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


United States

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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    The long term vision for these 12 remote acres in Poplar North Carolina includes the creation of a sustainable food system with a heavy focus on forest gardens. 2019 tasks include designing, terracing and planting a kitchen garden, building compost bins and many other things. This is my joy and my hobby, not my work. I work at home doing online marketing.

    I am a 64 year-old with small farm experience. I've done lots of vegetable growing and even spent 5 years raising sheep. Together with my farm girl-friends I've experienced all kinds of farm work, from plugging new shitake logs to building moveable chicken houses to stepping up herbs in the greenhouse. I've also taken many courses on permaculture and sustainable ag topics and have a lot of knowledge to share. Under the same roof, is a renter (tbd) of the upstairs apartment. Worker housing in this three story house is in a very nice, fully functioning studio apartment in the walk-out basement. It is just 1 year old and includes a full kitchen, large bath, heat and air conditioning and various options for beds depending on who is here.

    This is so remote, I really discourage people from coming by themselves. This is best for a couple or friends traveling together. Also, you definitely need your own vehicle.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Charity work
    Language practice

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity 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, vegan cooking, using mason jars and the Instant Pot to simplify meal planning and prep, and much more. I can't promise that all of the tasks will be educational and interesting, but we'll try hard to make sure at least some of it is.

    I speak passable Spanish and welcome Spanish speakers.

    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.

  • Help


    These 12 acres here are pretty much a blank canvas. There are about 7 acres of pasture, plus a small orchard and a couple hundred shitake logs. There is a pond that doesn't hold water and creeks on two borders.

    Come April 2020, I will have a professionally created and documented permaculture plan for us to work from.

    Some of your physical work will involve doing (and learning if it's new to you) cool things like how to mark level contours, sheet mulch, build hugelkultur beds and dig swales. A whole lot of the work will be mundane clearing and weed whacking and digging. There is a lot that needs doing and the needs to the land take precedence. To the degree possible, projects you help on will be tailored to your own skills and desires.

    Here's a current list of projects that need doing. This is subject to constant change.
    - Build raised beds using a combination of hugelkultur, sheet mulching and composting in place.
    - Plant trees and shrubs.
    - Mulch large areas to prepare a new forest garden sites.
    - Take soil samples for sending off to have the biology in the soil analyzed.
    - Weed whack and mow all over the place.
    - Plant more plants for the container garden on the deck and front steps.
    - Turn the half-done log-cabin into a summer camping space by adding a roof and screening.
    - Start up a nursery operation for propagating plants for future use in forest gardens on the property.
    - Plant lots of bird and pollinator habitat around the house.

    In addition to the general farm help, I am also interested in help with food prep and cooking so if that is something that interests you, let me know when you contact me.

    Hours will generally be 5 hours a day starting at 8:30am. I'll usually spend some or all of the first hour planning and working with you before I dive into my day job. (I work at home.)

    There will be occasional and unpredictable opportunities to work elsewhere for fun, variety and making new friends. For example, River Link in Asheville has volunteer days cleaning up local waterways. If you are up for the drive (in your own vehicle) you are welcome to do that for a day and count it towards your time here. There are also neighbors in Poplar and surrounding areas with farm projects and help who we might join to complete projects that require more hands.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Spanish

  • Accommodation


    You'll have your own 400+ sq ft, furnished, studio apartment in the walk-out basement. There is a fully equipped kitchen and large bathroom. The apartment has lots of light. There is high-speed internet (fiber optics) and heating and air conditioning. There are full-sized and twin beds available. We'll set it up to suit your needs.

    This is a practically brand new apartment. You'll be expected to keep it clean and undamaged. Quiet hours are 11pm to 6am. This just means please don't be blasting the speakers during those hours.

    I will provide $35/wk per person for food. You will do your own shopping and cooking in your own kitchen.

    You will need and want your own transportation. This is a remote property that is a 20 minute drive from the nearest gas station and grocery store and I am not in a position to provide any transportation at all.

  • 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 I'm not much company because I'm working at my desk most of the day except for our morning meet-ups to plan the day.

    Let's start with 2 weeks but I am very open to longer stays if we feel like it's a fit after those 2 weeks. Let me know if that's what you are looking for.

    Spanish speakers welcome. My Spanish is far from perfect but I think we can manage.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 288546298615