We are a senior adult couple who have lived in our community for 30 years and have worked from home running a small cottage business since 1999, making foods, handmade soaps and skincare items which we sell online, at local shops, a hotel, bed and breakfasts, and out of the working studio/commercial kitchen adjacent to our home. We grow apples, plums and a variety of berries, along with vegetables, herbs and flowers for our personal use as well as for use in products we make. We also have an authentic tipi, which we erect from May-September and operate seasonally as a romantic bed and breakfast getaway.
Our home, life and business are interwoven--we retired from healthcare professions in our 40's and have always let passionate interests guide our life choices, which are rooted in creating things, sustainable living, connection to the land, active engagement in the community, and staying busy doing what we love. We are do-it-yourself people: we designed our house, harvested lumber from the property, sourced recycled materials and finished it ourselves after it was framed up. We built all the gardens, outbuildings and fencing and do most of the home and business chores ourselves. Nancy's mother is in her 90's and lives on the same grounds in a cottage we built for her. Our goal is to age in place, continue to mentally and physically challenge ourselves, and evolve as needs and circumstances change.
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We live on 10 acres on an island near Seattle, which is accessible by a 35 minute ferry ride; our property abuts a woodland preserve with miles of hiking trails. The property is privately situated with no visible neighbors and is mostly natural woods surrounding a large sunny gardening area and outbuildings, including a chicken coop, smoke house, log gazebo with a wood fired oven. Our farm is 3.4 miles from a picturesque downtown with shops, a great public library, historical museum and a regional art museum. The island is a fun place to hike, bike and explore, play, and enjoy the natural beauty. There are many music, educational and recreational activities available, including cycling, and swimming. Cyclists of moderate ability ( lots of hills…) flock to our area for an ideal, picturesque place to ride. Seattle is easily accessible by ferry. Buses are available in winter for day trips to ski areas, and it is relatively easy to take the train, ferries or buses to areas near Seattle, including British Columbia, Mt. Rainier, The Olympic and Cascade mountains for day or overnight trips.
We love to share recipes and cook and eat at home most nights; we are good and willing teachers. We have raised three children. Since they have all grown and fledged, we have hosted our niece, who lived with us for several months after moving to the area, and a young graduate student who lived with and helped us during the first year of her studies. Many friends volunteer to help with events and other things we do in the community, and we are lifelong community volunteers as well. We regret that English is our only spoken language. We have traveled extensively within the US and have visited Canada, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Kenya, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. We are nurturing, liberal and (obsessively) focused on politics, climate change and emergency preparedness (we live in earthquake country); we enjoy fostering and encouraging young people to let their dreams and values direct their own life choices; we have high expectations of ourselves and others for honesty, integrity and work ethic.
The following are general projects and tasks, roughly according to season.
January-March: pruning, winter garden cleanup and getting ready for the growing season; starting seeds in the greenhouse; keeping things clean and tidy. The first few months of the year are slow in the garden. We use the winter months to slow down, breathe, and catch up on things that have been ignored the rest of the year, like painting the utility room, updating our website, learning new skills and strategizing for the busy season.
April-August: planting the vegetable and cutting gardens; weeding!; picking berries, harvesting vegetables, cutting flowers; keeping things clean and tidy.
September-early December: harvest, prepare and store winter vegetables; cleaning up the gardens; keeping things clean and tidy.
Depending on the duration and timing of your stay with us and assuming a mutually established trust, we might ask you housesit for us for a few days.
Spacious and private bedroom with bathroom are upstairs. Occasional friends and family will sleep in another upstairs bedroom and share your bathroom. Our bedroom and the main living areas are downstairs. The building which houses our business is across the driveway, and the woods, pond and gardens and tipi are the view from the house (and your bedroom). Our household is omnivorous and strictly non-smoking. You will share meals with us and we enjoy communal cooking and all kinds of cuisines! Our home is a 10 minute walk from a bus stop and 3.4 miles from the downtown area and ferry terminal. We are avid readers and have an extensive personal library that includes fiction, art, history and photography. Living, dining and kitchen areas are shared with us. The living room has a large screen TV; we typically watch the news most nights and binge watch movies and series several evenings a week.
Our house and homestead is beautiful, serene, tucked away and yet close to town. Guests, friends and family come and go all the time. Our chicken coop is currently home to 5 hens and a crowing rooster, and we are owned by two Jack Russell terriers who are our constant companions. It is common to see and hear coyotes and a wide variety of birds and other wildlife, such as raccoon, possum, squirrels, deer, etc; both mallards and wood ducks raise their young in the pond every year.
We are neat and tidy, work collaboratively and keep a clean house and well cared for garden. Workawayers share our home and lives, and we seek people who can blend into our household and live and work alongside us. We also value flexibility, resourcefulness, new ideas and a strong, self directed work ethic. We are more tech savvy than 90% of people our age, and keen to learn more ways to use modern technology as tools and resources.
While we do not practice a formal religion, we are spiritual and consider ourselves to be highly ethical and moral; we respect and embrace diversity of all kinds, but are intolerant of racism and bigotry.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week