Help with at our sustainable homestead farm in Montague, MA, USA


United States

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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Hi lovers of the outdoors, of good food, or sustainable food growing! We are looking for some enthusiastic folks who love to work outdoors together. "We" are Babette and Mark.

    If you want to be part of starting up a homestead permaculture farm - come and help us! Our 36-acre farm - half woods and half fields - is in beautiful Montague, Massachusetts, 2 hours from Boston, and 3 hours from New York City. This is not a working farm.

    We do fun projects like: raise chickens on kitchen compost, worms and leaves from the neighborhood; try out scything; build a straw bale studio; raise sheep; are attempting to grow a whole field of berries with odd names (aronia anyone?). Eventually, we would like to make a real business out of a regenerative farm using permaculture principles and selling nuts, but we are several years away from this as our nut trees are all currently less than 3 feet tall.

    In 2022, we have room for workawayers to stay in our new food forest in Montague. We have a garden house where you will stay, and are building a second one, or a roomy tent in the summer season, with shared bathroom with compost toilet.

    This is a great opportunity to be a part of building a permaculture food forest from the ground up!

    CoVid-19 update. Mark and Babette are both vaccinated and require any workawayers to have completed their full round of vaccine doses at least two weeks before arrival. Let’s keep everyone in the community safe and healthy!

    SPECIAL WINTER STAY: We are looking for a workaway (single or couple) who can stay at the food forest three months from Dec-Feb. Your main responsibilities will be to manage the lovely sheep and chickens, and to deliver eggs to our neighbors (nearby). You will have plenty of space to call your own, as we will mostly not be there. This is a great opportunity for an artist or writer or anyone who is looking for a quiet retreat, or for someone who wants to get to know the area better to relocate here!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • 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

    We promise you will learn a lot about implementing permaculture in a temperate climate setting. This is an opportunity to learn about setting up a new permaculture garden and farm - all the work that goes into the early stages!

    We do all our cooking from scratch with mostly local ingredients; we minimize our trash by reducing and recycling; our house run on solar for heating, lighting, car charging etc. plus other carbon-reducing features, so this is also an opportunity to learn about green building and retrofitting.

    Also, if you are not from the United States, you will learn about the American culture with us - and if you are shy about English, we speak German, French, Dutch and if necessary a smattering of Spanish.

  • Help


    We would like to ask you to help a total of 20 hours per week; spread over 2-4 days, and this could include some days of animal chores (one to two hours).

    We'll be working together - with Babette or, with one of the other work-aways or interns. In 2022, our projects at the farm include: daily care of the growing chicken flock; rotating our sheep through the pastures; building a trellises for berries; planting companion plants (a polyculture) around our nut trees and berry bushes; building a small studio out of timber frame, straw, natural plaster, and a sod roof. We also appreciate support keeping our social media presence lively and engaging.


  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    Spanish: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    The accommodations will be your very own a garden house, or a roomy tent during the warm season. There is one shared bathroom (shower with hot water and composting toilet).

    Visitors can also stay with us for a few days in our house near Boston as a part of their farm-stay with us. In this case, you will have a large, sunny room in our house in Needham (near Boston) on the third floor with your own bathroom.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Mark and I like to have people around, and we've always enjoyed visitors or the people who stayed and worked with us in the past two years. We don't expect help cleaning up our junk, but we do expect everyone to clean up after themselves, and to help clean up when we've eaten together.

    At the farm, we have bikes for guests and people frequently use these to explore the area. Nearby are the lovely Bookmill (well-known and loved second hand bookstore) and the Lady Killigrew cafe; the towns of Greenfield and Turners Falls are a bike ride away, and the area offers lots of quiet roads and forest for biking or hiking. We also have a swimming hole nearby. If you have a car, you will find lots of great hiking and camping in the area, as well as the lovely towns of Amherst, Northampton, and more.

  • 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

    Yes we have wifi.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    There is lots of flat space where a campervan could be stationed for a limited time.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    We have a very friendly dog, and if you have one friendly dog, they would probably get along! However, we do request only a well-behaved, not barky, and small to medium size dog. Unfortunately, our dog thinks cats are great to chase so your cat would not be happy with us.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    20 hours per week spread over 2-4 days

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Host ref number: 438897827781