About the Farm

Chestnut Brae farm is reputably the most beautiful farm in the south west. Brae is a Scottish word that means “Hillside”. The farm’s rich loam valley is fed by natural spring waters that flow 365 days a year. Together with the pristine forest air and grazed by contented pastured animals that replenish the lush fertile soils, Chestnut Brae’s owners feel they live on a piece of paradise.

John and Linda, believing small and diverse farming is the way of future, feel it is vital to nurture the soil, traditional skills, organic farming, and food diversity in order to foster future food security and environmental sustainability.

Regenerative agriculture, which goes beyond organic, and holistic management principles are employed on Chestnut Brae. The farm comprises 1000 sweet chestnut trees, 16 pecan trees, 3 walnut trees, various fruit trees, vegetable gardens, herb gardens, berry gardens, mushroom farms, chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, marron, Angora goats and two Alpaca that guard the small flock of Wiltshire sheep. Cell grazing for pastured sheep and pastured pigs ensures highest opportunities for building soil health.

Chestnut Brae is one of 35 farms in the south west of Western Australia featured in Danielle Costley’s beautiful book “Beyond the Farm Gate” published in 2015 by Margaret River Press, and in “Australia’s Extra.Ordinary. West” by Carmen Jenner published in 2019 by Creatavision Publishing.

John and Linda Stanley are authors of “Food Tourism – A Practical Marketing Guide”, which was “Winner of the Gourmand Award 2015 for best food travel book in Australia”
Linda Stanley has written a children’s book “Grandy’s Long Walk” which is based on a walker looking for the Nannup Tiger and is aimed at encouraging children to connect with nature.

Volunteer on Farm

At Chestnut Brae we love hosting volunteers to live-in and work with us on our farm. We have had many volunteers through WWOOF Australia, Worldpacker and Workaway. While we are no longer registered with WWOOF, we are still happy to accept WWOOF volunteers who wish to come to our farm. Volunteering is an excellent way to see the country and be hosted by farmers as you travel, or in between jobs as you back pack around Australia.
Chestnut Brae farm uses regenerative agriculture to build soil health, and is a mixed permaculture, holistic management and organic farm. We focus on sweet chestnut production and chestnut added value products as well as chestnut fed meat production for restaurants. We also have vegetables, fruit, chickens, guinea fowl, marron, pigs, sheep and two alpaca that protect our sheep from predators. Our sheep are our lawn mowers and chestnut sucker controllers in our orchards. Our guinea fowl are our insect control on the farm.
Our farm work is seasonal and involves the following: Autumn is our harvest season when we are picking chestnuts and producing chestnut products, in winter we take our products to markets and continue making added value products, in summer the focus is on watering the gardens and in spring the focus is on animal activities.
You will leave your volunteer residency with a working knowledge of the way we run our farm.

Volunteering on our farm

  1. What type of work will I be doing?
    • Chestnut Orchard – can include collecting prunings in the orchard
    • Vegetable garden – weeding, watering, harvesting
    • Feeding and watering animals and moving them from area to area
    • General farm duties
  2. What hours will I work?
    • The average working day is 6 hours a day for 5 days a week
  3. Where is the farm?
    • The farm is a 15 minute drive south of Nannup, 55 minutes from Margaret River, 55 minutes from Busselton, 45 minutes from Manjimup, 3 hours south of Perth city.
  4. What should I bring to the farm?
    • In winter (June – August) you will need warm working clothes, rain / wet weather gear, working boots.
    • In summer (December – February) you will need hat, sunscreen, working boots, long sleeve shirts and insect repellent.
    • In between seasons you can check weather conditions on www.weatherzone.com.au/wa/southwest/nannup and bring appropriate work clothing to suit the weather, which could be a mix of both of the above.
    • A smile and a sense of fun
    • Your own WIFI internet device as we have very limited satelite WIFI on the farm
    • Telstra provides the best telephone connection in the country and you will get good mobile phone coverage if you are with Telstra. Other service providers do not have good coverage in country areas and you will not get phone coverage on our farm unless you are with Telstra.
  5. How do I get to the farm?
    • If you have your own transport: our address and a map is in the Where are We section of our homepage.
    • If you don’t have your own transport: We can pick you up from South West Coach Terminal in Busselton. Email us ⦁ info@chestnutbrae.com.au to arrange pick up.

Volunteers Accommodation

You may be living with other Volunteers in our Volunteers room or in one of our caravans which has double beds. There is a Volunteers bathroom and toilet. Volunteers eat with us as part of our family and all meals are provided. However, a separate kitchen area is available with a fridge if you want to make a drink or a snack for yourself.

Being in the centre of the south west cape, Nannup is a great little unspoilt Mill Town to use as base for exploration of the cape. The region is a world renown food and wine production area and around Nannup are a number of organic and artisan food producers.

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