at a time.
The bedrooms are pretty and light and comfortable.
We 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.....
We are VERY hard workers and get up at 5.00am every morning to milk our goats. We do NOT expect helpers to do this, but we find laziness very irritating . We do expect helpers to get out of bed before 7.00 am and to be cheerful. My husband has cancer and it is in STAGE 4 which means he will NEVER GET BETTER!!!!!!!. He has a very positive attitude. We are a close family and our daughter and son in law and grandsons visit regularly. We also have older children and grandchildren in their twenties who live interstate now.
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, USING ELECTRIC HEATERS IS A TOTAL NO NO !!!!!!!!!!!!- We never do , we just wear the right clothes and rely on our wood fires. if you wear SYNTHETICS and NYLON here and do not have the right clothes, we will lend you second hand clothes - which is what we wear. We will under no circumstances tolerate people who want to look fashionable on this farm who will not wear second hand clothes.
We will not tolerate people who waste food, electricity, time. WE DO NOT WASTE ANYTHING !!!!!!!!!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week