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Hand milk a cow at off-grid homestead

East London, South AfricaPart of the Airbnb Animals collection

Check local COVID-19 restrictions before booking

Animal experience hosted by Karen

2 hours
Includes drinks
Up to 4 people
Hosted in English

What you'll do

Hand milking of the cows starts at 16:30, so you will start by joining me as I collect the cows from the field. They are led on halter leads to the stanchion where I will teach you how to hand-milk, and you will be able to test how successful your technique is! We will then take the cows back to the new section of field (they move camp daily in the evenings) where you will see just how happy grass can make a cow! Back in the field, you will be able to meet the sheep, and see the Anatolian Shephard Dog at work, then we will walk back past the mobile chickshaw, home of my tick patrol Boschvelder Chickens who will be roaming around the pasture around you. You can also hunt for eggs in the nesting bays. We will then return to the farm house for some tea/coffee with some of your fresh milk, and you can sample what is seasonal in the vegetable garden as we chat through the issues related to homesteading and farming systems. You will then go on a tour of the eco-friendly dwellings (solar, rain water, dry composting toilets and mulch pits). Walking on the paths through the thick and beautiful indigenous forest, you may hear the Bushbuck barking or see the shy Duiker.
Other things to note
The milking stanchion is sturdy and the cows are friendly.
Hand milking of the cows starts at 16:30, so you will start by joining me as I collect the cows from the field. They are led on halter leads to the stanchion where I will teach you how to hand-milk, and you will be able to test how successful your technique is! We will then take the cows back to the new section of field (they move camp daily in the evenings) where you will see just how happy grass can make a cow! Back in the field, you will be ab…

Karen's commitment to safety

This host has committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines – including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practising good hygiene, and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
Learn more
Guidelines created with World Animal ProtectionLearn more

What's included

  • Drinks
    We will have a tea or coffee at the farm house as we chat through what you...
From £9
/ person

Meet your host, Karen

Host on Airbnb since 2019
  • 3 Reviews
  • Identity verified
I am a farmer, a wife and a mom. ( I had an epiphany that a woman could be the farmer and not just the farmer's wife. Previously I was a physiotherapist working in Rural Health.) I love being able to care for my animals and the grasslands, knowing that our small flock of sheep, 2 dairy cows and pasture raised chickens are also restoring the pristine indigenous grasslands on our small farm. Like the Little Red Hen, I love to graze the grass, milk the cows, skim the milk and churn the butter! (See more at Heartwood_homestead_sa on Instagram)
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Where you'll be

Heartwood Homestead is a small scale farm on 4 hectares (10 acres) of apex indigenous grassland, and with a further 15 hectares (39 acres) of beautiful indigenous Eastern Cape forest. The fields have a wide variety of grasses and plants and grassland creatures as well as abundant bird life. The trees will shade you as you walk the trail down to the river while keeping your eyes open for a variety of forest animals.

Rated 4.67 out of 5 from 3 reviews.

Madeleine
December 2020
Karen is extremely insightful on off-the-grid farm living. A hands-on farmer that gave us a look at her world, and how they do things. Very beautiful farm. Could unfortunately not do all the activities due to various natural factors and social distancing, but it was a great outing nevertheless.
Karen is extremely insightful on off-the-grid farm living. A hands-on farmer that gave us a look at her world, and how they do things. Very beautiful farm. Could unfortunately not…
Johan
December 2020
Karen and her husband are knowledgable, down-to-earth, free-thinking, grounded, welcoming and kind. Their three children are charming, courteous and inquisitive. We were given a tour of the homestead and were impressed by the level of self-sufficiency and creativity. They boast an orchid, vegetable plots, free range chickens, rabbits, sheep, milking cows, pigs galore. We stayed over - in a well equipped rustic barn. There is a cottage for guests as well. The river runs at the bottom of the homestead and the walk there is splendid. One cannot but be touched by the fact that all seems happy and content - the animals, the dogs, the children, the parents and the guests.
Karen and her husband are knowledgable, down-to-earth, free-thinking, grounded, welcoming and kind. Their three children are charming, courteous and inquisitive. We were given a to…
David And Cheryl
February 2020
This was a unique and enriching experience. Karen opened her home and heart to us. It was a rare insight into what life is like at a homestead. Karen and Richard are creating a self sufficient life style and we’re happy to share this with us. To top it all they have three delightful children, who are wonderful It is a day we will never forget Karen is a true farmer.
This was a unique and enriching experience. Karen opened her home and heart to us. It was a rare insight into what life is like at a homestead. Karen and Richard are creating a sel…

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    Things to know

    Cancellation policy

    Any experience can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

    Government ID

    You’ll need to take a picture of yourself that matches the photo on your ID. This is so Airbnb can confirm who’s actually going on the experience. You’ll only have to do this once.

    Guest requirements

    Up to 4 guests ages 4 and up can attend. Parents may also bring children under 2 years of age.

    What to bring

    We will walk through fields that the cows have been in, so closed shoes are best. You can bring a swimming costume if you would like to swim in the river pool, as well as a warm jersey or jacket if the wind is cold on the field.