This is a small family farm which is home to a Jersey milk cow, Buttercup. In January of 2018 she delivered her first calf, a girl named Rose. Since Buttercup has an excess of milk, I grafted a Holstein calf to her. She now is loving and nursing the two little calves on grass pasture as nature intended. Seasonally I raise pigs. Dairy goats, the cow, ducks and chickens keep us in milk and eggs. All the animals have grass pasture to live on. Goats are milked every twelve hours. From the milk I make many different cheeses, yogurt, ice cream, caramel sauce, and sour cream. Butter is churned from the cow cream. In February and March sisters Sissy and Juhee had their babies. Cricket is Sissy's little doeling who will grow up here. Juhee delivered a lovely little doeling who was named Sugar and she, also, will grow up here. The boys that were born will be sold after weaning.
There are wonderful vegetable gardens where most of the food is raised year around. Last summer we had one week of excessive heat (123 F) which kind of fried the tomatoes and cucumbers. But squash and eggplant survived. Most of July and August the soil rests, then is replanted late August for fall and winter harvest. That harvest begins in November. Now mid April and still there is kale, swiss chard, spinach, celery, broccoli and peas are being picked. Many tomatoes are on the vines but need to turn red. Half the oranges and other citrus has been harvested but so much still remains to be made into juice. We could never consume all of it. The orchard has been extended the past month with the planting of new varieties of pear, apple, apricot, two new peach trees and four new grape vines. Included in "new" are raspberry and blackberry bushes dug from a friends garden. The 100 foot long by 17 foot wide compost area is churning out marvelous rich compost which is enriching the native soil. The gardens are thriving!
A large tractor lowered the front lawn by 8 inches to enable irrigation water to flood it. When viewing this vast area now devoid of grass, I got the idea to turn it into yet another garden! Why not? Plenty of backbreaking labor went into creating twenty rows that are deep furrows to be filled in with compost and good topsoil. Already 8 rows have been planted and are growing nicely. As the weather warms I will put in okra, melons and sweet potatoes. Row 20 is growing two giant pumpkin plants. These pumpkin plants have the genetic potential to have pumpkins weighing 100# each!! I shared plants with neighborhood children so we all can have fun growing them!
The farm has two houses. I live in the smaller house at the back of the property and guests have the large house with large kitchen. I do need help with daily chores and cleanup to keep thing tidy and looking nice. To run and maintain a nice property it is important to do three things daily, or at least every few days. Daily the animals must be cared for and their manure cleaned up. the second chore is to look around to notice something that needs repairing and take care of it. The third task is working on improvements such as painting or anything that will make things nicer.
Knowing how to mow a lawn is a big help to me. I love to teach the skills I have learned over many years. This includes farming, gardening, food preservation of every kind, butchering, making sausages, fermenting, quilting, knitting and too many to remember and mention.
All the meat has been raised on the farm in a responsible way. The animals live in a peaceful, quiet atmosphere. I enjoy quiet, love people and think of them as my family when they are guests here. Farm work isn't necessarily hard but must be done daily at specific times no matter if we feel like it or not. Our major responsibility is attentive care to the animals, seeing that they have clean surroundings, fresh water and adequate food.
I really enjoy bright, happy people who can work without having to be told every little thing they need to do. To micro-manage an adult is exhausting and really not necessary. Self starters and I get along well! I find gum chewing and overheard music very distracting. Cigarette smoking is not allowed here. The hours worked do not include being connected to a phone. Leave the phone in your room! I also ask that ear buds also stay in your room during work hours. This helps keep you focused on the tasks at hand and, most importantly, allows you to hear the silence and sounds of nature.
A membership by the month at a deluxe (over the top) gym/spa located a mile from the farm is available to all. I am issued several guest passes per month so you can go as a guest to see if you want a month or day membership. It has a lap pool, walk-in shallow to deep indoor swimming pool with water slide and beautiful outdoor pool with slide. Upstairs are state of the art machines for workouts. Basketball, volleyball and climbing wall are also on site. A cafe, beauty salon and massage parlor are on site also.
The bedrooms are bright and cheerful. There is a wash machine and clotheslines. A dryer is available if necessary. There are three freezers full of food, a garden full of fresh vegetables, oranges and other fruits on the trees, a refrigerator for the fresh milk and another refrigerator for regular food. I want you to feel at home here, choose from the wide array of available food and make whatever you want to eat. It is important for all of us to be conscious of our use of electricity and water. Both are expensive in the desert.
The kitchen is awesome with all kinds of cooking tools and extensive cooking library. With rare exception, volunteers prepare their own meals. Sometimes guests will ask me to make them something special which I happily do. I prepare the yogurt, homemade bread and other basics. We all share in picking of garden vegetables and preparing them for cooking/eating. Sharing in the kitchen makes me very happy. I want every guest to feel at home and be sad to leave because they had such a great time!
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
Volunteers learn how I am able to live on a small piece of land where I raise nearly all of my food and be able to do it themselves. They will learn how I remain healthy and active by how I live. They will learn many skills towards self sufficiency, but most of all how to live in a calm environment and feel peaceful.
I appreciate help with chores that require walking, carrying buckets full of cow food, loading bins with hay pellets and other animal food. Waiting on customers, caring for boarding dogs and animal waste cleanup are part of a normal day.
Mornings are when most chores are done. Help with lawn mowing is a huge help to me. It is done with a lawn tractor and also a new, powerful battery powered mower. During the rest of the morning we work on things that might need tending, such as watering new trees or garden, painting a gate, sweeping a messy area and other little jobs. But we do not work all day.
I am flexible and try to make things enjoyable for everyone. Families work together and play together. While here, you will be family!
Large, private house for guests with clean, freshly painted bedrooms and full bathroom, living room and large kitchen that is well stocked. WiFi connection. Puzzles and board games are popular past time pleasures for many. The weekly cleaning of the volunteer house is done by the volunteers. Rules are to clean up after yourself when using the kitchen so that it is clean for the next person wanting to use it. Communal meals happen frequently. Everyone pitches in for preparation and cleanup afterwards.
There is close by transportation, many places to shop, zoo, sports arena, desert preserve, library and churches. There are bus' that will transport you to the Grand Canyon and other famous Arizona sightseeing places. Mountain camping and hiking is popular.
There are many lakes close for swimming, fishing and boating. I have a 23 year old granddaughter who is quite an outdoors gal and who has taken guests to the lakes for a get together with other young people. If a guest wants to leave for a few days for recreation I encourage them to go and have a great time.
I am able to provide a van to a very select few travelers who would benefit from having transportation. You must be 25 or older with a clean driving record and be willing to pay for the insurance for the time you use the vehicle. The insurance is $40 per month.
A peaceful, friendly, family style life is how I live. With open arms I welcome those who show integrity in this wonderful exchange of volunteer hours for the quiet country lifestyle, living in pleasant surroundings and enjoying wholesome farm raised food. Further, I really appreciate those who recognize the fact that at nearly 78 years of age I do need help with lifting and distance walking.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Otherwise 4 hours a day, six days a week.