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2023 New Year Update!
Firstly, we would like to thank the 25 Workawayers that we hosted in '21-'22. It was our first year hosting workawayers and a fun and productive year at that - we couldn't have done it without YOU ALL!
Hello and welcome to our Workaway page! We are a family building our Homestead in the Arkansas River Valley, situated in the small town of Howard, Colorado. Our 40 acre property is at an elevation of 6800'-7200 feet where the weather is nice, the air is clean, and the scenery is breathtaking. We're so lucky to live here and we're excited to share it with you!
Currently we're building a new house out of recycled and repurposed materials. Similar to an Earthship but with our own twist using Hempcrete. I fell in love with the idea of building an eco-friendly home out of Hempcrete when I was studying Horticulture in college. When I met Cassie she introduced me to the Earthship design and it instantly resonated with me. The one concern being off-gassing of decomposing tires. This is where I thought Hempcrete could really shine. Hempcrete acts as a natural Hepa filter so incasing the interior tire walls with 6" of Hempcrete was more than enough to put my mind at ease.
We are roughly 50% done with the tire walls and starting in March or April we will be focused on finishing tires by early July. We will need as much help packing and leveling tires as we can get. It's a lot of manual labor but I promise you will get an amazing workout, a farm worthy tan, and all the fresh air you want!
If manual labor isn't your cup of tea we have plenty of other chores and projects around the Homestead. Currently, we have 3 goats, 2 ducks, 18 chickens, 1 rooster, and 1 Livestock Guard Dog that all need daily food and watering. We plan on raising more chickens and turkeys this summer. Culling chickens and turkeys will be on our to do list late Summer early Fall. We will probably raise a couple pigs this summer too...our freezer is getting low. Along with animal chores we will also have a full garden with raised beds and small greenhouse that will need daily attention.
If homestead chores, gardening, and processing animals for meat isn't your cup of tea either, we have plenty of arts and crafts opportunities while learning, teaching, and playing with our 5 and 2yr old daughters. They love showing workawayers around and introducing you all to the animals. Spending time with them is just as helpful as working on building the house or tending to the homestead. If you like to harness your inner child by using your imagination and playing with kids please put us at the top of your list!
Cassies cooking is amazing and we will do our best to cater to your dietary preferences. We have a campground with power and are currently building an outhouse and potentially an outdoor wash room/shower. We have a nice 12'x14' glamping tent and a 5th wheel that are first come first served. There's level spots at the campground to park a camper or van. We currently live in a small modular home where you will be able to cook, clean, and shower. There's a washer and dryer you can schedule for laundry time. Our house is a short 200 meter walk from the campground.
We're located 15 miles southeast of the super cool and hip town of Salida, CO. There you will find restaurants, shops, craft breweries, river walks, climbing walls, bike trails, and of course the Arkansas River! You can rent paddle boards, kayaks, rafts, and boogy boards to surf the river. Dry off and get a burger or tacos and house made chips at the Boathouse Cantina overlooking the River or you can't go wrong with a wood fired pie from Amicas Pizza!
Types of help and learning opportunitiesArt ProjectsLanguage practiceHelp with Eco ProjectsTeachingGardeningDIY and building projectsAnimal CareFarmstay helpCreating/ Cooking family mealsHelp around the houseGeneral MaintenanceHelp with Computers/ Internet
UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
If you are looking to make plans for Spring, Summer, or Fall 2023, please reach out and let me know. Great area for fishing, hiking, backpacking, camping, mountain biking, 4-wheeling, rafting, and kayaking. We're engulfed by the Colorado Culture here and we love it!
What's an Earthship? A passive solar, thermal mass home that is made of both natural and recycled materials (primarily earth-packed tires), designed by a revolutionary architect named Michael Reynold and there is an entire community in Taos, New Mexico.
This is a great opportunity for individuals, couples, or families interested in pursuing a self-sustaining lifestyle. We hope this experience will inspire you and give you the skills you need to build your own self-sustaining home in the future. Or at least an idea where to start!
Projects involving children
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Not your traditional Earthship tire pounding. If you search "Tristan's foot method" on YouTube that is essentially what I've copied and set up. I use a skid loader instead of a backhoe. Still lots of sledgehammer work but not as much with this setup.
Other things we need help with:
-Getting water to the goats/chickens
-Cleaning up around the property (picking up wood pieces, cardboard, twine, etc.)
-Meal preparation and cooking
-Running errands in Salida or Canon City.
-Tacking trash and recyclables to Canon City with Scott.
-Creative play and entertaining kids
This host offers a language exchange
Cassie knows a little of Español and I would like to learn more. We went to Thailand and Cambodia for our honeymoon and aren't afraid to try any language.
Really nice 12'x14' White Duck glamping tent with electricity. We have a sink and counter setup in there currently and plan on adding a mini fridge this Spring.
There are a couple 5th wheels on the property with limited availability and hookups. Please ask if you need the 5th wheels, they belong to our Mom and Mother-in-law.
We also have multiple tent sites and one solid camper/camper van/RV/5th wheel site. We have a variety of tents available (1 person, 2 person, or 5 people) with air mattresses and bedding (sheets, pillows, mattress topper).
We have a small manufactured home with electricity, running water, and satellite internet. We currently live in this home with our two daughters. If you are camping your welcome to hang out at the picnic tables and connect to the wifi while enjoying the incredible view!
Showers are available inside and we hope to get an outdoor shower and outhouse built near the campsites asap.
What else ...
We back to thousands of acres of BLM with great access for hiking and exploring old mining trails by foot, ATV, or dirtbikes. 1 mile down our private road is the Arkansas River and some sweet little fishing holes. Vallie Bridge recreational site is 3 miles away. Rainbow trail access is just across the river. A professional downhill mnt biker lived here before us and built some epic trails and a mini BMX pump track so bring your bikes!
Turkey Rock recreational area is 5 miles down the road. This is a gold mine if you like the Colorado outdoors. Our elevation is just under 7k feet and the climate is a more alpine desert with Pinon pines, scrub oak, and rocky mnt juniper. The Sun in the Summer months can be a little intense so don't forget your straw hats and Sun protection!
On the other side of the river its big dense forests great for mushroom foraging and cooling off in an alpine lake. There's a hip mountain town located 15 miles away in Salida, CO with shops, restaurants, skate park, pizza and breweries, indoor and outdoor climbing walls, river walk, hot springs, parks, and of course river rafting, kayaking, and paddleboarding! There's a disc golf course in Poncha, I haven't had time to play there yet, I also have 1 basket at our property you can move around. This valley is considered the banana belt of CO and is also located in the second most concentrated area of 14ers in the world! We really are so lucky to live here and look forward to sharing it with you!
A little more information
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Can host digital nomads
We have Starlink satellite internet, which is reliable and fast enough to make video calls and stream video. There's wifi available at the house and you can schedule time in our 5th wheel if you need to make calls or have privacy to work. Or perhaps you'd enjoy a picnic table in the shade with a million dollar view as your office?
Space for parking camper vans
New campervan site leveled with power hookups. If you have 4x4 there's a lot of options but for 2wd and low clearance campers we'll have at least 2 sites.
How many Workawayers can stay?
More than two
20-25 hrs a week
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