Need help with garden and yard, and restoration of some beautiful woodland in rural Oregon, USA


United States

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  • Description


    Water falls and wildflowers, rock walls and rhododendrons -- help up restore and maintain a unique landscape, from natural to ornamental. Our home sits on a hill overlooking a bend in the North Umpqua River. We have about 6 acres of forest and 2 of gardens and meadows. Our gardens include nearly a hundred old rhododendrons and azaleas. A creek with small waterfalls cascades down the mountain through patches of wildflowers.

    For this spring/summer, the projects with which we seek help range from basic yard & garden maintenance to special projects like building a small footbridge, putting the cap on a large retaining wall, and cutting up storm-damaged trees.

    Located just half a mile from the Wild & Scenic River corridor, trails for hiking and mountain biking are close by, and this river is fabled for fly fishing and white water kayaking.

    Susan is an artist whose main focus is plein air landscape painting. Her interests and career have included various aspects of arts management, traditional folk arts, graphic design, art instruction, and social services. Chuck retired from a long career in business and manufacturing. HIs interests include environmental issues, aviation, engineering, and history.

    Both of us have been involved with various environmental and progressive political causes, and strive for a moderately simple, responsible lifestyle. Getting older, and having bad backs, makes it hard for us to keep up with the work needed around our property.

    We live 20 miles from the city of Roseburg, Oregon, and a few miles from a small rural town.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Rural life is a unique experience for many, and this is a good place to find out how it goes. Chuck loves to talk politics and keeps up with national and international issues. He has lived in both urban and rural areas in the US and Latin America, and has participated in many grass-roots environmental movements over the years. Susan's areas of expertise are primarily in the arts and traditional folk arts, plus literature. She has lived in Philadelphia and New York City, but most of her adult life has been spent in very rural areas and she could share stories of those experiences,

    We have many interesting freinds and neighbors, and travellers can get acquainted with our community.

    This area has a wealth of wildflowers and interesting birds to study, and we could help make connections for those who would like to try things like rafting, rock-climbing, and so forth. Travellers can also get a look at small-town American life, and attend baseball games, rodeos, and farmers markets. Performances by local musicians, open air concerts, and tours of wineries can also be experienced.

  • Help


    Priority projects for the spring of 2019 include: Stonework - to point and cap a retaining wall. Carpentry - to repair a small footbridge, and other home repair. Chainsaw work - to cut and split firewood, and cut up trees that came down in a storm. Pruning - old azaleas and rhododendrons after they bloom. Lawn maintenance - mowing, trimming, cutting weeds. Landscaping - help to design and plant a new flower garden and an herb garden.

    A major on-going project is to restore some beautiful woodland and creek-side habitat by clearing invasive plants and cutting brush. Most of this work just requires a bit of muscle and energy (more than we have), and an enjoyment of working outdoors in a beautiful place, while improving that place.

    Other skills are very welcome! For example, cooking a couple meals allows Susan extra time to focus on her work as an artist, as she works toward an exhibit next September. Sometimes a bit of computer tech assistance comes in handy. On rainy days, travellers can help us with organizing the garage or basement, or washing windows.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    Susan: French, a little Spanish and German. Chuck: pretty good Spanish

  • Accommodation


    Our visitors have their own studio apartment in the house, with its own outdoor entrance and view of the mountain across the way. Its about 600 square feet in size and comfortably furnished with a double bed, desk, table and chairs. and has a dorm-style kitchen and half bath. A full bath with shower, plus washer & dryer, are located upstairs. We have an interesting library, which you are welcome to enjoy.

    We will provide groceries and meals. Some might prefer to use the studio kitchen for some of their own meals. We're completely flexible about that. We mostly cook healthy food from scratch, serving lots of vegetables, fish, and occasionally meat. Local and organic products are used as much as is possible. If you'd like to cook a favorite meal, we'd enjoy that also. I do not bake desserts much but will be happy to make sweets available if desired. The local ice cream is delicious and award-winning, and can be purchased at the little trading post that is only half a mile down the road.

    The space is comfortable for two adults. One or two children can stay in same room, on an air mattress.

    We do not have TV service, but do have a television set for watching movies on DVD. Our internet service is slow, but high-speed can be accessed at a very nice coffee shop about five miles away.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Outdoor recreation is a major wonderful benefit of living here, with miles of trails starting just around the bend. Hiking, mountain-biking, rafting, kayaking and fishing are all popular. Rock-climbing is not too far away. Either Crater Lake or the Oregon Coast can be visited in a day trip, or enjoyed at more leisure over 2 days. The growing Umpqua Valley Wine district is another big attraction and people enjoy wine-tasting tours. Roseburg (22 miles away) also has an active live music scene, and several brew-pubs. The local arts center and a few galleries might also be of interest. Roseburg has an excellent American Leagion baseball team and fabulous stadium.

    It is difficult to get here by public transportation, as the closest train or bus stops are about 90 miles away, and hitch-hiking has not been easy for those who tried. A car really is necessary.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    4 -5 hours, 5 days/week

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Accuracy of profile: (4.8)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 734645157274