*️️*️️ WE ARE CURRENTLY PLANNING OUR HELPER SCHEDULES FOR SOME DATES IN 2021, PRIMARY HELP IS IN THE GARDEN, FORAGING, AND IN THE HOME*️*️
COVID 19 updates will be posted closer to your arrival dates.
We have enjoyed spending time with helpers from across the United States, Germany, France, Canada, Netherlands, Spain and the Czech republic.
If you want to learn about gardening -- veggies, herbs, companion planting, organic principles, edible blossoms, how to use what you grow (and preserve it), different styles of gardens, and harvesting foods from the wild (mushrooms, berries, nuts, herbs, greens, roots), come hang out with us for a while! No experience necessary, just a willingness to learn and get a little dirty once in a while. It's a great time to learn these skills!
We grow on our large city lot to provide food for the table and freezer. We do our best to creatively use vertical growing and other space saving techniques. We have a few chickens and enjoy fresh eggs daily and spend as much time foraging for wild foods as the gardens and season will allow.
The house was built in 1905, it isn't fancy in the least but has a lot of character!
We prefer our helpers be 21 or over, but would consider younger helpers if it looks like a good fit. Please, no children at this time.
Please: NO SMOKING OR DRUG USE
If you smoke or use tobacco products, you must use them well away from the house as your host has allergies. Any illegal drug use or excessive alcohol use are cause for dismissal - you will be asked to leave immediately.
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
GOOD food to eat, comfy bed, friendship, shared knowledge in various things -- growing your own food, seed saving, how to play the guitar, voice lessons, French lessons, English language help, wild foods identification, mushroom hunts and identification, how to grow herbs, how to bake bread from scratch, survival skills, etc.
We also like to take our helpers to off-the-beaten-path places for food, drink, entertainment, live music, canoeing, visits to hang with "the locals", bicycling, hiking, shopping, etc. Great exercise, relaxing evenings around our back yard fire pit, shared stories & songs. You can also expect companionship if you want it, privacy if you don't. We know privacy is important and respect it.
What we would ask from you...
GARDENS/HOME: Includes help with cultivating, weeding, planting, harvest, prepping foods for preservation (we can show you how), hauling mulch and compost, building new beds and trellises, caring for chickens, seasonal chores. In the Autumn tasks include clearing garden beds and preparing them for winter, winterizing the house, preserving foods, painting and setting up greenhouses and indoor growing space.
MISC: Since we will be living more or less as a family, help with cleanup after meals, occasional sweeping of floors, etc is appreciated and is expected. If it rains to the point we can't get into the gardens/farm we will do some interior painting or other projects, oft times with loud music to cheer us on - or we can take the day off entirely! Joining us when we go out to forage wild foods (berries, nuts, mushrooms, greens, herbs) is usually a lot of fun and we hope you'll want to be part of that, too. Feel free to ask about specifics you're interested in learning about and we can help you schedule appropriately.
What you can expect from us...
TRANSPORTATION: We're willing to transport you to/from the bus depot in Iowa City (Megabus comes in from Chicago -- fares as low as $1 if you plan ahead!) or our local Cedar Rapids airport or Greyhound bus station. We also have a city bus system, taxi cabs, Uber, Lyft, bicycles and if we are free will be happy to take you somewhere you need to go.
FOOD: We'll provide food for breakfast, but preparation for that meal is up to you during the week as I am not much of a morning person with little interest in food in the morning. Lunch is typically simple as it is around the time we're still working in the gardens (sandwiches, salads, leftovers) and evening meals are works of art that we prefer to eat by candle light in the back yard under the summer sky (again, weather permitting). Kimberli does the majority of the cooking, but does appreciate an occasional break.
RESPECT: We are always thankful that helpers come and share their stories, cultures, hard work and time with us. You can always expect us to respect your privacy, your heritage and beliefs and do expect the same courtesy. We are grateful you have chosen us to share part of your journey with us.
This host offers a language exchange
Matt is fairly fluent in French and is great about sharing all the best American phrases and even some serious stuff, too 😉 He is a beginner/intermediate in Spanish and has studied the Hebrew language as well.
Private room in family home - includes full sized bed with bedding, on second story. Window air conditioner when the weather gets very hot. Free, fast wireless internet, Television with cable & DVD player, plenty of closet and storage space, book cases with assorted books, a simple room. Bathroom (across the hall) is shared by the family (Matt & Myself) for bathing only, we have a small toilet room downstairs for the rest...
*️️Ours is not a typical schedule as it revolves around evening chores, currently with us chores are done primarily the second half of the week . Matt's up early, I tend to get rolling later. We can build much of the schedule around your preferences and the weather. More details once we're in contact :-)
NO SMOKING ALLOWED IN OR NEAR THE HOUSE OR ON GROUNDS
Cedar Rapids Iowa is located just four hours drive west of Chicago in the heartland of the USA, so is very convenient for cross country travelers! We have a little of everything -- bicycle trails, hiking trails, nature preserves, Museums (Czech & Slovak, African American, Art Museum, etc). Live local and touring Broadway theatre, concerts, shopping malls, parks, Ice skating rink year round, skate park, restaurants, local small shops, fishing, boating, year round city market, cultural districts, night life, bars, dancing, local live music, open mics and jam sessions. We are within walking distance to restaurants, a grocery store, convenience store/gas station, neighborhood bar & grill. A few blocks away you'll find the historic Czech Village, across the river from that you'll find the newly revitalized New Bohemia District with book shops, artists, a vintage bike shop, book shop, coffee shop, restaurants, bars, antiques, live concert events, art exhibits, and more coming.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have a solid wifi connection anywhere inside or outside of our home. We are currently rearranging and redecorating the guest room to include a work space with desk.
There is easily accessible room behind the gardens for a small camper. There will be some garage construction in the spring, but that should be completed before quests arrive.
maximum 4-5 hours, 5 days a week (25 hours)