Our mission is to create and sustain community where people with and without disabilities live, work and care for each other to foster social, spiritual, cultural and agricultural renewal. The community is part of an international movement of over 100 communities worldwide.
Each year, we welcome volunteers from around the world to share life in our community as individuals, couples, and families. Here members are able to contribute with their knowledge and positive energy while learning new skills and gaining new experience. Volunteers get a taste of life in the rural midwest and also have the chance to live with other volunteers from different countries and cultural backgrounds.
In central Minnesota on 525 acres, volunteers and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities live together family-style and work as a team to sustain the community. We grow a large variety of produce on 2 acres of organically-grown gardens. The harvest is frozen, canned, pickled, or dried in our processing kitchen and enjoyed year round. On the biodynamic farm we raise dairy and beef cows, pigs, and laying hens. In the herb garden we grow herbs for teas, biodynamic preps and also make goods to share with the village. We have a few apple orchards and fruit patches that produce fruits to eat fresh and preserve. In our bakery we bake bread and granola for our village and cookies that are sold at local coops. We have a variety of craft studios such as a weavery, woodshop, arts, and culture and movement which provide meaningful activities for everyone in the village.
In our community we focus on capabilities, not disabilities. Everyone has space to learn new trades, practice skills, and teach others what they know. What will you bring to the table?
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
While experiencing the seasons in the heartland of the US, Workawayers have the opportunity to learn a variety of skills such as organic gardening, weaving on floor looms, woodworking, and growing and storing herbs. Food is a big focus in our community and one can learn artisan bread baking, how to cook healthy nutritious meals from scratch, and how to preserve the harvest with canning, freezing and drying techniques. On the farm workawayers can learn how to care for beef cows, milk cows, pigs, and chickens while also giving life back to the soil and land with biodynamic preparations.
Living and working with others provides lots of opportunities to learn about yourself and practice conflict resolution methods. One can learn to effectively and respectfully work out conflicts with other members using established techniques and processes.
Our members who have intellectual and developmental disabilities tend to be our best teachers in kindness, forgiveness, open-mindedness and patience. We often hear that living with other adults who have different abilities inspires the most meaningful transformations in the volunteers that have come and gone over the years. If you do not have experience working with people who have a range of abilities, this is a great place to start.
-Room and board (wifi included)
-Student loan payments
-Local, organic meals
-Three weeks paid vacation (for year long volunteers)
-Use of community vehicles (gas and insurance included)
In our community, there are many different types of tasks to do! The project you do will depend on your interests and abilities as well as the needs of the community. There is meaningful tasks for all members twice daily (9am-11:30AM and 2pm-4:30pm) with lunch and a rest hour between shifts.
Volunteers help alongside members who have disabilities in the houses and in the village places which include an organically grown vegetable garden, biodynamic farm, apple orchard, bakery, kitchen preserving the harvest, a weavery, woodshop, caring for the estate and buildings, arts, herb shop, cooking village wide meals and cleaning.
Workawayers are responsible for the well-being of those they live with. This could include:
-Cleaning common spaces
-Joining housemates in social outings
-Participating in house meetings
-Household and personal bookkeeping/accounting
-Taking others to appointments
Volunteers have one full weekday free of responsibility each week. Weekends can be leisurely and flexible.
Workawayers will stay in large family-style houses around the village with other members. Everyone has their own private bedroom which include linens and furniture. Meals are included and shared within the home three times daily. We accommodate special diets and can purchase foods we do not grow with the house budget. The house budget also covers toiletries, items for daily living and household items.
We are less than an hour from St.Cloud and Alexandria and 2 hours from Minneapolis. Workawayers who have a driver's licenses can use village vehicles to visit larger towns and cities on their free days. Those who do not drive can join other members and catch rides to their desired destinations. There are many national parks and wildlife to see in the surrounding area. Minnesota is a beautiful state with lots of waterways, hills and forests to explore. There are many lakes in the area in which one can rent a boat and spend the day on the water.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two