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We are a small dairy goat farm with some chickens and two rescued dogs. We host many visitors to the Bitterroot Valley: vacationers, skiiers, hikers, fishermen. We host cyclists' as we live on the Trans-Am Cycling Trail as well as many other travelers visiting our area. In 2019, we hosted two hundred and nineteen guests including seventeen volunteers. We have also hosted up to six Workaway volunteers at a time; fifty-two in all since 2015.
We are a retired couple recently (5 yrs) relocated to Montana after thirty years in New Mexico. Phil loves raising animals, gardening, watching sports, grilling spicy ribs from his own recipe. Helping other people, sharing what he knows about gardening and animal husbandry, taking naps and just loving living in the Bitterroot Mountains are among his passions. Linda loves creating a warm and welcoming environment for guests. You might say “hospitality is her thing”. Cooking, baking bread, cross-country skiing, decorating, riding her ATV, blogging, and loving on her animals are among her favorite activities. Chilling out for her would include cruising the net, or watching collegiate football and basketball. We both love thrift store treasure hunting.
Our faith is central to who we are. We believe it is best expressed by what we do and how we treat others but we are always up for a chat about the way we see our world and love to listen to others' viewpoints.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
Not only will we make every effort to see that our volunteers enjoy a memorable and meaningful stay here at our retreat, I'm confident there will be numerous opportunities for interaction between our other guests from other parts of the world and country. Not only are we anxious to teach and share skills, we would love to learn from what skills our volunteers have.
Our experience with communal and cross-cultural living: Our nest has never been empty! Our large home on a rural acreage in NM was a refuge, or free housing for over thirty students, families in crisis, missionaries and/or their children It was then followed by several years as a boarding house for military personnel. All of these experiences we highly embraced. Other cross-cultural activities: We spent two weeks helping build a cafeteria and painting student housing units at a seminary in Costa Rica. Phil participated in a mobile medical clinic in the mountains of Guatemala. And he participated in a cultural exchange program in four regions of China.
One last thing: Workaway is a cultural exchange. We are open to all cultures and points of view. In a world of conflicting social and political views, we feel it's important for volunteers who stay with us to be willing to accept the fact that their political views may not be the same as ours and that is O.K. We don't mind listening and discussing world events and politics when it is done is a calm and open environment. If you can't imagine staying and working along side someone whose views are different than yours, we are not a good choice for you.
We have a two and a half acre hobby farm consisting of a herd of dairy goats , chickens, two rescued dogs, organic garden and sawmill where we mill lumber from fallen logs around the acreage, thus recycling logs from a forest fire. We have recently purchased a small log cabin next door. We are in the process of upgrading it from a crude, dry cabin to one with all facilities.
Volunteers can learn and participate in animal husbandry, vermiculture, bread from raw wheat, cheese making - I'm still learning - ….milling lumber, use of various power equipment, use of ATV for cleaning property. Learning possibilities vary depending on our current activities. Volunteers MUST have their own health and accident insurance.
The help: Farm chores, gardening, clearing ground and creek bank, milling lumber, carpentry, cutting, moving and stacking firewood, landscaping, planting trees, house cleaning, and house and farm sitting, plumbing and electrical work, mechanical maintenance. Last year we purchased two small travel trailers and with the help of Workaway volunteers we updated them. There is still a small amount of work to be done but they have become cute and cozy housing units parked creekside for our Workaway volunteers lodging. VERY IMPORTANT: Upon initial contact, specify the parameters of the length of time you are wanting or willing to spend here. Tell us what interests you most in coming and what you'd like to help with.
Our greatest need is with someone with carpentry experience to help with updating the log cabin. One big project we currently have is restoring a log cabin. We will have lots of fun with this project and will offer opportunities to use an abundance of skills such as painting, sewing, carpentry, decorating. There is always property maintenance and firewood cutting. You can learn to SAFELY operate a chainsaw.
We have a beautiful barn across the creek we completed with logs we milled which were downed from the forest fire with an enclosed milk room. Our milk room has a woodburning stove for warmth in winter months.
Our home, completed five years ago is "rustic style" with reclaimed rough sawn floors and hand-peeled posts and beams. Furnishings include Old Hickory, log furniture and an abundance of custom made arts, crafts, and furniture. We have three heat sources (wood, electricity, and propane) but we heat efficiently and almost exclusively with wood and we love it! We have central air conditioning which we use only in late afternoons during the summer. Our nights, mornings and noons are fabulous!! There is a hot tub off the deck and by the creek for your use.
Volunteers will be housed in one of our two luxury guest rooms when not currently occupied in late fall, winter and early spring, or in warm months, in one of two camper trailers which have been updated. We have used them all summer to house volunteers and they have loved them!
We enjoy all kinds of food and love to try new dishes. We eat a lot of meat, mostly venison, chevon, pork, and poultry. We love vegetables, large breakfasts and can enjoy very spicy food. I bake all our bread and make homemade goats' milk ice cream. (Don't knock it unless you've tried it!) We can accommodate vegetarians. We will provide three meals/day. I don't mind sharing my gourmet kitchen and we love trying new things. Only a MODERATE amount of alcohol can be consumed in our home (1-2 drinks/day) and no drugs.
Guests are welcome to use our laundry facilities.
Our lifestyle is laid back, flexible and accommodating. It is very important that guests and volunteers make themselves at home and not feel excluded in any way.
Our acreage is located in a narrow canyon in the Bitterroot Mountains in Southwest Montana and dissected by a lively creek flowing just past the back deck of the house. The acreage is bordered on National Forest land that sustained a forest fire in 2000. It is still clearly evident. The view from our windows to the southwest are two minor peaks of the Bitterroot range and to the northeast is a Sapphire Range. Our creek empties into the East Fork of the Bitterroot River, a place of world-class fly fishing just a half-mile away. Our address is “Conner, MT” and our home is thirteen miles south of the small town of Darby, fifteen miles further is Hamilton. We are eighty-two miles south of Missoula and the nearest international airport We will pick volunteers up at the airport and take them back - only for volunteers whose stay exceeds one week. To the south, just seventeen miles up the mountain is Lost Trail Powder Mountain Ski Resort and Chief Joseph XC Ski Trails. The dry powder makes skiing so wonderful skiers come from all over the country to ski on it and it’s very affordable! Hiking trails, ATV rides, camping, fishing, birding, wildlife observation or just becoming intoxicated on the scenery are all opportunities nearby. It’s an outdoor paradise year around! A day trip to Goldbug Hotsprings, near Salmon, Idaho is an absolute must!. We will provide some transportation for excursions and possibly a vehicle if the volunteer has a driver's license, can demonstrate competency and provide fuel. Want to go backpacking or camping? We have equipment you can use as well as fishing gear. We also have two ATV's and will undoubtedly allow them to enjoy them in some way!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
4-5 hrs./day , 5 days
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