Help create a residential edible garden and communal meeting space in Central Ballarat, Australia



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 Min stay requested: 1 week or less

  • Description


    The host is an experienced organic fruit and vegetable gardener and community volunteer seeking to develop an edible garden and vibrant meeting place suitable for private and community use in a large residential house block in Central Ballarat. Workers are needed at the pictured student accommodation and another guesthouse. Both properties are located within Central Ballarat (1.8km apart), within walking distance of many tourist attractions. Workers usually help at both properties, gardening, building, creating, maintaining and cleaning. The hosts grown family are studying and working, so the main contact is with the host, who works part-time in community support. Stays available for up to one week. Potential for longer-term stay for suitable multi-skilled volunteer by negotiation. Accommodation provided at the student house.

    Current plantings include: numerous native edible plants, feijoa, apple, plums, olives, pear, nashi, lemon, lime, blueberry, bay, grapes and two 1m x 6m vegetable garden beds - supported by a 5,000 gallon rainwater tank. The host lives locally and visits daily to develop and maintain the property. Plans are underway to create a wood-fired oven and fire-pit, seating suitable for groups, space for experimenting with primitive technology, survival skills, fruit and vegetable garden, building and recycling, creative visual and sculptural art, and camp cooking. The host is inspired by Australian, indigenous and multi-cultural food, bio-dynamic and organic gardening, permaculture and other design principals. Fenced areas are required to keep poultry and protect future beehives.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    The host is an experienced organic fruit and vegetable gardener with an interest in poultry, recycling, sustainability, community art and education, primitive technology, earth building and survival skills. The host usually takes volunteers on a short tour of Ballarat on arrival and visits the oldest operating fire station in the Southern Hemisphere and explores local antiques and collectibles during their visit if volunteers are interested. The property is located centrally, with easy access by foot or public transport to the many local attractions listed below, which volunteers may enjoy visiting on their own. The host works part-time and has many community connections and interests, so the cultural exchange is primarily supported by the close proximity to the Central Ballarat tourist precinct and the volunteer/host conversations and experiences during the working day. The host often works in the late afternoon/evening and may not always be available on the work-free days due to work commitments, so volunteers need to feel comfortable in their own company for periods of time during their stay.

  • Help


    We appreciate help with the following:

    -building new vegetable garden beds & gardening
    -moving branches, raking & tidying yard after pruning fruit trees
    -building more raised beds for vegetables
    -artists painting on timber in the fruit and vegetable garden
    -household duties/cleaning
    -planting more fruit trees
    -building composting area
    -cob/earth building
    -wood–fired oven building
    -fencing for chooks & espaliers
    -building a small tool and chook shed
    -stacking firewood
    -internal and external wall preparation for painting
    -applying undercoat/paint to garden posts and pickets
    -painting iron & timber fences

    Ideally, visitors will need to have the the capacity to carry out easy to moderately physically demanding tasks during their stay.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Accommodation: Sleep in the pictured comfortable student guesthouse in private, lockable twin-single or double bedroom, or your own accommodation if you have something suitable. Visitors have access to kitchen, bathroom, laundry, dining room, sunroom and garden and may be sharing the common areas with members of the host family, guests or other volunteers. All bedrooms and front entry have digital keyless entry. The pictured walking trail is located opposite the student house. There is very good NBN Wireless Internet and no TV. PLEASE NOTE: Whilst the host usually works alongside visitors she may occasionally be called to work (on-call) unexpectedly, so suits independent, experienced helpers who feel comfortable helping without the company of the host on occasions. The host lives locally, and visits each day - a family member will usually stay overnight in the student house when a helper visits.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Ballarat is about 100km north-west of Melbourne - approx. $15 one-way off-peak fare by train. The student accommodation is centrally located, about 1km walk to Ballarat CBD, supermarket, railway station and many tourist attractions. A shuttle bus costs $35 from Melbourne airport to Ballarat. Volunteers can walk to the student house and let themselves in with the digital code if the host is at work on their day of arrival.

    Ballarat is home to the Wathaurong indigenous people. Ballarat is a well-renowned regional tourist destination built during the Gold Rush with many beautiful heritage buildings. Visit Sovereign Hill Museum, Ballarat Wildlife Park, Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat Botanic Gardens, Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail, Ballarat Tramway Museum, Sturt Street Gardens and Statues, Lake Wendouree, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Ballarat Old General Cemetery, Ballarat Fire Station, Ballarat Municipal Observatory and Museum, Gold Museum, Arch of Victory, Ballarat Bird World, restaurants, cafes, live theatre, music and cinema. There are a number of great local nature reserves to explore if you have a pushbike or enjoy walking - one is directly opposite the student house.

    Please provide suitable Photo ID on arrival. We prefer volunteers visiting from outside Australia to have current travel insurance during their stay. We prefer to host non-smokers.

    Whole foods and a pantry of supplies suitable for self-preparation are provided. The gardens also produce some fruit, nuts, vegetables and greens. Volunteers need to be self-reliant and be capable of preparing and cooking good, whole food for themselves or be guided to learn from the host. The host is a shift-worker and may not always be available to share the evening meal with volunteers.

  • 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

  • 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: 924498454261