We are a young family with 534 acres of forested land amidst the vast wilderness of northern Minnesota. Our kids are Genavive (born Dec 6, 2011), Galvin (born Nov 17, 2013), Sylvan (born August 25th, 2016), and Leonard (born October 4th, 2019). We are attempting to start an intentional community and we have one other friend living on the land with us and one other family planning to try to move out here in the next year or two. We constantly host various visitors with different levels of involvement. We do a lot of gardening and we plan to continue to expand our food growing endeavors with permaculture techniques. We moved onto the land in April of 2011. We have been doing lots of clearing land and building. Although we are by no means fluent, I can understand and speak some Spanish and my wife Amelia can understand and speak some Polish and French. We have both traveled a lot internationally and I have traveled extensively in North America.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
We live very differently from mainstream American society. We've been living this way for over a decade and guests will have the opportunity to learn a lot about an alternative lifestyle.
We can host visitors from May-October for general homestead infrastructure projects including, gardening, building, firewood etc.
During the winter, we can use help from any hardy individual primarily with firewood. Tasks would includes splitting, stacking, driving, loading and unloading truck, moving brush and possibly cutting live trees (depending on interest and skill level).
Some projects we might need help with in the summer include
Helping make maple syrup (April)
Logging, clearing and peeling logs
Hauling and chipping brush
Help with various building projects
Seasonal foods harvesting/processing
We could also use help with some of our old machines and welding from anyone who is mechanically inclined
This is not a comprehensive list and there are always other things that will come up that we could use help with. We are also open to longer term visitors getting creative and proposing their own projects. For folks who would like three meals a day and a bed, we would expect an average of 5 hours 5 days a week. We can be very flexible with scheduling and about the amount of help for folks who would like to be more independent. For example our friend who lives on the land with us doesn't do any regular help for us, but he provides his own food and shelter. He occasionally helps us with projects here and there and we occasionally share meals together.
We typically have two lodging options open for workaway guests. The first is a 7ft x 17ft tiny house with a full sized bed, small table, counter, limited electricity and a wood cookstove with an oven and a greywater sink. This is insulated and has good passive solar and is by far the best option for most visitors most of the year. It’s only about 75 feet from our house.
We also have a secondary very tiny guest trailer/cabin. I can't stress enough that it is very very small, basically big enough for one person to eat and sleep comfortably, but not much more. There are two small bunks and a small 2 burner wood cookstove for heating and cooking. It has a small counter and a greywater sink. It is wired to our solar electricity, so there are lights and outlets for limited power usage. It also houses part of our library. It's insulated and does well for most of the year except when it gets really cold. It is a little easier to heat in the winter than the larger tiny house. The guest trailer is less than 100 feet from our house. Video tour of the guest cabin here.
Neither of the structures have any sort of bathroom and we have a composting outhouse for #2.
We have wi-fi through the cell towers, but the wi-fi signal is weak at best to the guest accommodations. Our cell reception is also a bit spotty and some carriers don't work here at all, but guests are welcome to use our phone if they need to and they can use the wi-fi in our unheated workshop. WE DON'T HAVE RUNNING WATER, so no hot showers at the moment. There are a few swimming areas nearby and we usually have more than enough rainwater for cold outdoor showers in the summer. Guests are expected to haul their own water (or melt snow) for cooking and drinking. There is a spring in the center of the property. May-October there is usually plenty of rainwater for washing.
It should be noted that our house and guest accommodations are very small. We hope to attract people who love the great outdoors.
We live in the heart of the Sawtooth Mountains, just a mile north of the Superior Hiking Trail and Northshore Snowmobile Trail and only two miles from Crosby Manitou State Park which has an extensive hiking trail system. We are 5 miles as the raven flies from Lake Superior (2nd Largest Lake in the world) and about a mile from three different small inland lakes. We're about 20 miles south of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It's a hikers paradise with a lot of canoeing opportunities as well. There are also various waterfalls and peaks to climb to in the area. In the winter, we have excellent back-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities as we are amidst the highest peaks in Minnesota and we get the highest snowfall in the state.
We're surrounded by mostly public land and trespassing is rarely a concern when exploring the woods around us. Hunting and fishing opportunities abound and there are different types of wild berries to harvest from June-September. We make maple syrup from trees on our land March-April. We have no well but there is a spring on the property and we haul most of our drinking water from a well in town. We catch rainwater for wash water and gardening. We live two miles up an unmaintained old logging trail and access is difficult, especially in the winter and spring (we typically snowmobile in 2 miles in the winter). Our homestead is in a relatively isolated location and the nearest town is 9 miles by road.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Approximately 4 hours a day 5 days a week (no set schedule though) Maximum 25 hours a week
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