Here at Velwell Orchard we are looking for an intern! We are offering basic accommodation in a cosy caravan, lots of good food, and the chance to learn new skills whilst living on the land.

As an intern you will learn biodynamic/organic gardening on our two acre smallholding, working alongside our volunteers and occasional WWOOFers. You’ll also learn rural skills including hedge laying, dry stone walling, coppicing, gate making, cleft chestnut fencing, scythe mowing and more. Our main summer work this year will be on site, constructing an exciting new building from cob. Go to Jeremy’s website at ProperEdges.com to see the sort of work you’ll be involved with.

The internship lasts for one year and is unpaid, but you will be well fed with lots of gluten-free, mainly organic and biodynamic food and you will be enrolled on a year’s worth of DRST courses. Workdays will be split between working on site and on jobs elsewhere. A small budget will be available for tools, work clothing, and training.

You will also have the option of studying Ki-Aikido at Jeremy’s dojo in the nearby town of Buckfastleigh with membership, mat fees and gi included in your training budget.

We are looking for a hard working, flexible, keen and independent individual. No experience is necessary, just an open mind, a strong body and a good heart. Applicants must be 18 years old or more. The successful applicant could begin a three-week trial as soon as February.

If you’re interested in this opportunity please contact us at velwellorchard@yahoo.co.uk or 07962 432317.


Stone Facing training day at Steiner School

By Justin Clifford – DRST Trainee

After a couple of false starts work eventually started on another section of wall adjacent to the main Steiner School carpark. After a little debate it was decided to design a wrap around Quoin creating and adding to the visual effect upon entering the grounds. It is hoped that once complete this area will have a new gate hung from a granite post.


The first job was to trim and reduce the height of hawthorn which had been recently planted on the top of the wall. Ripping out of foliage and exposing a clean area for working and preparing foundations started without delay.


The bank was cut back hard to enable us to create a well rounded Quoin. A shallow trench was dug out to lay in the foundation stones ensuring that they were level and well packed in having hammered all the air out of the soil. The front of the trench was made flush with a concreted section of the road increasing its overall stability.  Several foundation stones were laid deep into the bank ensuring additional integrity.


Stones across the main face of the bank were laid vertical fitting in perfectly with the other work previously carried out on site by the trust and its members. Careful attention was again paid to both stone selection and the batter of the stone faced bank. Packing and levelling was all done without using triggs as is done for dry stone walls.


The batter of the stone faced bank was maintained as it wrapped around the main bank itself. The far end of the bank was  stepped back across 3 levels above the foundation stones to ensure strength right to the outer limits of the wall itself. This section of the wall was laid horizontal where it wrapped around to meet the vertical stones.


Thus this was the working day of 5 of the Trusts finest stone facing elves on a pleasant but crisp December day under the guidance and expertise of our very own Don Gaskins.

2018 will see us return to complete this section of wall.