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We are a mother-daughter team (Alison and Bri, respectively) who recently bought 54 acres of luscious Appalachian mountain land an hour outside of Asheville that had been previously farmed for 3 generations since the early 1900’s with cattle, tomatoes, corn, tobacco and hay. Most of the cropland has now been reforested, yet some old barns, outhouses and a farmhouse still remain tucked between the trees. There are multiple streams originating on the property and a larger river running across the bottom border. There are many old interconnecting logging roads around the property. We plan to homestead with the goal of providing the majority of our food, medicine and fuel within the next 10 years. We are in the beginning stages of installing native fruit and nut orchards as well as a silvopasture system with fruits and nuts along with sheep, pigs, and chickens. In the coming years, we plan to dry and sell fruit and nuts in our local economy, and will employ locals for the strictly business operations- we are interested in workaways to come help with the homesteading projects. We have spent a good part of this past year converting the old 1930’s farmhouse into a livable space, where we heat and cook all by wood, use composting toilet systems and our water is gravity fed from a spring uphill. We have a flock of egging chickens, a mousing cat, Maisie, and a sheepdog puppy, Beau, who will be tending to our future sheep and ducks. Currently, we are working on infrastructure for our garden and pasture, new chicken coop, roads, and planting food! Last year, our small vegetable garden supplemented our diet with copious amounts of zucchini, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and herbs. This year, we’ve extended and fenced the garden, and plan on rotational grazing with sheep and experimenting with different grain crops. Lots to learn and discover!
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
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We can share our homesteading and farming knowledge as well as expose workawayers to the Appalachian folk culture that surrounds us. Bluegrass music is huge here, especially in our small town of Marshall (35 minutes away) where, under normal circumstances, there is live music 3 times a week. Our neighbor is also an old time farmer, born and raised on our road, and is always eager to have someone to listen to his stories of the old days- it’s one of our forms of free entertainment here. There is also the progressive culture of Asheville not too far away, and always unique and interesting things to explore in the city.
We have many construction projects high on our priority list (building a chicken coop, installing fencing around the vegetable garden, fixing up the root cellar) as well as continuous upgrades to the farmhouse . Gardening and expanding our vegetable garden will be an ongoing project, we'll plant a new bed of root vegetables (carrots, beets, turnips) every other week, harvesting and processing food (we will be getting winter squash, corn and a bunch of tomatoes soon which we are going to can). Trail clearing of overgrown flora and stray trash is always helpful. We will have more projects and maintenance tasks accumulate as the farm expands!
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We have 2 private guest bedrooms in the farmhouse with full size beds. Running potable spring water, a composting toilet, a rocket stove heated shower. We use a wood cooking stove and wood heat stove for cooking. We will provide food for 2+ meals a day (usually rice and beans, pasta, or some grain, occasionally meat, always with a vegetable or two) and enjoy sharing cooking responsibilities and recipes! Breakfasts are pretty casual, usually homemade yogurt, banana pancakes or eggs and homemade sourdough flatbread. It’s cozy but rustic!
Exploring the forests behind the house is a treasure we greatly appreciate and try to utilize as often as possible. The Pisgah National Forests surrounds us with trails, lookouts and scenic drives. The town of Hot Springs, which the Appalachian Trail passes through, is 30 minutes drive away. Our town of Marshall hosts music weekly, an outside farmers market and small tourist shops. The French Broad River is 15 minutes away with one of the most popular launches for whitewater rafting. The city of Asheville is an hour away and always has events and shows. Having transportation is required to get around, since we are at the end of a 7 mile road, in rural countryside. We also currently don’t have WiFi, and most cell phone providers don’t reach our house since we are in a valley - we can drive 5 minutes from the house to get service, though, so at least every few days we check in with the outside world.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
25 hours per week, 2 days off
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