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Hello! We are an outdoorsy 30-something gay couple from Brooklyn, NY and have recently purchased a 24-acre homestead in the lush Blue Ridge Mountains as our new primary residence. Less than one-hour’s drive west of Asheville, NC, we’re still connected to a busy city, but far enough removed to live the green mountain life.
The property is mainly forested, although there are approximately 3 acres of tillable land — and we have some serious vegetable, herb, wildflower, cut flower, mushroom and honey bee plans! There is also a pond, year-round creek, two barns, a greenhouse, chicken coop and tons of garden beds with huge potential.
The main home is from the 70’s (which we’re also renovating), and there is also a detached “mother-in-law” studio, which in the long-term we’re hoping to renovate into a meditative/yoga space. For now, in the warmer months, it's where our Workaway guests reside.
Help in the house
Join our family in the transition from an "urban" to "rural" America. Essentially, we want to integrate and elevate our urban farming experience into this new 24-acre homestead.
After living the greater majority of our lives in metropolitan cities across North and South America (Will is an east-coast guy, and Sebastian grew up in Chile), we essentially decided to exit the modern workforce and pursue our dream of building a permaculture-style homestead. We even did Workaway for a while, so we’ve been in your shoes!
We have knowledge in landscape design, beekeeping, fundamentals of gardening, master composting, cooking and baking, fermenting, brand building, language-teaching and much more. We have a lot to share and equally want to learn as much as possible from you. We have been planning this homestead for quite a long time now and so we have a clear vision for what we hope to achieve, but now it’s about putting things into life and learning from those with skills we do not yet have. We are interested in languages as well and have a well-stocked library of which you would be more than welcome to use.
We have many years of tasks ahead of us, so there is quite a bit of flexibility in what you could contribute or help with. Furthermore, we are at the start of our adventure, which can be seen in two ways — whoa, there’s a lot to do, but also yay, we essentially have a blank canvas and would welcome your input in shaping our homestead.
The ideal volunteer would have relevant experience, ideally a previous Workaway stay, although that’s not mandatory. We are looking for proactive, independent and caring volunteers. We would ask for 5-hour days (exact hours flexible), 5 days a week (again flexible on the exact days, although most would opt for weekends “off”) and we find ~2 weeks to be the sweet spot as for duration of your stay, although we would be open to shorter/longer-term if it suited everyone's needs.
Know though, that there is no public transportation to/from Asheville or any other nearby city. You would need your own transportation, and/or coordinate with us when we head into town (usually 1-2 times/week).
Here is a list, in no particular order, of some tasks on our to do list. If you’re interested in helping us. Please send an intro, outlining any relevant experience, what you’d hope to learn/gain from helping us, as well as anything that piques your interest from this list below.
General landscaping, wood chipping and weeding
Prepping the greenhouse for seed starting
General seed starting for the season
Bee hive prep
Tapping sugar maples
Fencing repair and installation
Vegetable garden prep
General garden bed prep
Sowing wildflower seed
Raising baby chicks and general chicken coop prep
Prep our "mushroom lane" garden area
Ongoing in-home renovations (i.e., painting)
English & Spanish (fluent), Italian (basic)
In the colder months, we will provide a room in the main home, where there is also a full bathroom for volunteers. A bed, linens and basic toiletries will all be provided but you will need to bring your own must-have essentials. We can host a maximum of one couple or two individuals. But no more than two total volunteers at any given time. In the warmer months, we set up a room in the detached "mother-in-law" studio for our volunteer(s).
Included in your stay is access to the home and kitchen, including basic pantry essentials (tea, eggs, bread, popcorn, fruit and nuts) as well as two meals — lunch and dinner, only provided on workdays. You would be more than welcome to grocery shop and use the kitchen for yourself any day of the week, especially for breakfast etc. We eat a mixed diet, including meat and fish, although we frequently make veggie-forward meals and could certainly accommodate any dietary needs. We love to bake too, so if you’re an all-star in the kitchen, we’d love to hear from you.
Phone service is extremely unreliable on property. Depending on your luck, and where you’re standing in the house, sometimes Verizon users will catch a bar or two, but it’s best to expect NO cell service. We do have a landline with free calls in the US, Canada and Mexico that you’re welcome to use any time.
About the internet, we have satellite internet, which works on an extremely limited data plan so we try to be smart with our usage (i.e., no downloading, streaming or video calls). There is a computer available that you’re welcome to use to check emails and do some googling as needed.
There are many beautiful sights in the area (the Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Mountain, Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood, Biltmore Estate, etc.) plus everything you’d expect in a big city can be found in Asheville, which is a beautiful, relaxed, progressive city.
The weather is also lovely. Not too hot in the summer, and not brutally cold/snowy in the winter. Although, evenings can be a little chilly, so pack layers. We also often get an afternoon shower or thunderstorm. Equally, we are very much in the wild, so expect to encounter bugs, bees, birds, frogs, spiders, snakes, dogs and more. The wildlife is not a nuisance, but know that we do live among it.
Please reach out with any questions. We’d be happy to hear from you!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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