Founded in 1976 in beautiful Sonoma County, we are a small, independent, multi-faith community and non-profit organization. This is an organic olive farm but it is so much more. We are looking for folks interested in spiritual growth and experience, not doctrine or dogma. For some people, this will be a step along the way, for others it may be long term association with us. We ask for a month or more commitment.
In addition to farming, we will make time for weekly spiritual and personal growth groups. Together we will focus on such things as haiku writing, the TAO TE CHING, keeping dream and art journals, exploring various spiritual traditions and authors - Zen, The Way of Jesus, etc - with the aim of applying principles to our own lives. Many other subjects may evolve.
This is a working farm so there is plenty of manual labor in the gardens and olive groves to keep us grounded and a person's individual spiritual compass active, too.
On our 109 acres. We have a large sustainable garden and orchard, as well as 1800 olive trees that are harvested every year to press into our prized organic extra virgin olive oil. The other half of our land is dedicated to "Forever Wild" filled with redwoods and wildlife perfect for exploring. We also run a food pantry for the locals and continue to do AIDS work in Uganda. This is a quiet and beautiful place nearby small coastal towns for weekend adventures.
Activities vary with the time of year. Spring means preparing gardens, starting greenhouse seeds, and mowing olive fields. We do extensive gardening, as well as harvesting, canning and preserving throughout the summer. In autumn there is firewood cutting, olive harvest and pressing oil. Of course there is always indoor work with maintenance or the office. Winter begins with our Christmas Faire and packaging wreaths for sale. Then it is time to prune the trees and the cycle starts again!
Help with Computers / internet
UPDATE: Looking for someone with a background in marketing, storytelling, graphic design, and or e-commerce to help sell our products and promote our community.
If you wish to join us, please take a few minutes to answer these questions in an email, and we’ll take it from there!
1. Why you would like to volunteer with us?
2. When could you come, and how long would you like to stay?
3. Would you please tell us more about yourself and what is going on in your life?
4. If there is a spiritual component to your trip, what were some significant steps in your spiritual/religious/philosophical/etc. journey? (optional and kept confidential, of course)
5. Do you have any experience with gardening, tree pruning, construction, or other trade skills?
6. Do you have any experience in marketing, web design, social media, and or e-commerce?
7. Can you handle solitude? There’s not much (any!) night life in this remote location, and we value the quiet nature of our home and farm.
8. Will you be arriving by public transportation or do you have a car?
9. What is your age and birthday?
10. Is there anything medical we should know about? Bee sting allergy, etc.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. We really appreciate it!
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Transportation – getting here
Our community is in the hamlet of Annapolis, in the northwest corner of SonomaCounty, 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean and near Sea Ranch and the village of Gualala. It’s a 1.25 hour drive from Healdsburg, north of Santa Rosa on Hwy 101, and about a 3 hour drive from San Francisco and Berkeley. A car is convenient but not essential. Ask if you need information on how to get here via public transportation. There is a coastal bus service leaving downtown Santa Rosa at 4 pm that will drop you off at the Gualala Supermarket, which is 30 minutes from our remote farmstead. We can pick you up from there.
Workers receive $50/wk for groceries, and fresh produce from the farm is available in season. Otherwise, you need to bring whatever you will want to eat – meat, snacks, drinks, cereal, etc. All diets are welcome. There may be some basics in the farm house kitchen such as pasta, rice, oil, oats, salt and pepper. Also, bring laundry detergent.
On your way to Starcross, stop in Petaluma (if you are driving up Hwy 1 along the coast) or Santa Rosa or Healdsburg (if you are arriving via Healdsburg and Skaggs Springs Rd.) for groceries. Gualala (10 miles north of the Annapolis Rd on Hwy 1) has two grocery stores, although they tend to be more expensive. However, they very kindly will cash your checks from us.
Telephone and Internet
Verizon service works well at Starcross; unfortunately there is no AT&T or other service for cell phones. The Starcross land line is available if necessary. There is wifi in the office for email communications; however our service can’t support video streaming, and is occasionally spotty.
Helpers work 4 hours per day, Monday- Friday. If you are willing/able to work extra hours and there is a need, workers are paid $10/hr.
Types of Chores
Typical chores vary according to the season, and may include planting, weeding, mulching, mowing, composting, pruning, thinning, drip irrigation maintenance, harvesting and preserving. There may also be jobs such as cleaning, painting, or help with other maintenance needs. Also, office work.
Helpers stay in our remodeled 1902 farmhouse which is furnished with towels, bed linens, cooking utensils, etc. Bathrooms and kitchen are shared. The kitchen has a blender, coffee maker, toaster and basic cooking utensils, as well as refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer. There is no television. The house atmosphere is quiet.
Smoking is not allowed. We have a Zero Tolerance policy for sexual harassment.
This is a peaceful place where we respect nature and each other. From 5 – 6 pm there is a “Contemplative Hour”. People spend it resting under a redwood tree, going for a run, doing yoga in their rooms, strolling among the olives, meditating with the monastic community in the chapel, etc.
Free time activities
In their free time workers often enjoy hiking, going to the ocean or river, reading (we have a small collection of books available), cooking, exploring our beautiful property and watching the amazing sunsets. Sometimes they go in to the “bustling metropolis” of Gualala for a cup of coffee or dinner.
You will experience peace and beauty in this quiet, contemplative setting. We are a multi-faith spiritual community where you can participate if you choose, and work on the land with time for reflection.
We are progressive and liberal, not affiliated with any denomination. We have friends on all spiritual paths and none. We are in Annapolis, CA just 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean in beautiful northwestern Sonoma County. We are a non-profit corporation.
English and Italian (limited)
We will host you in a beautifully remodeled old farmhouse with 7 bedrooms. We prefer couples or friends who can share a room but single rooms also available. Shared kitchen and bathrooms. We provide a weekly stipend for groceries. Because there are so many unique diets, you will cook for yourself or with other guests in the farmhouse. You may also have food from our garden and food pantry.
We ask for about 4 hours a day, Mon. - Fri. If we are especially busy and you would like to help extra hours, we will pay you. On your time off you may hike in the redwoods, go to the Pacific ocean beaches just 7 miles away or enjoy our pool. You may want to go to San Francisco for the weekend. Our guests are quiet and respectful. There is no nightlife or exciting social scene here. It is a remote area, ideal for nature lovers. You can ride around the area on our bicycles. We can offer limited help with transportation - weekly rides to the nearest town for groceries or fun, rides to the bus stop. This is not a good place, however, if you are looking for sight-seeing, cultural events, concerts, etc. There is no town here, not even a store. It works well to have couples or friends come together so you will not be bored.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
20 hrs a week
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