Small market garden in beautiful inland valley of Mendocino County. With three and a half residences on the property, there are usually about seven people on the land at a time, with two or three primarily focused on ag production. Come help out with two and a half acres of mixed market production fruits and vegetables. We don't use any chemical fertilizers/pesticides/etc., but aren't certified organic with the USDA. We also raise pastured heritage-breed hogs, have a small orchard, and a lot of general land maintenance to help out with. Largest crops are amazing melons, pumpkins, winter squash, and brassicas, with all sorts of other stuff mixed in depending on the season.
While food production is a huge portion of the work currently being done on the farm, the farm operation is also very focused on issues of local food access/affordability in the surrounding area. We're five minutes from Russian River swimming holes in either direction, fifteen minutes from the much larger Eel River, an hour plus from Lake Pillsbury, and still only twenty minutes to the town of Ukiah or two hours from SF Bay Area.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Learn from years of trying to make farming viable on a small scale and even smaller budget. Potter Valley is an incredibly fertile valley with an amazing climate for ag production, particularly in regards to watermelons, muskmelons, cantaloupes, etc. The people of Potter are also an incredibly unique breed, annually playing host to the first rodeo of the western circuit, while also thoroughly rooted in the culture of back-to-the-lander "hippie-redneck" lifestyles that started transplanting here about forty years ago. Working on one of few remaining mixed production vegetable gardens in the valley, you will likely be exposed to a good mix of the community one way or another.
While the farm is far from dialed in and running at full capacity, every year seems to get a little smoother and production has finally picked up where we definitely need more hands in the field and energy for side projects to improve the land. While we don't subscribe to any particular style of farming, you can pick up tips on everything from crop rotation fundamentals, pros and cons of different irrigation systems, methods for season extension, tractor work/maintenance, orchard maintenance, building projects on a budget, the challenges of living semi-off grid, heritage-breed pork production, etc.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
This host offers accommodation and payment.
Host has indicated that they will pay at least the minimum hourly wage of their country for each hour worked and that accommodation will also be provided. They are asking for help with a business or business activity. Contact the host directly via the site messenger for more information and details about the wage provided. Any arrangements should be agreed in advance with your host.
Looking for twenty to twenty-five hours of work per person per week, with a split between work with fruit/veggies and hours spent on general land maintenance and improvement projects. Hours are flexible if you want to take day or weekend trips, with clear communication being the only requirement in regards to time on/off. Early-risers are appreciated but all inquiries welcome.
Much of the farm work changes with seasons but almost always includes the transplanting, watering, harvesting, weeding, etc. which you would expect on a small farm. We can compensate for all the veggie/ag work, but also expect some of the hours done each to be spent helping with general maintenance/improvement of the land in exchange for use of the facilities and pork, eggs, fruits and veggies from the farm.
Five years into veggie and pork production things are definitely still sorting themselves out so projects are always changing.
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.
Most likely a tent until further notice.... There are two houses and one apartment that are occupied on the property and a separate area where the farm workers reside. Currently this includes a one room semi-glorified shack that is available for farm-hands and a converted 1958 Greyhound bus that is occupied by the ag producer and his friendly pup, Otis, and Soti the cat. A third farm-folk bedroom alternative is closing in on being suitable for someone. It is essentially an oversized cab-over camper type structure that's built out on an old ford long bed truck. None are the cushiest accomodations, but they beat life in a tent in most folks minds that have passed through here in the last few years.
There is also a semi-finished shaded area with outdoor seating and a in-progress outdoor kitchen area with a offset pantry that is shared by those working on the farm. The kitchen includes a propane camp stove, a propane griddle, and space to prep and enjoy food. You will have access to all the veggies you want depending on the season, plenty of pork, and usually some array of meat/egg options that we trade for at the farmers market or with neighbors that produce one thing or another. Expect to make your own food but shared meals happen often depending on who is around and what our schedules are like.
Potter Valley is an incredible place, and it's no mistake this farm is located right along one of the valley's main arteries. Spring to Fall is probably when we need most help and it is most comfortable to live the semi-roughing it lifestyle that comes with trying to get a farm up and running in a nationwide environment where so many small farms have been driven out of business. If a small farm can make it anywhere, this close-knit community with deep agricultural roots definitely has great potential.
Over the last few years since the ag producer moved to live on site at the farm, we've hosted somewheres around three dozen wotkawayers, travellers, and/or folks who have got word that this might be a decent spot to stay and put in some work. Almost all of these have been great experiences and we've even built up a collection of folks who have ended up calling Potter Valley home after initially coming for a brief stay. We look forward to continuing the trend in a symbiotic fashion and hope to continually improve the accomodations and learning opportunities.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We've had folks work from their computers or devices here in the past but we don't have a communal wifi hookup. Decent internet connection for several carriers, ask for details if needed.
Folks with their own place to sleep are great and often make it possible to host an extra one or two people during the main growing season. Again, ask for details.
This host has said they are willing to accept those travelling with a pet.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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