Talkeetna, Alaska, located two hours north of Anchorage and three hours south of Denali National Park, is a bustling, tourist town during the summer months, and yet is also a quiet, rural community with a funky, eclectic feel. Many national and international travelers visit here from May through September to enjoy our rich Alaska history including mountain climbing, aviation and gold mining. Talkeetna has many restaurants, shops, tourist activities, and outdoor adventure opportunities with prominent natural features of three powerful rivers that join into one. Unparalleled wilderness surrounds a unique frontier culture, and the Alaska and Talkeetna Range mountains are nearby with Denali, the tallest peak in North American visible from many places.
We are long time local residents working to live and promote a subsistence lifestyle and sustainably caring for our land. We enjoy hosting travelers that are interested in a more personal (versus touristy) experience of an intense, unique, rugged, and incredibly beautiful place. When people join us for a farm stay, they will see how real people live, how we provide for ourselves and our family, and how we find moments of joy through all the hard work. Alaska is our home and we enjoy sharing the challenges and triumphs, the sweat and the laughs, the fabulous food we grow and cook, and the close relationships that are most meaningful when spent digging potatoes, processing a year's worth of freshly caught salmon, making jam and pickles, taking a walk to watch the sunset at midnight, and eating an 100% Alaska Grown meal together.
We have a lot going on! We have a family farm located off-grid and about 15 miles from the town center in a beautiful, peaceful setting with several greenhouses and high tunnels, market vegetable garden, a small nursery with berries, apples and rhubarb, and currently inactive hay fields. Brian oversees all the farm goings-on, while Anita runs a bakery and cafe, 3 miles from Talkeetna town. We employ about 18 staff between the two at varying times of year with mostly locals working full and part time throughout the summer season and beyond. This Workaway opportunity is not a paid position, but a chance for travelers to experience our rural Alaska family farm and our unique Alaska lifestyle. We live both at the farm and in a house behind the bakery with our son and 2 friendly dogs.
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Over the last 10 years, we have enjoyed hosting folks from the US and all over the world, exposing our son and ourselves, to different cultures, languages, attitudes, and interests. The humor and curiosity we can all share over a bowl of steaming soup or a board game is worth helping outside on a cold, rainy day, getting a couple blisters, or having patience while family logistics are negotiated!
Alaska's midnight sun keeps us going for long hours, but we only hope for 20 hours of helper time in a week from you in exchange for meals, a place to stay, and some transportation to and from the farm. We give visitors opportunities to explore our area's scenery, outdoor activities and fun town.
Because the farm is off-grid, part of this experience includes learning what it's like to live without or with limited amenities at times based on power use. Phones can be charged, movies can be watched, music can be listened to, and laundry can be done, but we try to minimize and consolidate use of generators and batteries and think about what we really need versus what we're used to having or think we want. Many people have never experienced such a rural setting and can learn a great deal from living without 24 hour electricity, waiting until the generator is running for a shower, filling water jugs, or not going to town for two or three days at a time.
If all goes well, we will genuinely try to make sure you enjoy this special place and try to encourage your exposure to Alaska's amazing uniqueness and majesty as well as our family's efforts to grow, gather, cook, preserve and, of course, consume Alaska's bounty.
We are looking for all around helpers that can be flexible with whatever the day brings. Whether it's weeding, going along for a 3 1/2 hour drive to bring veggies to Denali, then stopping on the way home to pick blueberries on the side of the road, pitching in to make (and clean up) breakfast for 3 or dinner for 8, changing the oil on a car, or carrying wood over to the sauna. You may sometimes be required to listen to a 14 year old talk a streak about card games or geeky science projects, or need to shout at a moose to get away from the garden.
We are also looking for a couple to stay a few months of winter as a caretaker on the farm. Responsibilities will be limited to keeping snow off the greenhouses and basic shoveling. Snow shoeing and skiing opportunities abound, though days can be short and night cold let us know if this kind of adventure could be right for you. The sunlight returns and greenhouse work starts by the end of February.
Depending on what needs to be done on any given week, there might be meal preparation, dishes to wash, veggies to pick, pickles to make, salmon to chop up and freeze, a lawn to mow, a giant compost pile to turn over, a rug to vacuum, firewood to stack, or a farm stand to pack up. The possibilities are endless. We prefer folks to stay at least a week so they can really get a feel for what life here is like...crazy, beautiful, hard, meaningful and delicious!
NO smokers please! We will consider children or pets, only upon approval.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
Please contact them directly for more information.
We have a variety of available accommodations including several camper trailers, as well as a small dry cabin. The farm house is shared and has a kitchen, laundry, bathroom, living room, etc. where almost all meals will be cooked, and usually shared. Visitors can have privacy and quiet alone time in the evenings or socialize with others at the farm. We provide LOTS of our home grown fruits and veggies, enjoy sharing some of our Alaska salmon and moose, and otherwise keep the kitchen stocked with staple pantry items and other necessities. Sometimes, we let helpers without transportation stay at our house behind the bakery or in a camper trailer there and enable access to adventures beyond Talkeetna.
Due to Covid-19 issue we are hosting only a few long term guests this summer that are already in Alaska. We may request that you get a covid 19 test and self isolate until test results are available if you have had high risk exposures within 14 days of arrival. Most visitors spend free time enjoying the peace and quiet at the farm with good books, beautiful surroundings and fresh air. The Talkeetna area has many free outdoor activities like hiking or canoeing that are covid safe (we have a few bikes and a canoe we can lend). Helpers will usually head to Denali National Park, Denali State Park, or Hatcher Pass for hiking, backpacking and camping opportunities. We currently avoid the usual Talkeetna town activities such as bars, restaurants and the music that is not happening due to significant covid risk.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host can provide space for campervans.
Dog friendly house. We have two. Must be disciplined house trained and not tear anything up.
More than two