Greetings fellow travellers!
My name's Daniel, and I've been a volunteer on Workaway since 2012. In 2016 I purchased a stone cottage with just over an acre of land in rural County Sligo on the west coast of Ireland. I'm looking for enthusiastic volunteers to assist me in the restoration of the cottage and outbuildings (no expertise required), and development of the land into a permaculture smallholding, which is already well underway.
I have a partner, Angela, who lives in a nearby town while we're completing the restoration of the cottage, but visits as often as she can to lend a hand, especially during the warmer months.
As a volunteer, you'll be staying in a private cabin which I built in 2020 (also pictured) with a kitchen, shower, sleeping and living area. It sleeps up to two people, so you may or may not be sharing this space with another volunteer. There is electricity, for phone and laptop charging, basic internet, and hot and cold running water, though as this has to be pumped from a spring on site, I ask that volunteers be conservative in their water usage. There's a gas stove for cooking, and all the equipment you could need. I've even fitted the beds with electric blankets for those chilly Irish nights!
Aide avec des éco-projets
Bricolage et projets de construction
S’occuper des animaux
Aide dans une ferme
Cuisine/repas pour la famille
Aide à la maison
The cottage is situated close to Lough Gara (pictured) and a short drive from the Curlew mountains. It's surrounded by rural countryside, wild moorland and forestry (great for walking). The ocean is an hour's drive west, but I'm an avid explorer of beaches and coastline, so there will be occasional opportunities for adventure if you're interested in tagging along (weather and covid restrictions dependent). The local village, with a population of less than a hundred, is a fifteen minute hike down the road. You'll find a welcoming pub, but very little else.
If you're feeling brave, and it's a particularly hot day, then Lough Gara is great for wild swimming, and we usually go every few weeks in the summer! I also have a bicycle, which I'd be happy to lend you if you'd like to venture out on your own. Lough Key Forest Park and the megalithic tombs on Carrowkeel mountain are about an hour's bike ride away. Ballaghaderreen is the nearest town - about a thirty minute bike ride away. There you'll find restaurants, supermarkets, and a great many quaint little shops with brightly-coloured facades that sell things you probably won't find anywhere else (or indeed have any use for).
I'm looking for helpers (one or two at a time) and can pick you up from Ballaghaderreen, which is connected directly to Dublin airport and city by bus. Alternatively, Knock airport is just thirty minutes drive from the cottage, so if you're flying directly to western Ireland then I can pick you up straight from the airport.
The ideal volunteer would be someone with an established interest in self-sufficiency, particularly vegetable-growing, permaculture, or building restoration, who loves animals (I currently have pigs, chickens, ducks, rabbits, cats and a dog), and hopes to incorporate what they learn here into their own lives in the future. A genuine passion for how I live, and desire to learn is essential, as is a willingness to get your hands dirty, with much of the work being outside, whatever the weather! A good level of basic fitness is important, as you will be on your feet most of the day. Wellies, or fully waterproof boots, are a requirement (it gets very muddy here) and can be purchased locally for about €15, as is a waterproof coat. Flip-flops are optional... :)
The work will be varied, depending on the time of year, weather and your area of interest. Over the warmer months there's plenty to do outside: planting, weeding, landscaping, harvesting, etc, and it will be a great opportunity for anyone interested in horticulture to learn first-hand as I'm always happy to share what knowledge I have. I'm also focused on restoration work on the cottage and outbuildings, which volunteers are welcome to assist me with, but bear in mind this is unskilled work, and I'm certainly not looking for professionals. And of course there's always basic tasks, like cooking, cleaning, washing, etc.
You'll have two full days off per week. Food is provided, a great deal of which is home-grown from the veg and herb garden (depending on the season). I don't eat meat, but there are eggs from the chickens/ducks, milk and cheese, as well as peas, beans, lentils and other sources of protein. There will be sugary treats, such as biscuits and cookies, for hard-working helpers, but food is expensive in Ireland, so if you have a penchant for luxuries like dark chocolate or imported fruits, you will have to purchase your own when in town!
A cabin on site, custom built for volunteers (as of May 2020), with a private bed, shared bathroom/kitchen/living space.
I'm a published writer by trade and have some experience teaching English, so if you'd like to practise and improve your language skills whilst here then I'd be glad to help, though ideally this should be secondary to your interest in our lifestyle here. Also, please write your introductory letter in English!
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
Cet hôte a de la place pour les vans.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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