Balance helping and exploring on a homestead in New Mexico near Santa Fe, USA

  • United States
  • Favourited 796 times
  • Last activity: 29/01/2023



 Min stay requested: at least a week



  • Description


    (If you reached out our response and follow has been was spotty. Apologies. Life. It was us, not you. )

    We are caretakers of an established homestead outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Surrounded by flowers, vines, and orchards, we are using a combination of traditional, regenerative, 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 homestead--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 years as Workaway hosts. We are starting our fourth year with fine people and good land. Feel free to bring ideas, flexibility, 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.

    We are now scheduling for winter/spring. We usually look for/prioritize stays from 3-4 weeks, but reach out if you need other dates.

    The Summer/Spring Work
    Seed starting
    Transforming front lawn to sunken garden (water conservation idea)--test garden
    Garden clean up
    Compost pile management (no small thing, our compost pile is the size of Rhode Island)

    Pruning trees starting in Febuary
    Helping branch clean-up

    We are doing some construction and remodeling.
    Tobie is starting a Plastering project. She is using local clay and has no ideas what she is doing. But it should be interesting.
    We are also painting, etc. during the winter

    Water Management:
    Come spring we will be putting in our grant-funded irrigation

    Weed irradiation:
    Siberian Elms and goatheads. This it like the LIttle Prince and his Baobab trees.

    Inside tasks:
    organizing pantries
    sharpening tools
    computer help

    To stay in the casita, we usually look for a minimum of three weeks.

    If you are still interested in visiting, please send:
    The length of stay you would like
    The dates you would like to stay or a window of time
    Days you could zoom. I will ask you to send ME the zoom once we set a time.

    Have fun, be safe, adventure on!
    PS. we will ask you to send a copy of your Vax card prior to a visit. Given the crazy new variants, please plan on taking a test JUST before arriving (e.g. one of those rapid tests you can get at a pharmacy--we may have one as well.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Workawayers help an average of ~4.5-5 hours 5 days a week (flexibly allocated). In addition to breakfast and dinner, they receive 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 the 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 tasks 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.

    We will have a monthly (themed!) summer gathering on the property where friends will swim, barbeque, play lawn games, etc. Santa Fe is tourist town, so there will also be outdoor movies weekly, the farmer's market, and music almost every night in the plaza. Outdoor Opera has standing tickets for 15$. We will go to some of these with thoughtfulness (and encourage you to as well). Spend your off-time reading under a tree, painting, or drawing. We have many spaces around the property for reading, studying, and art. Lots of hiking, camping, climbing, boating and hot springs near-by.

    Skiing, snowshoeing, Aspen viewing (fall), museums, and galleries are in full swing. Holidays here as a destination and there are lovely. Movie theater is right near our house and is only $7.75. There are some great happy hours and fall studio tours, fires and winter dances at the Pueblos.

    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. (We are native English speakers and Tobie also speaks Spanish).

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    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 tasks 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.
    Winter visits are for people who like things low and slow, don't mind cleaning, organizing, and indoor projects, and want to ski, explore Santa Fe and the area, write, and enjoy a Hygge time by the fire. You should be a low-key person if winter is of interest.
    SPRING--Prepping beds, irrigation, planting, weeding, fixing fences, animal care, seed starting, transplanting, other projects.
    SUMMER--Weeding, thinning fruit, eating fruit, fixing fences, preserving, animal care, irrigation. We also project movies in the garden.
    ALL SEASONS–Being home so we can sneak away for a weekend-priceless!

    We also received a sustainability grant and will be implementing sustainable practices in soil and water conservation, hoop house construction, hedgerow planting, etc. over the next three years.

    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 rest of the year we work off-farm until about four each day (M-Th). Please be prepared to help with the 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 do it together, some will be you tackling solo. We invite workawayers to help 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. Solo travelers have thrived when they have a car to explore or we set up two visitors at the same time so they have a partner to explore with.

    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. If you use neutral pronouns, we will do our best. (Be patient with us:).

    Our casita is perfect for couples/pairs due to the chores on the farm and the companionship factor.
    Many tasks 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.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    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 11 and 16).

    Our internet is slow, so please be prepared--bandwidth enough for email and general exploring.

    Summertime we have a pool (it was here). Joseph just built a wood heated soaking tub out of a watering trough, so that is pretty amazing.

    For meals, we offer shared weekday dinners, basic healthy breakfasts, and shared prep/cleanup. We can cook vegetarian and vegan meals but we do cook meat and use gluten, so if you need a space completely free of those items, we cannot accommodate (e.g. some folks are super-sensitive to gluten and we don't want to accidentally make you ill). We want you to be safe and feel comfortable, so make sure we touch-base if you have special needs. Dinner is usually an event: this is where we sit, talk, discuss farming (and current events, books, thoughts, and philosophy, etc.).

    Other meals self-provided while you are off exploring. You provide your own lunch (you have a small kitchen). We eat healthy, in-season, with lots of plants and grains and occasional meats. We are omnivores but 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. If you have a very specific dietary need, you may need to provide a few things to help us out; we will happily switch things out but may not have core pantry items to meet your needs (e.g. gluten-free pasta/condiments--we have most other things.)

    We ask every Workawayer to leave their accommodation clean and ready for the next guest.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    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 as well as emergency contacts.

    We are both certified teachers, so have background checks through the state of NM.

    For stays, we can chat by zoom to make certain our workaway is a fit for your expectations (and that you are a fit for us). We want to help you meet your goals for the experience.

    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, do a ton of laundry, 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 at the following intervals: two-month confirmation, one month confirmation, two week confirmation --and then again one week before (these can be short texts ([name] is still coming!).

    We also emphasize that we are open to working to make your 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.

    Also--just to get this out of the way, we are politically independent and enjoy thoughtful (and lively) discussions. However, if you are a #45/Q anon fan, while we respect your belief AND we reserve the right to keep our home free of that potential contention. With COVID and all the stresses, this is one we choose not to have in our home.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We have slow wi-fi, but it generally supports on-line work. We work remotely, and so anything that uses high-bandwidth would need to be scheduled around our work and the kids' school (we can only have one Zoom meeting going at once). If you do major uploading or downloading, it would be an issue BUT basic remote work is supported.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have spaces for campervans and small motorhomes.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    This is based on conversation, pet, length of stay, etc. We have had a dog and a cat join us but they had responsible owners! We have a pool, so our home isn't ideal or small children and pets with no water safety sense.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    ~4.5-5 hours a day, 5 days a week. We can discuss a schedule that works and provides time for exploring.

Host ref number: 614646446377

Feedback (14)


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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

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