Learn about permaculture design and implementation in Poplar, NC, USA



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description


    My goal is to establish a sustainable food system here at Poplar Gardens using permaculture techniques.

    I am establishing multiple gardens to accomplish this. There is a small forest garden first with trees first planted in 2020. Also, we there is a mushroom garden of shitake logs, a raised bed kitchen garden, a 20'x40' greenhouse, an old orchard, and 6 acres of pasture that produce grass clippings used to make giant piles of compost each year. Our small tractor is in almost constant use now during this establishment phase.

    Accommodations are quite nice. You'll have your own studio apartment with private bath and kitchen facilities.

    This is a very remote property. It is best for couples or friends traveling together. Your own vehicle is a must.

    The Nolichucky river is close by for rafting. The Appalachian trail is even closer and there is lots of good hiking. Linville Caverns and Linville Gorge are not too far and nice places to visit. It's a 20 minute drive to Erwin TN which is the closest town. It's 40 minutes to Burnsville NC which is a really cute North Carolina mountain town with nice hangout spots, two farmers markets a week and frequent festivals on the square.

    I ask for 15 hours of work a week - usually spread over 4 days. We will gather at 9am Monday through Thursday for coffee or tea and move from there into the work day. Your afternoons and weekends will be entirely free. We can deviate from this occasionally to allow you to plan rafting or other trips, but this will be the schedule almost all of the time. Please only contact me if you are sure you can be up and ready to go by 9am.

    I also ask for a 2 week minimum commitment and happily host people who would like to longer. The typical stay seems to be about 6 weeks.

    ***You provide your own transportation and your own food.***

    The cell signal is generally weak here but wifi calling works great. The internet is fast and reliable. This is suitable for remote workers - as long as the farm work schedule is compatible with your online work schedule.

    ***I am unable to sponsor non-US citizens and can only accept US citizens or those with the relevant permits and permissions already in place.***

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Depending on your interests and the projects underway while you are here, you may learn about various permaculture practices, sustainable agriculture practices, season extension, compost tea, using a laser level and A-frame level to mark contours, digging swales, vegan cooking, using mason jars and the Instant Pot to simplify meal planning and prep, and much more. There will be more repetitive tasks than educational ones, but we'll try hard to make sure at least some of your time involves some learning that interests you.

    I speak passable Spanish and welcome Spanish speakers. We can also use our time working together to help you with your English if it is not your first language.

    If you are interested in experiencing some of the surrounding community, you can seek out volunteer opportunities which you can use to count toward your time for your stay here. One example is the River Link organization in Asheville that hosts volunteer days for waterway cleanup. There are also opportunities in Burnsville related to community gardening and food security. If this appeals to you, it is up to you to seek out these opportunities and present them to me to coordinate the timing. I'm thinking of 1 to 3 days of volunteering instead of working on the farm, not weeks. This offer is for in-person volunteering, not remote computer work.

  • Help


    Hours will generally be 4 hours a day, Monday through Wednesday and 3 hours on Thursday. We'll gather at 9am for coffee, tea and planning the day then dive into work starting at 9:30. There will be an hour break - flexible depending mostly on weather - then back to work and finish at 2:30.

    Some of the tasks I anticipate in 2023 include:

    - Taking care of the orchard.
    - Pruning, mulching, etc.
    - Assisting with compost building.
    - Laying out and creating new pathways and waterways.
    - Caring for crops in the greenhouse. (Lots of tomatoes using a single-leader system.)
    - Caring for the raised bed garden which uses square foot techniques.
    - Assisting with processing the harvest of orchard and garden.
    - Building trails by the creek.
    - Spreading mulch.
    - Splitting firewood with the electric splitter - used while the sun is high and the solar panels are providing power.
    - Building firewood storage with pallets.
    - Building compost bins.
    - Planting and tending annual crops in new raised bed.
    - Lots of other things I can't even anticipate yet.
    - And, always, lots of general maintenance of the land.

    In addition to the general farm help, and depending on the time of year, I am also interested in help with food prep, cooking, and canning. If that interests you, let me know when you contact me.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    I would love to use Spanish and/or help you with your English as we work together in the gardens.

  • Accommodation


    Studio apartment in walk-out basement with lots of light.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The altitude here is just shy of 3000 feet. The Appalachian trail is less than 4 miles away. There is a boat put-in on the Nolichucky river that is even closer. The Lost Cove is somewhere around here. Asheville is a gentle hour and a half drive away. Burnsville is about 40 minutes by car.

    I'd love to have two, or even three, people here at a time, so bring a friend! You'll be happier that way. This is remote and, while there are 4 people living here, we all have busy lives and may not be much company.

    I prefer stays of at least 6 weeks. But let's start with 2 weeks to see if this is a fit.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    I would love to host digital nomads. We have 1GB, fibre optic internet - the most reliable I've ever had.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Arriving with your own camper trailer or van is great. There are no water/sewer/electric hookups but there is an ego power station you can borrow for power, a spot to park where the wifi reaches, and scheduled access to the laundry room.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    15 hours a week spread over M-Th starting at 9am

Host ref number: 288546298615

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