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We have been homesteading on this farm since 2007. Our farm is not commercial. We are focused on fruit and nut trees which are mostly young. Most nut trees won't produce full crops for 20 years. So we are a hobby farm and really just a homestead at this point, focused on sustainability and feeding ourselves, friends and family. Fingers-crossed, God-willing and the creek don't rise, we will start producing and selling at a small scale at farmers markets/commercially in 2026 or so.
We have a beautiful spot in South-West Central Indiana, USA with a mix of woodlands, pasture, fruit & nut orchard, ponds and gardens. We raise livestock in a caring loving way, mostly to feed family and friends. There are cows, chickens, geese as well as dogs and cats. We also produce our own maple syrup, log grown shiitake mushrooms and are quite proficient foragers of edible plants. For travelers interested in homesteading and self-sufficiency in rural settings, we offer a tremendous amount of experience. Plus, we have been international travelers ourselves!
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Life in rural USA offers connection to life in the rural areas where you are from. Human beings are all connected to the soil, water and animal life around them. Rural USA may at first glance appear to be culturally homogeneous but there are pockets of diversity. From a cultural exchange perspective, we would benefit travelers by demonstrating our connection to the natural world and humankind. We celebrate USA holidays and we celebrate the seasons. Our homestead culture is to celebrate each of life's gift and joys: the tapping of the maples at the close of winter, the singing of the frogs in spring, the splashing in the cool pond waters in summer, eating crisp Asian pears in fall and sledding down the hills in winter. We promote a culture of connection and a culture of celebration. We specialize in growing fruit and nut trees so there is good opportunity to learn about Prunus, Diospyros, Juglans, Pyrus, Malus and other species that we work as we manage hundreds of cultivars to produce in no-spray, beyond organic orchards.
Our homestead always has an a lot of things going on mostly related to the season. At harvest time, we will be picking fruit, processing for storage, drying, etc. In spring, we will plant vegetable crops for our family garden, graft fruit trees, incubate eggs and start the first broilers on pasture. In summer, we are weeding and mowing, scything and eating berries. In fall we harvest apples, pears, plums and many other kinds of fruit as well as walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts and many other kinds of nuts from our family garden. In fall, we also prepare firewood and plant garlic. Help requested from travelers will be dependent on season.
Main tasks might be taking care of individual fruit trees by laying cardboard to smother grass and topping with mulch, weeding in the garden, collecting fruits, maintaining walking trails, chopping firewood, collecting eggs or participating in farm building projects like a small bridge over a creek or a new coop for chickens. If you speak Spanish, Mandarin, or Mongolian language then we will enjoy practicing our language learning speaking with you.
Chinese (Mandarin): Beginner
This host offers a language exchange
We are fluent in English and Mongolian and interested in advancing our beginner Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
Next to a 2-acre pond and on the edge of the woods, we have a small cabin on that is equipped for guests with a sleeping loft and small living space including front porch and open-fire cooking area. Accommodations are comfortable but without running water, like “glamping”. The cabin is accessible only via foot path or by 4x4 over rugged road that crosses creek during dry soil conditions. There is no wi-fi and cell service is poor through Verizon, not available through Sprint. Pads for sleeping are comfortable and upstairs loft also has carpet. We can provide clean sheets and pillow. Upstairs may be hot during the humid summer and it may be preferable to move the pads down to the lower level or sleep in a tent or hammock with mosquito net (provided). We have propane camp stove for cooking as well as a propane heater for cold mornings in early spring or late fall. Swimming is possible in the 2-acre pond. Pond water can also be used for bathing with provided camp shower. There are multiple docks for easy access to pond. Drinking water can be provided from municipal source in 5-gallon containers, if desired.
Cast iron cooking pan, stainless steel pot, dish washing, salt & pepper and basic cooking and eating implements are provided at the cabin. For food, we provide up to 3 eggs each morning and onion or seasonal allium for breakfast. Guests will cook eggs on their own to their desired taste. Alternately, 1-2 cups of old-fashioned oatmeal with maple syrup can be provided in place of eggs. We provide one main, hot, home-cooked meal each day in afternoon, usually with ingredients from our farm, usually with beef, pork or chicken. In the evenings, we provide yoghurt, nuts and herbal teas. Also, we provide 2 granola-type snack bars per day. Guests are welcome to supplement their diet by fishing from the pond. Bass, catfish, bluegill and sunfish abound. Fishing equipment provided. Depending on the season, we will also share some of the fruit harvest: apples, peaches, plums, pears, etc. But guests are expected to ask before harvesting any fruit for their own consumption. Some fruits like wild persimmons will be open for collecting as much as you desire!
Bathroom is above ground composting toilet inside an outhouse. Cedar shavings are added to the toilet after use. After repeated use toilet contents are deposited in wood chip pile to continue composting.
Our farmstead is located in a very rural setting and an ideal traveler will be one that is interested in nature and enjoys solitary, quiet environment to practice writing or drawing, poetry or reading. We have a small shelf of books in English for consideration at the cabin and are welcome to supplement titles from our home library which is extensive for topics on sustainability, literature, poetry and art. Our property also has hiking trails for exploring, the pond can be used for recreation like canoeing, kayaking, and swimming (canoe and kayaks available). Mentioned above, fishing rods and tackle is provided, and the large pond is stocked.
We can likely accommodate couples and 2 people travelling together.
We expect that most travelers will spend the majority of their time during their stay on our property. We can provide for all basic needs. We expect that most travelers will have their own transportation. Public transportation is not available from our farm. Rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber do not operate in our area or would likely be very expensive. We may be able to provide transportation to/from Bloomington, Indiana or Terre Haute, Indiana. Both Bloomington and Terre Haute are about 35 minutes away by car.
The best sights in Owen County, Indiana are in McCormick’s Creek State Park. It offers many amenities built around a beautiful canyon and creek that flow into the adjacent White River and is nearby the town of Spencer, Indiana with small shops, brewery, restaurants, and grocery.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Campervan or motorhome opportunities are limited. Main traveler cabin for lodging is located in area that can only be accessed with 4x4 vehicle during dry conditions without trailer. Opportunities for larger campervans, trailers or motorhomes will be rare, for example, only for a short window after hay has been cut in a pasture.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week