We are new-ish owners of an established homestead outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Surrounded by flowers, vines, and orchards, we are using a combination of traditional and permaculture principles to create an updated working homestead. We are a bustling family juggling school, work, and the joys of homesteading.
The days are filled with pruning grapes, picking (or pickling) pears and apples, weeding, building new beds, fixing fences, caring for chickens, preserving the harvest and a myriad of other homesteading tasks. As we work off-farm, we do not have heavy production work, just the endless, exciting tasks that come from living on a lush and productive six-acre farm--all while working full-time. Over the next few years, we will be creating biointensive beds, adding drip irrigation, striving to maintain the orchard and vineyards while adding new varieties, fixing fences, building a Forest Garden, keeping up with the weeds, and further cultivating the existing flower gardens with sustainability in mind.
We had positive stays in our first year as Workaway hosts. We are starting our second year with fine people and good land. Feel free to bring ideas and good energy. In our early traveling days, we met many wonderful people. Now that we have settled, we hope to continue to meet adventurous spirits; instead of guests, we are now hosts.
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
As we start this homestay experience, we are hoping to exchange a 4-5 hours of work a day for accommodations in our attached casita. This would provide Workawayers with the option of staying on a working homestead while also being close to the cultural richness of Santa Fe (25 minutes), Bandelier National Monument (20 min), Ojo Caliente (25 min), local pueblos, and Valle Grande--all are a short drive away. Wintertime brings skiing options for those who love the mountains. New Mexico is a place of many cultures as well as natural beauty to explore. We can often be flexible with work hours to ensure you can visit sites. We are flexible with stacking hours, days worked, etc.
We have no TV, so our evenings are spent eating homemade meals, playing games, listening to records, or evening adventures on the property. Workawayers could learn the skills of pruning trees and vines, baking bread, gardening with biointensive methods, and applying permaculture methods to the havoc of the daily homestead. Some of these things we are learning as we go! We do not offer a farming class, but rather the opportunity to learn through projects, work, and experience. We often discuss the day and the work over homemade dinners, so there is plenty of opportunities to learn. We are trained permaculturalist and have an extensive library of homesteading books, cookbooks, and books in general.
Spend your off-time reading under a tree, painting, or drawing. We have many spaces around the property for reading, studying, and art.
We would love visits from Spanish speakers for a language exchange. Both Tobie and Joseph are certified teachers and would be supportive for those learning.
So much to do! Some we know, some we are learning. Bring your expertise--or your willingness to work, try and learn. That's the approach we have!
Examples of our homesteading work over the course of the year:
Fall--harvesting apples, making cider, clearing fields, building compost, updating our seed shed and root cellar, weeding, establishing new beds, cutting back plants, food preservation, irrigation using our traditional acequia system.
Winter--Updating seed shed, cleaning/building beds, building soil, weeding, pruning orchard, and vineyard, caring for chickens, inside projects like house/cooking help. This is a slow time on the farm, so projects are all over the place.
Spring--Prepping beds, irrigation, planting, weeding, fixing fences, animal care, seed starting, other projects.
Summer--Weeding, thinning fruit, eating fruit, fixing fences, preserving, animal care, irrigation. We also project movies in the garden.
We are grounded and relaxed people and seek harmony in our home. We do have some chaos with work, school, children--but we try to keep this positive. We offer personal engagement as well as space to be/explore--and hope you like that balance. We also try to match your experience and background with projects when possible.
We are home full-time during the summers but during the year we work off-farm until about four each day (M-Th). Please be prepared to work on projects solo or with the friend that you bring. Even when we are home, you might be weeding or planting while one of us is pruning nearby. Some projects we will work on together, some will be you tackling solo. We invite workawayers to work weekends with us and take the weekdays off if they want more company. We also support people having autonomy during their experience and joining us for a homecooked evening meal after time working in the vineyard and exploring. We are very flexible and hope you are as well. Before a visit, I will ask you about your goals so we can ensure the alignment of expectations.
We are excited to be stewards of this land and look forward to sharing the experience. It is a bit overwhelming and we look forward to help, good company, and cheer. In all stays, please be positive, considerate, communicative, hardworking, easy-going, and drug/drama free. We value diversity and request you do the same. LGBTQ welcome.
Our casita is perfect for couples/pairs due to the work on the farm and the companionship factor.
Many jobs are easier with two people. If you come as an individual, note we are a bit outside of town. A car will help you explore and feel connected.
Accommodation is in our attached casita. It is a large, one-room, simple and clean--with a small kitchenette. It has a king bed--something to know for friends traveling together. It is heated by a fireplace in the winter. While we have an outhouse, we have real plumbing inside the main house for bathroom, bathing, and laundry. The main bathroom is inside the house--a short walk from the casita. We are in a desert, so those who are used to heavy water use or long showers might enjoy a different placement.
The casita is heated by the sun and a fire on autumn/winter evenings. It can get chilly in the winter, so be prepared to snuggle up under blankets at night. We keep a fire lit during cold days in the main house, and you can bring your book/writing/etc. there. We do not have firewood to heat the casita 24/7, so be prepared to be a bit flexible--lighting a fire in the evening, wearing sweaters and slippers, reading and spending time in the main house, etc. As we move into spring, we spend more and more time outside--we sleep, eat, and spend time in the out of doors from May to October.
This space would accommodate a working pair or a small family. We have a pool, so toddlers or small children would not be safe in the space. We have two children who would be good playmates for families (age 8 and 13).
Our internet is slow, so please be prepared--bandwidth enough for email and general exploring.
For meals, we offer shared weekday dinners, basic healthy breakfasts, and shared prep/cleanup.
Other meals self-provided while you are off exploring. You provide your own lunch (there are often leftovers and you have a small kitchen). We eat healthy, in-season, with lots of plants and grains and occasional meats. We are omnivores, but don't each much meat and often cook vegetable-centered ways. On weekends, we make more elaborate breakfasts and dinners. And cakes. We love cakes. Overall, we eat pretty darn good. During the spring, summer and fall, we have tons of fruit to eat.
We ask every Workawayer to leave their accommodation clean and ready for the next guest.
We are close to Santa Fe, local pueblos, Ojo Caliente mineral springs, forests and mesas to explore. We can share information on hikes, museums, restaurants, and other adventures. There is a public bus outside of our house that can provide some public transportation--it runs twice a day, so rural living is more convenient if you have a car.
We have a puppy that will eat any shoes left within reach and a cat that follows you around as you do outside work.
Some recommendations from other Hosts and conditions of our Insurance Company: Please have health/ travel insurance. When we were traveling we used the ISIC card. Insurance, ID, and discounts all in one. Also, please plan on leaving a COPY of your driver's license or passport with us.
We are both certified teachers, so have background checks through the state of NM.
We get many requests and work hard to honor those that request a stay. As hosts, we prepare and plan on workawayer arrivals and often turn away other workawayers in order to hold your spot. We clean the casita, change our schedule to greet new guests, set up projects that match your interests and buy extra food. We realize your plans may change--ours might as well-- but please let us know as far in advance as possible. We will offer the same courtesy. If plans shift, reach out to inform us of changes--we respectfully request two weeks notice. Imagine if you arrived and we said--opps--we accepted someone else and did not tell you! Workaway works because of goodwill, communication, and consideration.
If you have to cancel or change your visit for any reason just let us know--we will return the courtesy. Failure to arrive when agreed upon will not only cause us to worry for your safety, we will leave a “no-show” review on your profile page. We are understanding, so don't worry about changes-- But please do have consideration and communicate.
Once we have set an arrival date, please reconfirm two weeks in advance--and then again one week before.
For longer stays, we can chat by phone to make certain our workaway is a fit for your expectations (and you are a fit for us).
We also emphasize that we are open to working to make you experience a positive one. This relies on communication. If there is anything not working or you have a need, please share it. Workawayers are different. Some people like their autonomy, some want more direction or company. Know we want your experience to be a good one, so don't feel shy about what works for you. We are good problem solvers so can improve most things--or will work with you to find a different experience if we cannot meet your needs.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
~4 hours a day, 5 days a week. We can discuss a schedule that works and provides time for exploring.
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