In the interest of clarity and full disclosure, we are very committed followers of Jesus - but we are not involved in an institutional church. Politically we are freedom loving libertarians. We believe in very healthy living based on an organic diet and we are very careful of what we put into our bodies. Our water source (which has been tested) is a high mountain spring and we own the entire watershed, so our water is very pure and free from chlorine, floride and other noxious chemicals often found in public water systems and sadly even in many wells. We have elected to postpone receiving the Covid vaccine until enough time has passed to have good data both on the effacy and potential side effects.
Both of us are very active in a local food pantry serving the underprivileged - we donate our time, our money, and our excess organic produce.
Our homestead is not a business. We raise nothing for sale, but we do donate excess production to the less fortunate.
In my prior life as a business executive I traveled world wide (over 40 countries) so we are sensitive and understanding of other cultures. We are both in our late 60's.
We are in alignment with the UN goals of Sustainable Living, Eliminating Poverty, Eliminating Hunger, promoting Good Health, preserving genetic diversity of plants and animals, Clean Water and Sanitation and we live those tenants by being actively engaged in working toward these goals, both on our homestead as well as in our community.
I would consider our homestead very mature from the standpoint of organic food production. We have been here 11 years developing the infrastructure. You can see that in our pictures. We are not certified organic because we don't sell anything that comes from our farm for profit - we give it away, but in practice we do follow the guidelines for organic food production.
We raise three different kinds of heritage animal breeds as part of our permaculture regime - rabbits, chickens & pigs. We also raise Italian honey bees. We also have a stocked pond for fish production.
Our rabbits are Silver Fox which is a large breed that's very docile and friendly. The Livestock Conservatory lists this Silver Fox as threatened but recovering. We raise them predominantly in rabbit tractors or in a colonly area.
Our chickens are Buff Orpington which is a large gentle heritage breed. We free range them.
Our pigs are the American Guinea Hog which is the original homestead pig dating back to the beginning of the US. They were even owned by Thomas Jefferson. They are very docile and friendly, small compared to commercial pink pigs. They forage on grass and acorns vs rooting like many other pig breeds. We also free range them. We are members of the American Guinea Hog Association.
We have a greenhouse for seed germination and that's also where we house our hydropoinics system for winter food production plus a fodder production system for producing green food in the winter for our animals.
We have an orchard as well as an area dedicated to permaculture guild food production which is targeted to production for sustainable feeding of our free range chicken flock. We use native crab apple for the anchor tree and surround that with Indigobush (nitrogen fixer that also drops seeds for our chickens) , elderberry (tincture for us and chickens eat the berries) and catmint (feeds bees when other plants not in bloom).
We grow annual vegetables mostly in a fenced garden using raised beds with low tunnels for season extension, but we also have large areas where we grow summer squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and other crops requiring large amounts of space.
We go to great lengths to avoid inputs from off property - especially those that harm the environment. For example, we don't start seeds in plastic pots, we us soil blocks that we make on the homestead.
We make extensive use of leaves collected from our hardwood forest (deep mineral accumulators) which we shred using a commercial grade leaf collector vacuum machine. We then filter or grade them by size using a device I invented. We use fines in our soil blocks and mediums for mulching. Leaves don't have weed seeds, don't have to be composted prior to use, and the earthworms in our gardens love them and they add lots of organic matter to the soil improving the tilth and water retention of our soil.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Our 75 acre all organic farm is located in the Smokey Mountain area of Tennessee. This is a mountaneous area with lots of streams and rivers and a very diverse hardwood forest. The actual Smokey Mountains National Park which is the most visited National Park in the United States is just a bit over an hour away.
We are located about 20 minutes from the second oldest town in Tennessee - Rogersville.
Hawkins County where we live has at one time been a part of North Carolina, then the short lived State of Franklin and finally Tennessee in 1798.
We are good friends with the owners of the oldest stone house in Tennessee which also has the oldest stone dam in Tennessee - built in 1781.
So the history of this area goes back before the Revolutionary War.
People here are friendly and welcoming. It is a step back in time compared to the urban areas of the US.
Because of our age we need folks with more strength and stamina than we have. We have the knowledge and will work alongside you to teach you our food production techniques honed over 11 years living on our homestead.
Daily tasks will consiste of animal husbandry as well as working in our various gardens and food production facilities. We will teach you how to make soil blocks efficiently, how to start plants in the greenhouse, the why and wherefore of companion planting in raised beds. You will harvest every day because we always have something growning. You will learn how to water bath can and pressure can foods for storage and also dehydrating foods for long term storage - and what technique is appropriate for what food.
We have two diesel tractors and pretty much any tractor implement, so if you wish we will teach you their operation. We also have a bulldozer and backhoe for terraforming - Sepp Holtzer inspired us in that direction.
We are always building something, so if you want to learn basic rough carpentry we can teach you that.
This host offers a language exchange
We are interested in bi lingual guests
We have a 26 foot RV available for your use, we also have a separate RV parking area with water and 30 Amp electric and access to a dump station.
You are free to pick, cook & eat as much of our organic food as you wish and we will supplement that with occasional communal meals with all who are on the property (and frequently other homesteader friends in the area) and we will buy your groceries that we can't grow here. In other words your food is all covered.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Our internet is based on fiber optic line to our main house, from there we have a dedicated long range WiFi network for guests. I myself have a consulting practice and use the network daily for my work, so I maintain backup power so we always have Internet access.
We have an RV parking spot with 30 Amp electric and water. We have a dump station about 75 yards away.
We have a rough Collie dog who is very protective of the farm. So large dogs might be an issue if she doesn't approve, but she gets along great with small dogs. She doesn't like cats at all. We also free range our chickens so any dog needs to be chicken friendly. Otherwise we can possibly entertain pets.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week