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We are a couple who are converting an old market garden into an edible forest garden and are newbies in this area - so if you have experience with woodwork, renovation or have worked on permaculture projects before we are really going to welcome you. If you want to find out more about permaculture you can download a free book here
We have a few broad themes to engage with the next few months -
-Energy, finishing projects with solar heating and plumbing in a tank, wind turbine
- Harnessing water setting up guttering, butts and water storage, digging a french drain
- mapping the land and planning for earthworks and ponds
sinking a borehole and creating a pond, plus swales/ terraces
- preparing the soil, lot of wheelbarrowing mulching with plastic cardboard etc, making hugelbeds, prepping polytunnel
In February we would like to prepare some sewing beds, turn over the allium garden, repair the greenhouse, make cold frames, polyhoops, erect tellises and supports for beans and peas....
From late February we go into seed production mode and setting up more plant beds!
There is always ongoing woodchopping, weed control, propagating plants, autumn planting, watering, as well as foraging and cooking.
If you have horticultural experience and are intrigued by the idea of permaculture and cultivating edible perennials you can learn alongside us. It's a few acres in the beautiful countryside of Taunton Deane with a small off grid eco-house, a few polytunnels and hopefully soon some ducks, as well as a separate area for workaway volunteers.
We are happy to welcome you if you have experience with permaculture, forest gardens or growing edible perennials, or organic gardening as we are newbies and are still getting to grips with the site! It is good for people who want to learn about permaculture and forest gardens or organic gardeners... we are doing a Permaculture Design Course this year.
It would suit a couple, or two friends. A single person if you like peace and quiet and are happy with your own company too - and if you are a couple who likes to be in nature or go for local walks this place will suit you. We have a couple of bicycles. We have two young kittens who are building confidence, and we will be getting some rescue hens and ducks once the weather improves.
This summer we can accomodate couples in the caravan; We have a caravan with a double bed ( with wood burning stove), and another caravan that we will be renovating, as well as camping options in the summer. We also have a couple of tents if you want to camp near the orchard.
If you have your own vehicle it's a good place to park up. There is a basic kitchen up top and a compost toilet.
This is not a suitable placement for a young person who is primarily looking to improve their English language, and loves socialising as it tends to be quiet here, as we go to bed early....
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!
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 .... If you know about propogating plants that would be a great skill to contribute.
There's always trying to keep on top of planting, watering and weeding. , strimming and scything as well as mowing with a tractor. 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 - and the defunct wind turbine... and finishing off the chicken tractor. 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, but no bees have taken occupation yet so that project will need more study.
This gives you some idea of the sorts of things that might be going on if you come...
We have done a lot of tree-planting around the perimeter now, and propogating trees in the poytunnel. There is still pruning to do, splitting comfrey and rhubarb and planting out perennials in the spring.
There's also a bit of help on upgrading the chicken house - making sure it's fox and rat proof - and creating some storage areas. We have plenty of pallet wood for making basic structures. The sheds could all do with some attention.
If you love creating log workshops with a green roof that's a project for the late summer, 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 ......
In the winter weather we have a single sofabed downstairs, so long as you are okay with kittens running in and out.
In the summer, you have your own caravan with a comfy mattress and a small wood burning stove, which is right next to the barn kitchen and some herbs. It is in a shady place and next to the polytunnel
There is a shady grassed area nearby, with table and chairs where it's lovely to hang out and drink herb tea.
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. At present 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....
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. Cereals are available for breakfast and herb teas... there are different varieties of mint outside the barn kitchen area. When we have chickens and then 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 we have a lot of berries and fruit
Please note that we are off grid, so this is not a venue for someone who expects city comforts. Our hot water supply depends on solar power.
The property is in the Somerset countryside - nearest train station Taunton - but you would probably need your own transport. We have bicycles and are doing up a small electric car for local trips .... it's a couple of miles to the closest village. There is a small community run outdoor pool there, and also a lake.
You will need to enjoy your own company as we do not have groups of people here
As we have recently moved in we are still networking with the local community. 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!
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Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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