Come and help with some basic maintenance at our family homestead in Santa Cruz, California, USA

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United States

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  • Description


    Gardner & Gina run our family homestead that is a permaculture minded, off-grid farm located deep in the north county of Santa Cruz. Here we grow fruits, veggies, starts, herbs and perennials without any chemicals or herbicide. As we mentioned, we have kiddos, dogs, cats, and as soon as we have the structures built we will have farm animals on the way.

    We have plenty of infrastructure for humans, now need to get the land dialed in. This is where we need help - painting, weeding, installing water tanks, building earthen walls, digging swales, planting natives, clearing brush, fire prevention and general improvement of the land and buildings. Individually we each have a lot to share in terms of hands on education.  While we are both self taught and read, (so was Mark Twain), we have years of experience between us and the smarts and grit to match.

    We are located 7+ miles behind a locked gate on a fairly rugged road. Most 2 wheel drive cars make it up no problem unless it is real muddy. This is an important nugget of info, cause once you are at our place, there is no popping to the store for a snack, ie convenience. It is 45 minutes to town minimally. We love it and cherish our privacy at the end of the road.

    Gardner solely ran a small rootsy bakery for 20 years, delivering all over Santa Cruz County. His product was and still is top notch in execution, ingredients and flavor and he has developed quite the following, many knowing him as Papa G. Gardner has always had a yearly busting veggie and flower garden and most certainly knows his way around the kitchen. We always get fired up when Jerk Chicken, Peas and Rice and Macaroni Salad are on the menu you know it's going down for real!!  All of this while raising 4 awesome kids.

    Gina has ran the place since 2009 and is a Master Gardener, long time cook and taught Life Lab for 15 years in Santa Cruz County. While also raising 4 kids (separately from Gardner), obsessed with local plants and herbs and ethnobotany in general. You will learn for sure about our multiple local microclimates and many different ways to use all the plants that naturally grow here and plenty about fruits and veggies. we have many endemic plant species growing on our properties.

    We are so lucky to live in such a diverse beautiful temperate place and blessed with the love of learning and getting our hands dirty.

    Our home is our sanctuary and we hope it will be yours too while you stay with us.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Language practice
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We are both knowledgable regarding local plants and their uses, and are excellent cooks and eat out of the garden daily.
    We have greenhouses with veggies and propagate everything we can get our hands on, from lettuce to banksia, from tomatoes to pineapple guavas.
    Gardener surfs and if you are brave enough to venture into the cold Pacific Ocean, this might be an option.
    And.....You will be staying in one of the most remote gorgeous locations in Santa Cruz Co.

  • Help


    We are looking for help with basic maintenance and upkeep of our epic property. Where we need help - painting, weeding, installing water tanks, building earthen walls, digging swales, planting natives, clearing brush, fire prevention, general construction and basic improvement of the land and buildings. We are constantly working on improving our property so there are lots of ways to experience and learn, such as irrigation, solar, small building projects, cement and natural building and gardening. We will not have workawayers do any tasks related to selling anything at our store.
    We have a 4 year old and a 2 year old that we'd love some babysitting help with too.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, spanish

  • Accommodation


    One bedroom house with one bath and kitchen and nice sized living room. We have space for setting up tents and multiple other arrangements for sleeping comfortably.
    Off grid solar.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The central coast of California is full of tons of activities such as hiking, surfing, mountain biking, and the most amazing scenery.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 268349948859