Live and work on a smallholding in the wild west of Ireland


The Exchange

Greetings fellow travellers! My name's Daniel, and I've been a volunteer since 2012. I recently purchased a hundred-year-old stone cottage in County Sligo on the west coast of Ireland. I'm now looking for enthusiastic volunteers to assist me in restoring it and developing the one acre of land into a permaculture smallholding. Expect to work in the vegetable garden, looking after my many animals, and basic tasks on the cottage.


What you offer

25 hours of help per week

Animal Care: Help look after and take care of animals.

Handyman: Help with a wide range of repairs or building.

Farming: Plant crops, sow seeds and help in outside tasks.

Gardening: Help grow plants and cultivate gardens


What you get

2 days off per week

Shared Dorm: You will have a bed in a shared room, which means you will share the same room with other travelers.

Breakfast: You are entitled to a free breakfast, every day of your stay.

Lunch: You are entitled to a free lunch, every day of your stay.

Dinner: You are entitled to a free dinner, every day of your stay.

Free Laundry: You can use our laundry room freely.

Bikes at your disposal: You can use our bikes any time you want.

Pick Up: We will pick you up when you arrive, and take you to our property.


Requirements

Intermediate English

Over 18 years old

Accepts solo applications and also couples and pairs


What's not included

Flights, Travel Insurance, Internal Transportation and Visa


Program Details

I'm looking for helpers (one or two at a time) and can pick you up from Sligo or Roscommon, which are connected to Dublin, Galway and other major towns by bus and train. Alternatively, Knock airport is just thirty minutes drive from the cottage, and I could pick you up there!

The ideal volunteer would be someone looking for a peaceful environment with a lot of time for reflection (reading, writing, drawing, etc), who loves animals, and has a personal interest in vegetable-growing and permaculture, or at least a preference for working outside and getting their hands dirty. Bonus points for an interest in house restoration, or even applicable skills, but it's not necessary. A good level of basic fitness is important, as you will be on your feet most of the day. Wellies (rubber boots) are a requirement (it gets very muddy here), as is a waterproof coat. Flip-flops are optional... :)


Activities & Shift

The work will be varied, depending on the weather and your area of interest. Don't worry about a lack of expertise. Over the summer and early autumn there's plenty to do outside: weeding, strimming, landscaping, tending plants, etc. There's also restoration work on the cottage; at the moment I'm focused on replacing the roof and flagstone floor. And of course there's always basic tasks, like cooking, cleaning, washing, and walking my border collie. You'll have two full days off per week. Food is included, but it's basic stuff. Expect to see plenty of stars... and perhaps a few clouds (this is Ireland after all).

In time I'll develop the land further, planting hazel trees for nuts/coppicing, blueberry bushes, building poly-tunnels, and keeping bees for honey. Moderate self-sufficiency is my goal, but with an acre of land (about the size of a football pitch) I can't get too ambitious! :)


Rules

No smoking/drugs anywhere on the property.