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John and Natalie Bowskill

Host Profile

My Property

Property Name

Margaret River Aquafarm

Business Type

Commercial Farm

Farming methods

Organic

Short Property Description

55 Ha (126 acres) farm surrounded by vineyards. Formerly an organic winery.
Has 400 sq m greenhouse that we are building an organic aquaponics system in. First phase just started production. Ready to start building next phase.
Large netted orchard. Lots nut and avocado trees.
3 Dams, creek, Karri forest.
A little piece of paradise less than 15 minutes drive from awesome beaches.

Full Property Description

The property has an interesting history, starting as a group settlement location after WWI then a dairy farm, then an organic winery, then the home of a rich doomsday prepper and now home to our extended family. Four related families got together to buy this valley paradise in 2017 with the intention of it being a lifelong purchase to be handed down to all descendants.

John became a certified aquaponic farm designer last year and is now building a fairly large system in the greenhouse. Rainbow trout, leafy green vegetables and fruits are all growing in there. Natalie is a veterinarian. We have quite a few pets and some rescued wildlife.

The property has a mix of forest, creek system, pasture, dams, sheds and houses. There is a large Georgian style house built completely from recycled materials; our house built from a converted railway station goods shed; a chalet that was once a cellar door for wine sales; and a flat built on to the machinery shed.

It has an abundant water supply and endless possibilities for organic, biodynamic and permaculture farming practices. We would love your involvement in our various projects as suited to your interests and skills.

There are several options for accommodation from a double room in our house to a separate flat to camping, just depending on your preference. If the flat is available it is very comfortable with double room, kitchen, laundry/bathroom, bedroom and lounge. The room in our house is quite plain but does have a king sized bed. We expect our guests to just make themselves at home and we try to help them feel like it is their home too.

Organic/Biological methods we use

Our main focus right now is the aquaponic setup in the greenhouse. Aquaponics is a rapidly evolving and growing method of organically growing food. It is a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. There is no discharge from the system. Nothing goes to waste and water is fully recycled. The only input is fish food. Bacteria and worms in the media beds convert fish waste into a form of nitrogen that can be used by the vegetables. They remove the nutrients and return clear filtered water back to the fish.

We use Ladybugs as a form of biological control over pests like aphids. We also use natural sprays such as Neem Oil. All our produce is chemical free.

We also use wicking beds to grow root crops and we are building worm farms to recycle all green waste from the greenhouse.

There is also an established orchard that is under bird netting. No chemicals are used on our farm.

Special Conditions

We have dogs, cat and birds inside our house so if you have animal allergies we may not be suitable.

Skills WWOOFers can learn here

Organic practices & techniques, Gardening, Composting, Pruning, Worm farming, Animal care, Using & caring for tools, Building, Fencing, Handyman, Marketing produce

My Details

Name

John and Natalie Bowskill

Partners Name

Natalie

Gender

Couple

The Stay

Can Accommodate

4 WWOOFers

Preferred length of Stay

Whatever suits

Accommodation

In Our Home, BYO Accommodation

Other options

Non-Smoking, No Smoking Inside, Children allowed by arrangement

Meal Procedures

Share most meals, Food provided, cook your own

Languages spoken

English

Diets we cater for

All diets catered for (mixed meals)

Why I became a WWOOF Host

We love sharing our amazing property and relaxed lifestyle with other people. We enjoy teaching and learning. We find travellers inspiring.

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