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Dianne Davidson

Host Profile

    My Property

    Property Name

    Clematis Cottage

    Farming methods

    Permaculture

    Business Type

    Hobby Farm

    Short Property Description

    2 acres in tiny town being slowly converted from old grazing land into a bountiful and beautiful food production garden. Animals include milking goats and rabbits, with ducks, chooks and bees on the way. That’s the goats that get milked, not the rabbits!

    I am learning about permaculture and soil rehabilitation as I go so it is a work in progress and I am open to suggestions. I have an excellent reference library pertaining to food production, preservation, and animal husbandry.

    The property is a half hour drive from the nearest largish town and as such is pretty isolated despite being on the outskirts of the village. There are plenty of interesting places to visit locally for hiking or climbing.

    The veggie garden is always being expanded as fast as I can create proper soil conditions for growth. I am an easy going relatively laid back middle aged retired female looking to keep creating something beautiful and practical and I find that I need a set of strong young legs to assist in my goals of a sustainable micro farm. I am really interested in composting techniques and my hope is to leave the land better than I found it for future generations to enjoy.

    I have German shepherd dogs and they are inside/outside dogs so any visitors must be comfortable with large slobbery hounds underfoot.

    According to my son I am not the best cook so be warned. However, I believe that opinion to based on his city habits of ordering in from a variety of home delivery services available in Melbourne so I can see how my cooking would be boring in that light.  I am proficient enough in nutritious foods like lentils, curry (I love curries!) seasonal veggie soups with home made spiced chicken broth, spag bowl and various stir fry vegetable dishes.  And omelettes.  Seasonal organic food will be available from the garden and I like to experiment with what I produce. Sometimes meal times can be a bit weird but what’s life without a bit of challenge! You are more than welcome to teach me your favourite dishes. Hopefully the local markets will reopen soon in regional Victoria so I can access supplemental fresh farm produce again.

    Full Property Description

    I am not a purist when it comes to practising neo peasantry, there is a tv, Xbox and satellite internet. I enjoy technology.  It has its place in the modern world.  There is also an extensive library of sci-fi and fantasy books available should you be so inclined.

    I do find that one of the best pleasures is sitting on the back porch overlooking the garden as the light fades to twilight listening to the frog chorus and the birds setting in for the night.  There is an abundance of bird life including eagles some of which are yearly regulars.

    The house is not flash but is heated and cooled depending on the season and is comfortable.  Dog hair is an unavoidable extra.

    Should you be part of a couple that is no problem if you have your own accommodation.  I only have a single spare bed.  There is a camper trailer tent thingie on the property but I can’t speak to how comfortable that would be.  But there is plenty of space for a tent or trailer or motor home set up. If there is some technique you are interested in trying I am very open to suggestions on new ways to manage the garden and the animals.

    The river is very close and there are platypus in the system apparently.  I haven’t seen one but I don’t hang around looking for them either.  Echidnas wander through sometimes and old man Percy possum adamantly defends his tree from any intruders.

    The locals are pretty good people, most keep to themselves but always happy for a quick chat at the post office which is walking distance away.  I am quite sure there are snakes but I haven’t seen one and hope I never do. It is a lovely part of the world up here.  I don’t talk as much as I write by the way.  I just get a bit overexcited with all the excellent ways I get to spend my time here.  It’s awesome!

    Organic/Biological methods we use

    I am trying to keep a closed system as much as possible.  Everything goes back into the garden and everything is connected. Everything should have a place and a purpose even if all the non edible flowers I grow simply make me happy to look at them.  I like to try new methods based on traditional methods as well as science. A lot of the time I am making it up as I go based on something I have read or seen.

    The soil here is clay, soggy and claggy in winter and dry, dusty and hard as a rock in summer.  It is old grazing land and very compacted in places.  Since I moved in I have been rehabilitating the soil with compost and rabbit manure layered with straw and have achieved some wonderful success with turning a sterile environment full of boring grass and weeds to a healthy and flourishing mini ecosystem.  The Earthworms are everywhere, fat and happy, the birds are even happier and fatter.

    The orchard has been enclosed ready for the chooks to work their magic and the duck pond has been dug, lined and is currently filling up with all the glorious rain we have had lately. I practice a farming method best described as informed intuition with my little farm and so far have been mostly successful.  I like to let things find their happy places so they don’t need too much attention or interference to be their best.

    Special Conditions

    As I am learning myself I am not the font of all wisdom!  If I don’t know something, I ask, research, and learn to do it.  Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.  But it’s all a learning curve and it’s always an enjoyable experience that I invite you to be part of. Please respect however,  that neither I nor the dogs are vegetarians and that the farm animals all have a purpose and a contribution to the system.

    If you are vegan that may potentially cause some issues and I really don’t want to distress or upset anyone.

    Guidelines for WWOOF Hosts offering Remote Work and Study Placements

    Hosts must:

    • Provide a private and quiet space for WWOOFers to use to study or work in their free time.
    • Provide access to reliable Internet (unrestricted or unlimited if possible).
    • Have mobile phone access or opportunities for Wi-Fi calling access via Internet.
    • Negotiate flexible WWOOFing times that will facilitate the study or work schedule of their WWOOFers in their free time.
    • Keep the lines of communication open to discuss any issues that may arise with scheduled online meetings, classes or lectures and arrange WWOOFing around these scheduled times.

    WWOOFers will:

    • Communicate prior to arranging a placement with a Host to ensure the Host understands the requirements of their course or work arrangements and agree on how this can be facilitated.
    • Be prepared to negotiate their WWOOFing schedules to fit in with their Hosts needs and arrange their study/work times to fit their free time to the best of their ability, being sure to arrange with the host for any specific scheduled lecture/class/meeting times.
    • Ensure they keep their work/study space clean and tidy.
    • Ensure they make the agreed time available to spend volunteering as well as. helping with meal preparation and or clean up.
    • Keep the lines of communication open and discuss any issues that may arise with scheduled online meetings, classes or lectures and arrange their WWOOFing times around these scheduled times.

    Skills WWOOFers can learn here

    Organic practices & techniques, Permaculture design practices & techniques, Gardening, Composting, Soil conservation, Propagating, Mulching, Pruning, Beekeeping, Animal care, Poultry care, Sheep/goats/cattle care, Dairy, Using & caring for tools, Fencing, Building, Cheese making, Fermenting foods, Preserving & processing food

    Courses and Events

    Nil at this stage.

    My Details

    Name

    Dianne Davidson

    Gender

    Female

    The Stay

    Can Accommodate

    1 WWOOFer

    Preferred length of Stay

    Longer stays by negotiation, Whatever suits

    Accommodation

    In Our Home

    Other options

    No Smoking Inside, Children allowed by arrangement

    Meal Procedures

    Share most meals, Share cooking, Food provided, cook your own

    Languages spoken

    English

    Why I became a WWOOF Host

    I live and work my property on my own after deciding to separate from the consumer rat race and find a better way to live. Some like minded company, especially people with curious and inventive minds, would be a welcome addition.

    I don’t want a permanent house mate but would really enjoy connecting with people with a sustainable vision of how the world should be. Getting older sucks but I’m honest enough to admit that I need some help with heavy things and building things especially when there can be mutual benefit to both parties.

    I have so many ideas on how to do things better but I really need an extra set of hands. It would be fabulous to pass on the things that I have learned and to learn from others interested in the same goals.

    Work and Study Remotely here

    Work and Study Remotely here by arrangement

    Address

    Contact

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