We are retired farmers living in rural Co. Down. Our daughter has returned from Australia to live on the farm and has introduced us to permaculture.
Co. Down is an area of drumlins (small hills), narrow roads and hedges making it both interesting and beautiful. Our farm has views of the Mourne Mountains, The Sperrins and Belfast. We have many local National Trust properties nearby, including those used to film The Game of Thrones and The GoT have opened an exhibition centre close to us, which is very popular. (See their website)
Our nearest seaside resort is 40 minutes drive; it is beside a long stretch of beach, owned by the National Trust, where grey seals bask, as well as having sand dunes with flora and fauna.
We try to live sustainably - reduce, reuse, recycle - and try to reduce our carbon footprint. We have solar electricity and use our own wood for heating.
We are not vegetarians, but do not eat meat every day. While appreciating vegan principles, we eat eggs, butter, etc. most days so find vegans difficult to fit into our lifestyle.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Ireland has many cultural sites, some of them dating thousands of years. We have a few archeological sites quite near us, but the Giants Causeway on the North Coast is too far for a day trip - some volunteers go for a weekend. Depending on the time of year there may be festivals, otherwise we can direct volunteers to cultural events and entertainments.
Belfast is now a vibrant city and is approx. 50 minutes by bus. The bus to Dublin takes two hours and it calls at Dublin airport.
We are happy to share our knowledge of soil regeneration and gardening with you.
There will be opportunities to learn to bake bread, as well as cakes and pastries. In season, you may help with processing produce into jams, chutneys and pickles.
We need volunteers who are interested in the environment and biodiversity. You MUST have experience of gardening e.g. know a plant from a weed and be able to work unsupervised.
We have two wooded areas and need help to shape them by pruning in the winter during the dormant season, tidying, providing for wildlife, etc. They are great places to practice meditation, yoga or tai chi.
Our garden always needs attention, especially our organic vegetable garden where we try to grow as much of our own food as possible. We mostly follow permaculture principles, using the ‘no dig’ method. As well, we have planted up additional fruit trees to start a fruit forest.
We enjoy our flowers and grow bee friendly species. We have tried to make our flower garden easier to manage, but of course, there are always weeds!
We are restoring the farmhouse next door so any DIY skills would be useful. As well we need help to tidy, paint and repair our farmyards. The garden is our priority, any other skills would be a bonus.
The accommodation is in a caravan beside us. This has mains electricity and running water, toilet and gentle shower, though we allow volunteers to use our bathroom and share our main meals.
You are welcome to use our sitting room to read, etc. It has a small television and a stereo player. But we hope you would spend some time in the den with us as we enjoy learning about other lifestyles.
If COVID-19 returns, it would be extremely difficult to keep you with us as the cooking facilities in the caravan have been disconnected.
Our small local town (approx. 10 mins. drive) has coffee shops, cinema etc. and we are willing to take volunteers there and will collect you up to 11 pm. Otherwise, there are plenty of taxis.
Our farm is a good place to “chill out”. But if you are interested in lively nightlife, we are not for you. Banbridge has little hotel accommodation, so bars only have music at weekends and currently that would be modern or country, but not traditional.
Two people are ideal, being company for each other. We will try to take volunteers on outings, especially at weekends and depending on government guidelines.
You would be living in a caring environment where we focus on others qualities and we aim to show love and respect to everyone.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We now have full fibre broadband with reasonable speeds.
Living on a farm, we have several areas suitable for a camper van.
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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