Ireland is a wonderful country; it is safe, friendly, English speaking, rich in heritage, history and culture. From vibrant, exciting cities to spectacular countryside – it’s a magical place to visit. It’s also a wonderful place to stay and immerse yourself doing meaningful volunteer work.
This sustainable farming & café project is located in the heart of rural Ireland, about 45 minutes from Cork City, Ireland’s 2nd largest city. It is surrounded by picturesque countryside with rolling hills, mountains, rivers and waterfalls. The farm is focused on involving international volunteers in farming and environmental activities as well as selling farm products (vegetables, eggs, yogurt, meat) in the farm’s café in Cork City a vibrant and friendly city.
The project strives to create farming and gardening methods that sustain the natural environment. This project requires volunteers all year round.
The summer months will involve much more emphasis on gardening activities, maintaining the organic vegetable garden and surrounding fields, weeding and much of the day will be spent outdoors. The colder winter months will include activities such as tree planting, maintenance of the path and the stone walls, gathering firewood, and rainy days would be spent indoors painting, woodwork, and general house maintenance. When volunteers arrive they’re shown all the various types of work. Then they are able to decide what particular work they enjoy the most and take on a specific task. However, people may change jobs to avoid the monotony and give the volunteers the opportunity to learn about many different aspects of rural living. There are usually 4 to 10 international volunteers at the same time at the project.
Volunteers also have the opportunity to assist in the farm’s café, which is located in Cork City centre. This part of the volunteer work is optional but most volunteers enjoy doing it for generally 2 days a week. Duties include dealing with the public, making coffee, selling the farms products and keeping the café clean and tidy. Transport will be provided in and out of the city. Volunteers also share cooking and cleaning duties at the project accommodation.
Tasks are varied and depend on the season and weather, but can include: Gardening and Tree planting, feeding animal, making yogurt, building and construction of stone wall, maintaining pathways, going to farmers’ markets (in Cork) to sell farm products, helping at the farm’s café in Cork City (making coffee, serving customers, cleaning and tidying, household duties
The number of working hours is approximately 30-35 hours per week and is flexible from day to day. Volunteers can expect to work 5-7 hours a day on their project, 5 days a week. Volunteers are expected to be proactive on their placements, are expected to keep busy and to use their initiative. Working on a farm, they can expect to spend some time outdoors both in sunshine and in rainy/cold conditions, so appropriate clothing is essential.
The farm owner and his wife guide and support the volunteers throughout their programme. They have been welcoming and supervising volunteers for over 20 years and live in the main house with their two children. The farm owner is the main mentor and discuss with volunteers on a regular basis to discuss how they are progressing. As supervision is not always available, it is important that volunteers are able to work on their own as well as in a team. New ideas are welcome and encouraged.
Location and Transportation
The farm is situated in the county of Cork in a beautiful rural area with green fields, hills and woodlands, between Cork city and Macroom. The farm is quite isolated but volunteers have regular access to Cork City on Wednesdays to Saturdays (café opening days). Transport in and out of Cork City for work in the farm’s café will be provided free of charge. Transportation to and from the Macroom bus station is guaranteed upon initial arrival and final departure from the project. Buses to Tralee, Cork and Killarney are available from Macroom, and transport to other cities is available in Cork. Bus ticket prices are subject to change, a one-way ticket from Macroom to Cork City costs around €12.