My partner, Maria, and I are developing our farm/homestead at the eastern edge of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. We live off a quiet rural road in Marcellus, on 23 acres with ponds, meadows, forest and a well-stocked trout stream. We are working with a state forester to reduce invasive species and diversify wild vegetation to enrich the environment and offset climate change factors. In the spring of 2020 we planted some 600 trees and shrubs, each protected from deer browse with a tree tube or small wire fence.
Through the winter months our outdoor activity shifts to invasive cutting and stump spraying, cutting and splitting firewood, repairing utility roads.
We have a fenced organic garden now planted in cover crops that will be turned over and planted in the spring. We also have a cabin by the trout stream that is being renovated, work that happens spring, summer and fall.
I am an artist, former journalist, author of two biographies and a yoga teacher. Prior to my journalism work I owned an organic produce farm that sold to restaurants and a local farmer’s market. Maria is a massage therapist and actress when her hands are not in the dirt. We are both very good cooks, experienced travelers and have been hosts for decades. We work hard and like to relax at day's end. We know the area well and like to take day trips to area waterfalls, lakes, theaters and museums. We're not welcoming pets or children at this time.
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Maria and I have been hosting travelers and international guests for years. We are kind, sensitive and curious, and well-traveled ourselves. We care deeply about the environment. We appreciate and are grateful for the beauty and preciousness of this life and where we are. The experience with our guest workers will evolve as we share out experiences and values with each other.
Forest rejuvenation is our biggest ongoing project, especially the invasive reduction, which involves cutting certain small tress and shrubs and spraying their stumps with herbicide. Tree planting is a short, intense period in early May that involves wedging open the soil with a tree spade to plant seedlings, putting weedbarrier fabric around each seedling along with a tree tube or small fence. The planting maintenance includes watering and scything.
We work garden beds with broad forks, add manure and mulch, plant successively and expect to build two or three more raised beds this year.
Our cabin project involves assisting with carpentry and painting.
Workaway guests will stay in a well-appointed room with internet and a small refrigerator. Our house has one main bathroom with a tub and shower that we all share upstairs, and a toilet in a smaller bathroom downstairs. Workaway guests are expected to keep themselves and their quarters reasonably clean and in order.
We have a big, covered porch outside that overlooks our pond, which is a beautiful place to spend time in the warm months.
Workaway guests will share meals prepared or provided by us. Dinner is the meal we most often share together as our schedules allow, but we occasionally indulge ourselves and guests with a nice breakfast or lunch.
We live one mile from bus service between Auburn and Syracuse. We have bicycles to use on the beautiful and hilly country roads around us. There is lots of water around here—several Finger Lakes, waterfalls and rivers. We like to swim, sail and canoe on off-days.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Internet is solid.
Plenty of room to park, an outdoor shower with hot and cold water.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week