A Travellerspoint blog

The Mushroom Farm

Rachel

Oh how we loved you the Mushroom Farm, you get an entry all of your own. On the face of it it’s a simple eco-friendly lodge with only 1 two level huts, a hand crafted mud “cob house” and levelled camping spaces set on the edge of the cliff looking out over to the lake. There’s a little bar and a little dining area come reading area come games room. And that’s about it. But the Australian owners are climbing and abseiling enthusiasts who are into permaculture so the place has all sorts of quirks that add to the whole vibe of the place. The composting toilet has a view. The shower makes you feel that you’re showering in a rainforest (you’d love it Laycock – hi Nick!). The power is solar powered, the food is vegetarian, interesting and really really tasty. They have piglets at the back, ducks and chickens and it’s all set clinging to the side of this hill.

Like I said earlier, it takes some effort for people to get there so there’s a sense of belonging there that’s hard to describe. The usual owner-managers were on holiday and so they pass it over to temporary mangers for 6 months of the year and this time it’s being run by Steve and Carmel – a half scouse, half Yorkshire couple who were taking over from their daughter who had told them they’d love it. I don’t think she quite prepared them for what was in store for them because they were rushed off their feet making small improvements to the place, raising the animals, tending the veg, ordering the food, managing bookings, running the bar and still take time out to try and get to know their guests and nothing is ever a bother.

After having a welcome rest in our beautiful balconied “honeymoon room” we decided we could do with an extra day to chill out, do our washing etc. and recover but our room was booked the following night so we camped the next evening instead – Steve and Carmel let us pinch the cushions from the chairs and borrow one of their tents for free so we still had a comfy night. We’re really glad we stayed because not long after we decided we could cope with camping John and Tisita from the Ilala turned up and we’d already made friends with the other two Canadians staying in the cob-house so we all had a good old natter and hang-out all day.

We also had a really interesting time talking with Steve and Carmel about the surprises they’d had on site like pregnant sows, administering antibiotics to piglets, the difficulties of managing staff, how to stay on top of stock when faced with diesel shortages, trying to rebuild links with the local villages, cooking on a wood fired stove and all sorts of new things they’d like to try out. It was a truly inspirational place.

Posted by rachndave 12:33 Tagged lodging eco-tourism

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Hi Rachel and Dave,
We have just accessed your travel blog and enjoyed reading it. This is Carmel and Steve who were running the Mushroom Farm in Malawi when you visited. We have been back in the UK for 5 weeks now and missing Africa. Thanks for your kind comments. If you are interested, we kept a blog of our time at the Farm (and S Africa)www.mushroomcs.blogspot.com It was only intended as info for our family, but it will give you a flavour of our experiences there. Be nice to stay in touch. [email protected]
Cheers
Carmel and Steve

by carmelstevemush

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