Cherry Blossom Farm

We are looking for 2 people to join us next year from March onwards.
We have been hosts for nine years through alternative sites, and have had many positive experiences with our volunteers and positive feedbacks.
We do not take anyone for less than 3 weeks as we find it gives the best experience for volunteers and us, as hosts. Dates are flexible, but must be a minimum of 3 weeks.
We aim to live as sustainably as possible and grow as much of our own food as we can. We hope volunteers will learn about keeping poultry, growing your own food and having as little impact on the planet as possible.
Tasks include everything which goes into running a smallholding. From collecting fruit and veg for storing, preparing the kitchen garden, digging flower beds to chopping wood for the winter and renovating duck houses and chicken sheds.
We ask for 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. This will consist of 4 hours work plus letting birds out in the morning and putting them in in the evening.

Routines:
A vital part of the help we need is the daily poultry care which consists of:
Morning routine 8am (later in winter): Letting the birds out (an 10 minute job for one person)
The working day starts at 9am with the bird routines; checking they have clean water, collecting eggs, labelling and storing them, then varied work finishing at 1pm.
Evening routine for the birds is between 6.30pm and 7.30pm in summer (earlier in winter): Feeding, and shutting the birds away, second egg collection.
All the birds need cleaning out once a week.
The rest of the days work required here varies with the time of the year - from digging over neglected flower beds to stone wall building. Carpentry is a huge benefit since we have chicken sheds and goose houses in need of renovation/replacement.

With a kitchen garden providing much of our veg, in the summer and autumn, and an acre of garden I need additional help with gardening and garden maintenance including fruit picking, and preparation, in season.

We are still in the process of renovating my sadly neglected flower beds, this can involve some heavy digging because, although the ground has been dug over before we are on heavy clay so you do need to be reasonably fit. We also have an acre of lawns/grass which need cutting and maintaining during the growing season.

With an acre to look after plus lots of animals there are always projects on the go.

Days/Time off:
So in total we are looking for 5 hours per day (including some time morning and evening for poultry duty) 5 days per week, with 2 days off.
Because the birds need putting to bed in the evening this does mean that free time in the afternoon becomes very short in the winter as it gets dark early.
We live just outside Torquay in the beautiful county of Devon. There are good shops about a mile (under 2Km) away and we have bicycles you can borrow. The nearest bus stop is under a mile away (about 1.5Km) and Torquay town is a 15 minute bus ride away. Once in Torquay there are good links to the rest of the West Country with many wonderful places to visit. A day ticket on the buses cost just £6.50 and includes all buses in the area.
We are always happy to help you to get around on your days off. 

Hopefully volunteers will come here because they want to join in our various projects and become involved, this is not a cheap way to have a holiday.
Accommodation:
In exchange for the work our helpers have their own private self contained bungalow with it's own kitchen and living space. The bedrooms all have en-suite shower rooms. 
We provide all bed linen and towels and essentials. (soap etc)

Meals:
Because you have your own kitchen we provide essential food items for breakfast and a snack lunch which you prepare for yourself. There are shops within a 25 minute walk from the house if you want to provide extras for your self.

I cook a full meal in the evening for us all to enjoy together. This is our opportunity to talk, exchange views and learn about each other. 
We do not eat red meat and I do not buy any. I am sorry but I can not provide for a vegan diet.

We do try to live as eco friendly as we can and request that people respect this by not wasting food, water and electricity.
I am sorry but we do not take smokers
A TV is provided and internet access is available.

Ideally we would like someone, or a couple, who would like to stay for a few weeks or even months, assuming that we all get on. Compatibility is all important to us as is communication. If there are problems it is better to talk to us about them.
Although you have your own house to live in you are sharing our home so it is really important for us to know that we will all get on well together. So when you write please do tell us plenty about yourself, your likes, interests, reason for travelling, why you think you would enjoy staying with us and what skills and experience you can offer. 
The more information you give about yourselves the better for us to be sure we will work well together and enjoy our social time. 
Please could you also make sure that you have a picture on your profile, or arrange to send us one. 

**To be sure you have read this, you must refer to me by name, Katy, when you write to me. ***
Our aim is to have some weeks where we are not tied to the farm 7 days a week and can be confident that our lovely poultry and cats are in good, safe hands whilst we have a night away. 

Our 'staff' consist of myself (Katy) and my husband (Phil). Volunteers have the use of their own cottage, their own bedroom with private shower room and their own kitchen to prepare their own breakfast and lunch (all food provided). The evening meal is the main meal of the day which we prepare for you and we all enjoy together and is our opportunity to get to know each other and exchange ideas and experiences. Once a month we go to a local theatre and are always happy to take our guests, all of whom have enjoyed the experience.


Reviews

3.5
2 reviews2

Staff & Host

3.0

Hours & Tasks

5.0

Hostel

4.0

Learning & Fun

3.5

United Kingdom

5

I would recommend it a lot! The work is mostly outdoors, it’s fun work and not too difficult and it was lovely to be outside everyday. Katy and Phil are super lovely, Katy cooks every evening and her food is amazing, their house and land is beautiful and they also have four wonderful cats. Katy and Phil are extremely knowledgable in many different topics and we had some great conversations, I learnt a lot about sustainability. They were kind enough to take me out to surrounding areas - including to the theatre :) I enjoyed my stay but unfortunately had to leave early

10 months ago

Brazil

2

I will aways remember this experience not for the good moments, unfortunately. The major problem is that the hosts doesn't know how to react when you do something wrong. Almost every time they were harsh and completely unbalanced in some reactions. I lost the count of the how many times they screamed at me, but I remember a particularly one when Phil said a lot of bad words and blamed me for something that I didn't do.
I felt anxious and limited everyday.
For me it didn't work, but if you are the kind of person that accepts be mistreated some times, it will definitely work for you.

over 1 year ago


Katy replied

I am pleased that Luis has given his honest feedback for us.
We had problems with Luis even before he arrived. I always give clear instructions about arrival. Luis told me that he decided to ignore me and that attitude continued after he got here.
We often had to ask him several times to carry out a task as he simply did not do as he was asked the first time, and on these occasions our reactions were not all we would have liked them to be, I am sorry to say that he brought out the worst in us on a couple of occasions, for which we apologised.
He did the very minimum he was asked to do, unless it was a task that he was interested in. Unfortunately, on a farm, most of the work is mundane and repetitive, so not very interesting for him. If he was told that he had made a mistake, or even asked to do something in a different way, he would always argue with us causing considerable frustration.
He enjoyed socialising with the other helpers, and I am certain that he will do well where the work is more interesting and he has young people to have fun with.


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