Graham and Sharon Collins

Host Profile

    My Property

    Property Name

    Nutshell Farm

    Business Type

    Commercial Farm

    Farming methods

    Organic

    Short Property Description

    Our farm is a mixed cropping, and grazing property set in a stunning valley in the foothills of the Richmond ranges National Park. We grow ginger, turmeric and garlic, along with vegetables, berries and a mixed fruit and nut orchard.

    Our animals include a small Jersey dairy herd, a few beef cows and five steers for meat. We also have five heritage breeding sows and a boar, and a few of our last batch of piglets. In addition we have poultry, Pekin ducks for eggs and meat, a mixed flock of about 3t chickens that produce gorgeous eggs daily. Finally, we have 19 guinea fowl, noisy, messy and often down-right annoying, but they eat ticks and keep snakes away.

    Other animals, we have two beautiful ginger cats for vermin control, mainly in the sheds, and a beautiful, loveable and majestic livestock guardian dog, a two- year-old Maremma, called Baci.

    Full Property Description

    The health and vitality of our farm animals and those of us that live, and stay here, is our number one priority.

    As an ex-dairy property it was very run down when we bought it. So, we are working hard to regenerate our soils and replant trees for shade, food, and native trees for wildlife habitat and to assist improve our soil for carbon capture.

    We need for hard-working, enthusiastic helpers to assist us to realise our dreams, to turn this into an amazing, diverse and productive environment. So we need to plant trees throughout the farm, and plant our small vineyard and care for the orchard and berries. In addition, help  with preparing, planting and weeding there is also fencing, building animal housing and other opportunities. So you will never be bored.

    If you are keen to learn, contribute and share the excitment we feel about our beautiful countryside then please contact me for more details.

     

    Organic/Biological methods we use

    We farm using biodynamic methods. We are in the process of qualifying for organic and biodynamic in-conversion status.

    Our farm has had its soils tested and we can confirm that there were no herbicides or pesticides found.

    We use mainly no-till methods of cultivation, and use managed grazing, pigs, cattle and chickens to cultivate and maintain our land.

    Special Conditions

    *If you are keen to learn, contribute and share the excitment we feel about our beautiful countryside then please contact me for more details.

    We were hosts at our previous property, in Queensland,  so are experienced and friendly hosts. Sadly since our property was sold when we moved to the farm we deregistered and as a result lost all our reviews!

    But we are both good cooks and provide three good-quality meals a day.  Breakfast and lunch you may be asked to prepare for yourself, with ingredients provided. Dinner you will eat with us and will be a part of an Aussie family.

    Food is organic where possible and a mixed diet. In summer we often cook two, sometimes more, vegetarian meals a week, depending on what vegetables we have growing at the time. The rest being meat-based meals (from our own, home-grown animals) we love herbs and spices, but not hot foods due to Graham’s health condition. However, we can not cater for special diets or likes and dislikes. If there is anything you would like to specifically ask about please discuss this with us when you apply, not once you arrive.

    We are currently working winter hours, so work six days a week and we start at about 7am, we stop for lunch,  then work until around 4.30pm when we feed the animals..

    We are a hardworking, but relaxed and happy couple and love to spend time with our good workers.

    We do ask that you keep  your room tidy and keep shared areas tidy too. Once a week we all clean the house. This is limited to your bedroom, bathroom and shared areas. While you are not needed to help with meal preparation, you are responsible for setting the table for meals, washing up, drying up putting away and tidying the kitchen to make it ready for the next day.

    On your days off you may need, in the event of you being the only worker, to help with the animals, other than that you are free to relax.

    Helpers must be responsible, non-smokers, no drugs. And while an occasional glass of wine may be offered with a meal on special occasions, other than that alcohol is not allowed on the property..

    We provide comfortable accomodation and good, fresh, organic food, mainly grown here on the farm. In return we ask for approximately 38 hours of productive work during the seven day working week. We aim for everyone to have one full day off but if you are our only helper you may be asked to help feed the animals..

    Since this is a working farm and we have to fit in with animal feeding schedules, we ask that, if possible, you arrive on Sunday afternoon, and you leave on Friday afternoon, especially if you need transport to and from Casino station. At the moment due to the virus we are requesting longer stays to reduce our exposure to new people.

    Come and spend time with us and our animals ❤️

     

    Skills WWOOFers can learn here

    Organic practices & techniques, Biodynamic practices & techniques, Permaculture design practices & techniques, Gardening, Composting, Propagating, Pruning, Soil conservation, Mulching, Animal care, Dairy, Using & caring for tools, Building, Fencing, Handyman, Cheese making, Bread making, Fermenting foods, Preserving & processing food, Marketing produce

    Courses and Events

    Sharon teaches courses on: Food making and preserving, animal care, nutrition and housing, including milking. Specific courses….

    Bread making:

    1. Beginning bread making, basic bread, pizza bases, pita, bread rolls

    2. Sourdough and specialty breads, including fruit bread. Winter classes only.

    3. Specialty Italian and French breads, including baguettes, focaccia, rustic French farmhouse breads.

    Baking:

    1. French patisserie: Croissants, Pain au Chocolat, Pain au Raisen

    2. Classic cakes: traditional English Victoria sponges cake, Mango layer cake, chocolate fudge cake.

    3. English traditional Christmas baking: Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, mince pies.

    Milk-based products:

    1. Butter, fresh and cultured, yogurt making, baked cream, including Cornish Clotted Cream

    2. Ice cream, frozen yogurt and specialty desserts.

    Cheese-making:

    1. Beginner cheesemaking, including simple curd cheeses, whole-milk ricotta and paneer cheeses.

    2. European cheesemaking, including French, Italian and Greek specialty cheeses, which may include, Mozzarella, Feta, Brie, Edam and Boursin herb cheese.

    3. British cheeses, including Cheddar, Stilton, Cornish Yarg and other local varieties. Winter classes only.

    4. Advanced cheesemaking, including Parmesan, Manchego and Romana. Winter classes only.

    Preserving home-grown produce:

    1. Simple fruit bottling using water bath method

    2. Simple tomato preservation. Including, passata, tomato purée, bottling whole or chopped tomatoes.

    Chutneys:

    1. Classic chutneys and sauces, including Green tomato chutney, tomato sauce, exotic sweet mango chutney.

    Preserves:

    1. Chosen from two of the following, based on seasonal availability. Seasonal jams, stunning bushfood preserves, cumquat and elderflower, berries and apple jellies.

    Fermenting:

    1. Kimchi and sauerkraut

    2. Kombucha making

    Animal Care:

    1. Caring for your dairy cow. Including, nutrition, training, health care, milking and loving your girls.

    Other courses available from time-to-time.

    Please contact sharon@nutshell-farm.com.au for dates, availability and cost.

     

     

    My Details

    Name

    Graham and Sharon Collins

    Partners Name

    Sharon Collins

    Gender

    Couple

    The Stay

    Can Accommodate

    2 WWOOFers

    Preferred length of Stay

    2-4 weeks, Longer stays by negotiation

    Accommodation

    In Our Home

    Other options

    Non-Smoking, No Children

    Meal Procedures

    Eat together, Share some meals, Share most meals

    Languages spoken

    English

    Diets we cater for

    Meat based meals

    Why I became a WWOOF Host

    We have a passion for organic and biodynamic farming that we love to share. We enjoy our work, our food and good company, so sharing is us 😊. We love to teach and currently can offer to sign off for 2nd year visa under bushfire affected region status.

    Address

    Contact

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