Covid-19 update: We are still accepting volunteers but would prefer to have longer stays (3 weeks min) to limit turn over and would like to discuss isolation and protocol before arrival. We are limiting our trips into town for groceries once a week and wearing masks while there.
Our place is located in Boistfort Valley, in between Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. Our property is 33 acres of meadow and douglas fir forest. We've been living and working on the land here for the past 3 years. Currently we have one small cabin and a trailer for shelter. We enjoy sleeping in tents outside in the summer time, and stoking the wood stove in the cabin in the colder months. Our main tasks for the past three years have included putting in a water line/hook up, bringing electricity and solar power to the property, and developing the beginnings of our terraced garden space. We are still in the infrastructure-building stage of our project and are concentrating on building a timber frame garden shed this year. Our long term goal is to develop a permaculture homestead that sustains us and a small community. We are especially interested in hosting LGBTQ+ folks and hope to have many educational opportunities in the future.
Who are we:
Hannah 29 (they/him)-Enjoys digging in the garden, swimming in the river and eating!
Matthew 32 (they/her)-Quiet, mischievous, agrarian socialist
Lauren and Eric (Hannahs parents)-Along for the ride, supportive, friendly, still working on understanding gender
We are surrounded by pasture and logging forest (can be nice for hikes). The Chehalis River is just a 10 minute walk from the property-great for secluded relaxing dips in the heat of the summer, or lounging on the banks of while eating a handful of blackberries picked from the vines along the path.
We are in the midst of learning and experimenting and interested in sharing our space/skills with new people, as well as learn from you!
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
We are excited to share our homegrown fruits and vegetables, our outdoor-centered lifestyle, and our ideas about communal agrarian living. We have a library of books about a variety of natural building techniques, biodynamic and permaculture farming, and alternative social and political structures that we would also love to share with visitors and engage in discussions about. We are two rural, genderqueer people trying to create a sustainable, ethical life in the midst of a conservative neo-liberal and tempestuous time. We'd love to share with you our ideas about creating "permanent" culture (Perma-culture) and traditions and rituals that are linked to place and the act of living.
Our main project this summer will be working on a timber frame garden shed. We need help with sawing and chiseling out mortise and tenons, as well as raising the structure and putting up walls and a roof. We have plentiful tools, and can offer guidance in how to use them, as we work along side you. Anyone with timber frame experience specifically, or general building experience is encouraged to contact us but it is not a requirement. This is our first timber frame project, after taking a workshop last summer where my father and i built and raised a small structure with a group of people.
We are also working on milling logs into boards and building new terraced and raised garden beds, as well as hugelmounds for planting in. We will likely ask for help with various basic garden maintenance tasks during your stay too.
We would hope to have 5 hours a day of help with tasks, as well as help with meal preparation/cleanup/chores. Weekends off. This is negotiable--we are interested in accommodating limited help hour needs/rest time/breaks. I (Hannah) am partially disabled by chronic lower back problems and am not always able to do 4-5 hours a day. We also try to structure our day in a way that responds appropriately to the weather. ( siesta days when its really hot, etc.)
Accommodations on our property for visitors would likely be place for a tent(forest, meadow, shade,sun etc), and/or a tent if you don't have one. Our 400 sq ft cabin would be used as our communal space, kitchen, bathroom/shower.
We have only compost toilets here, so one would need to be comfortable with using a compost bucket as a toilet, and would be encouraged but not required to pee outside. We have hot running water on demand and a 3-ish burner stove top and oven. The cold food storage in the cabin is a cooler with ice packs, and there is a large fridge/freezer by my parents trailer.
****Note about accommodations October through April: We will likely be unable to host anyone during this time who does not have their own vehicle, trailer, or heated yurt type dwelling due to the wet and cold weather of our southwest Washington region. Please only contact us about stays during this time if you have something like that available to you. Our cabin space is small and Matthew and I share it during the winter. We are happy to have it function as communal indoor space, cooking meals, etc, but you will need to have your own (heated and/or well insulated) space to sleep. This will change in the future when we have built additional dwellings!****
Someone with their own transport would have an easier time getting into town on days off, as we live about 15 miles from Chehalis (the closest town). Theres a great indoor flea market in Chehalis, a theater and a beautiful library in Centralia (a little north of Chehalis).
Within walking distance there is the Chehalis river (good for swimming and lounging) and one gas station/market about a mile away with basic sundries.
The Olympic National Forest is about 2.5 hours north by highway and is a beautiful place for camping and hiking. The Gifford-Pinchot forest is about an hour and a half east of us and is also lovely. Matthew and I hope to enjoy some trips to these forests as well this summer, and could potentially arrange for us all to take time there.
We will have weekly or twice a week trips into Chehalis for groceries or supplies, so for folks without transport this would be a good time to explore, as we can drop you off places.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Our internet connection is slow and we have limited to no cell service.
We would prefer people who are interested in coming October through April have their own living space like this. We can offer electrical hook up, lets talk about it.
If you have your own living space like a camper or trailer, cats are welcome. If you are hoping to bring a dog lets talk about what your dog is like. Some of the people who live here are sensitive to loud sounds like barking, and we have an outdoor cat and chickens who would be vulnerable if your dog is a hunter.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week