Need help with goats, gardens and general maintenance in Maine, USA

Country

United States

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    Host rating

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  • last activity

    Last activity

    08/08/2020

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    within 3 days

 
  2020 

 Min stay requested: at least a week

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  • Description

    Description

    The early spring weather meant that I started preparing garden beds today (March 9th), even though a couple of inches down there is still ice and frost, but it is warming up and that manure needs to go somewhere! I am hoping to make arrangements ASAP to find people who want to come either short term or long term. This is a small farm on the outskirts of the cash economy (food produced here is for eating, not to sell) with 11 goats, and a few dozen chickens, guineas and ducks.

    The animals are organic and have access to free-range 50+ acres. I consider them more as partners than livestock and as such I don't cull, but take care of my "retirees" as my part for the time they have spent providing milk or eggs for me. A number of the animals here are rescues.

    There is plenty of garden and field space (and long-term workawayers are definitely welcome to do their own garden projects), although it needs repairs to the fencing to be fully functional - this is one of the things that makes this place unique, as the animals are not fenced, but that comes with challenges - like if I want a garden, that has to be inside a fence (although I suspect the plants are less bothered by that idea than the animals!). Another thing that make this place unique is that it was built almost entirely with hand tools. There are a few power tools here if you are inclined to do any carpentry projects and aren't into the idea of hand tools, but those are available too.

    My kids are grown (one still living here but working full time) and not interested in taking over the farm, and my husband works away, and as such, I need extra helping hands for the projects that are a bit much for me alone. There are woods to walk in, a stream big enough for a swim, hayfields and apple trees.

    I like to experiment with foods I get in quantity (I work part-time in organic food distribution), like this past year I learned to do winemaking. Other times I do dehydration or canning.

    My important focus is being environmentally friendly as well as humane, and try to see all my projects here through that lens.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Language practice

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I can teach you how to milk goats, do basic animal care, and cheesemaking. I can show you egg based meals and yummy, eggy desserts (like flan!). I can help with English learning (any level if you speak Spanish, as I can get by in that , or if you know enough English to get by on a basic level it wouldn't matter the primary language). I can bring you to capoeira class, even though culturally it is Brazilian. At the co-op, I go to a Spanish-language discussion group, and the co-op also has discussion groups in French and Italian. If you play music there are lots of musical instruments here, and there are several contra dances in the area.

  • Help

    Help

    - Early in the season I need help with some repairs on the mobile home

    - When the ground thaws I need help replacing the fenceposts that break over the winter

    - Barn mucking! Lots of good organic manure needs to be moved out

    - Last years' composted manure pile needs to be moved to garden beds

    - you are welcome to have your own gardens here if you are long term

    - Barn has goat damage like broken windows that need replacing

    - I can always use help from someone who can see what needs doing because I often don't!

    - possible help with a yard sale

    - basic cleaning help is always welcomed

    - I certainly don't expect any one person to be into doing all of these, just a few!

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Beginner
    Portuguese: Beginner

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    There is a mobile home that we lived in while building our house. The available private bedroom is simple but comfortable, with a really nice queen bed, and there is a largely private bathroom next to the bedroom but not directly connected. There is a washing machine that is the one that I use (shared) and I use the kitchen occasionally for the oven and fridge, but it is mostly a private space. If a group of friends wants to stay, there is also a couch in the living room and a fold-out queen size couch bed in the other bedroom (the bed here is less comfortable, but the bathroom is directly attached to the bedroom). I am also happy to accommodate tenters or RVers. There is limited fridge space as we have lots of eggs (which I imagine you will want to help eat!) and farmers cheese in the freezer. Food is basically vegetarian and organic, but not vegan due to quantity of eggs and milk (although not a deal breaker if you do a lot of cooking - rice and beans are a good base for a meal!). I tend to be a coffee-for-breakfast type (I love good coffee!), but there are plenty of eggs, and I can get cereal/oats/whatever if you are so inclined. Plenty of local, organic flour if you like baking, including gluten-free as I need to be. Dinner is the more creative cooking time for me, and am happy to cook together/share cooking ideas, and have fun with it. I can accommodate families with well behaved kids old enough to not need toddler-proofing.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The central Maine area has plenty of interesting social activities from contra dances to capoeira (both of which have enthusiasts in this house, and therefore rides), and there is a wonderful food coop in nearby Belfast. There are hiking trails nearby. Car available if you have a good driving record.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    20 - 25 hours a week for short-term stay, 10-20 for long-termers, flexible. More if you want to, of course.

Goats out for dinner.
Me with Sibley
Guineas and babies
Heirloom tomatoes in the greenhouse.
Goats enjoying the morning sun.
The trailer where workawayers can stay, and the barn.
Navi and Meadghbh waiting for milking time.
Olive waiting for a snack at the picnic table
The goats' table
Snack of corn and tomatoes.
Enjoying the shade on a hot day.
Cindy, protector of chickens.
Birds in the barn.
Host ref number: 176134385533