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Help developing an off-grid permaculture project in rural Somerset, UK

  • United Kingdom
  • Favourited 496 times
  • Last activity: 21 Mar 2023




  • Description


    We are a couple who are creating an edible forest garden while sorting out wind turbine energy and water catchment systems to sustain us through the year. We live simply, off-grid (We do have good internet and mains water tho, so not fully off grid. D is an expert on solar systems and runs an e vehicle from the solar panels. Our solar water heating system is very efficient - showers on sunny days only!

    If anyone has experience with topping trees (chainsaws) we'd love some help in February.
    We'll be lining a few small ponds in when the ground is less waterlogged.

    If someone has some experience with conversions and would like to learn more about converting a shed into a shepherd's hut, we have someone coming to work on tis late february

    As well as growing staples, this year we need to focus on improving our housing - converting a horsebox into sleeping accommodation, treating all the wooden terracing and sheds to delay water infiltration, final lime coat to the cob house, so we would especially appreciate handy volunteers who have construction experience or related skills to these projects.

    In the spring someone might like to create cold frames from pallets and later on trellises etc from willow and bamboo.

    We have loads of pallets and falling down sheds and have made a couple of wood store to dry the wood out......

    If you know how to extend a roof structure just let me know!

    We are happy to welcome couples and we also have ongoing projects improving water catchment systems, woodchipping and preparing the soil with mulch etc.

    Please get in touch and let me know a bit about your interests and your skills and we will see if we're a good fit.

    Best wishes

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    This project is great for you if you are exploring the possibilities of permaculture but don't have access to land and may be wanting to develop skills while looking for your own project.

    We have met many lovely and dedicated people on permie training courses and would love to welcome you in this opportunity to see how it is starting a project pretty much from scratch. We would be learning and implementing together!

  • Help


    As newbies we would appreciate someone experienced with horticulture who knows what weeds are and what plants need right now. Some tasks that need doing in the next few months are propagating plants that would be a great skill to contribute.

    There's always trying to keep on top of planting, watering and weeding, strimming and trimming overhanging branches as well as mowing with a tractor. Let us know if you have experience with a chainsaw as various piles of wood still need processing. Mulching around trees with cardboard and straw, composting, and for those with experience building compost toilets outside, putting a coat of lime on barn and house.

    My partner will probably be preoccupied with planning - the defunct wind turbine... and creating a chicken tractor. We have runner ducks. A series of ponds will need putting in with a digger at some point.

    We have a beehive and have been planting the orchard with beeplants.

    This gives you some idea of the sorts of things that might be going on if you come...

    There's also a bit of help creating some storage areas. We have plenty of pallet wood for making basic structures. The sheds are falling down and could do with some breeze block base support and a virtual rebuild. There's a rocket mass stove build needed before autumn and then there's finishing the last coat of render on the straw bale house.

    Later in the season there's canning and pressing apples, cider and making herbal remedies ......

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    In the cool weather, you have your own caravan with a comfy mattress and a small wood burning stove. At present hot shower water is limited on days that are not sunny! We're working on it ....

    There is also plenty of space for camping. I have started a living willow structure - which will take a year or two to develop....

    Next year we may have a converted horsebox sleeping room...

    Toilets are bucket loos with sawdust and the property is off-grid, but is connected with water - and wifi. There is a sink in the kitchen area.

    The caravan has its own compost loo which will need to be emptied in the compost bay.

    You will eat a vegetarian meal for your main meal, which will be lentils or legume based with vegetables and salads. We will be planting our own edible fruit and vegetable so feel free to forage as you wish. Oat cereals are available for breakfast and herb teas... there are different varieties of mint outside the barn kitchen area.

    In late summer you can forage for fruits - berries, apples. You can help yourself to eggs! We are vegetarian and eat a lot of greens! Dharma tends to do fried egg and beans as a fallback, so if you like cooking it is good to have variety...

    Cooking is mainly from food grown on the land, so dishes will be from seasonal ingredients. Brassicas grow really well here and tree spinach. we have a lot of berries and fruit

    Please note that we are off grid and the facilities are basic, so this is not a venue for someone who expects city comforts. Our hot water supply depends on solar power.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The property is in the Somerset countryside - nearest train station Taunton - but you would probably need your own transport as it's a couple of miles to the closest village. There is a small community run outdoor pool there - open from April

    You will need to enjoy your own company as we do not usually have groups of people here

    We are still networking with the local community, as we had not long moved in before covid. We are covid aware and eat out on the deck or in a large kitchen if the weather is not so good. It's very peaceful and quiet here but you can keep your own hours. Sometimes there will be only one person on site, sometimes two (a couple)

    This place is great if you like time to draw, write, read or contemplate!

  • 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

    We have a spot for a small one - no electric hook up though except for sunny weather.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 817946533812

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