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We are a fun loving family of five with lots of creative enthusiasm. We love nature, hiking and working with our hands. Just over three years ago we moved to a beautiful 10 acre property just outside of the town of San Luis Obispo, CA. and need help building our vision and maintaining the property.
Types of help and learning opportunitiesArt ProjectsGardeningDIY and building projectsAnimal CareFarmstay helpCreating/ Cooking family mealsHelp around the houseGeneral Maintenance
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
We are a semi-international family who have travelled quite a bit and enjoy meeting new people and learning about new cultures. . We love reciprocating by sharing a bit of California life and sharing our traditions and love of food with our volunteers. Lorna, the farm visionary, spends her days envisioning and designing projects, organizing volunteers, hiking with her dogs, running bnb and on weekends, helping build projects along side husband Paul, a Physical Therapist, who has his practice in town, enjoying helping people and is passionate about optimizing the body's potential and always learning more! He loves surfing, his guitar and his little green tractor. We have three children, our eldest (the uber creative and aspiring princess Emrys has been living in Scotland for the past 7 years but returns often for a little more California sunshine, she hopes to build a tiny house here on the farm. Our son Isaac, 25 is a true nature boy, surfer, baker and travel adventurist and is always on the verge of leaving the nest, but somehow loves it too much in San Luis Obispo to leave completely. He has moved to town but spends many hours here with us, he can give you all the best nature spots in our area and bakes a mean loaf of sour dough :). Our youngest, Petra is 22 is currently "vanlif-ing" across the States but heading back to the farm this summer. She spends most of her time with her horses and is thrilled to finally have horses (and hopefully soon small goats and sheep) in her backyard!! She is shy and quiet but thrives being around lively people, they might just bring her inner goofy out!). We have an amazing cattle dog who will hang out with you all day, especially if you throw him sticks and frisbees and the cutest ever boston bulldogge. We are NOT religious and although we do not discriminate against anyone who is, we might offend. It happens, Just being transparent there :-) We live in a beautiful coastal town with a lively downtown and many farmers markets. We also live near many wineries, hiking trails and are just a short 4 miles (7 km) to the beach!
We just finished interior barn and various other building projects in Feburary so March/April will be more hole digging for more fencing and a small arena/pen for smaller barn critters. Possible projects may include more random building projects, concrete poursdemo work etc. Planting season in the garden starts in May, so if you are into that please reach out :)
If building projects are your thing then fall/winter is good timing for you to come volunteer!! Come Springtime, the garden would love someone who is passionate about getting their hands in the dirt and farming organically. Worm bins, composting, hugelkulture etc. Bring in it on!!! During winter months, we pretty much let nature do the work breaking down the thick layer of mulch, although we would like to start planting winter gardens, so much to learn. We generally spend time in the garden creating top soil by adding mounds of mulch. Most of gardening begins in March-June months and harvest August-October. In return for your hard work...we feed you well, accommodations are stellar and we give you time to explore this gorgeous part of California! Come help us homestead!! :)
For the most part, we aways need help with watering trees, watering compost bins, feeding animals, mucking pastures (these are included in morning chores), weeding, wed whacking, mowing, digging holes, general yard/garage/barn construction clean up, brush clearing, mulching, creek restoration, fence building, irrigation, trenching, digging holes, planting trees, trail maintenance, house cleaning and helping in the vegetable garden. And did we say hole digging?? We also would like to build more compost bins, sheds, horse hay shelter and anything else a homesteader might need. So in short, the farm requires a fair amount of manual labor and we love it if you help with a smile :) Any help with cooking or cleaning and washing windows would also be greatly appreciated, as my days can get busy and cleaning house never makes it to the top of my list. Its not always a super organized day but there is always something to do. We like to adjust projects depending on the skills, passions or interests you bring to the table.
We have a sweet little "guest shed" with comfy bed. It shares the outdoor shower with our vintage trailer guests (when we have them). There is a composting toilet for volunteers and an outdoor kitchen for your use. We will provide ingredients for your meals which you will make for yourselves for the most part. We enjoy having some dinners together if it suits everyone. It is expected that you help clean up after meals. ***Please remember this during your stay :)
We eat mostly vegetable based organic food. We love eating good food, cooking together and sharing laughs and stories at the dinner table or the fire pit. We do eat locally sourced meat as well but are happy to accommodate vegetarians :-)
also please note: This is a farm, peaceful and quiet with limited cell and internet. It is quite a distance (10 miles) to get to town and anywhere basically. The beach is only 4 miles away, most workawayers take full advantage of this.
NOTE: A car is needed to get to most places but we offer up bikes for beaches and hiking trails. We are also happy to give you a ride downtown if you wish. If you feel up to it, downtown is a 40 minute bike ride.
NOTE: We use low to no chemicals here on the farm and do NOT allow perfumes, scented laundry detergents or the like. Please be mindful of this while you are here. You are more than welcome to use our laundry soap :)
What else ...
Having a car is helpful! Downtown San Luis Obispo is about 10 miles away, Avila beach is 4 miles away. there are many beautiful hiking trails, wineries to tour, biking routes, waves to surf and many beautiful beaches to enjoy. We live in a very "outdoorsy" community and value its small town charms and outdoor living. We will have bikes available to ride and happy to give lifts into town on occasion. We are clean and tidy and respectful of others and our environment, we hope to have those attributes in our guests. We work hard and also value down time.
A little more information
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Space for parking camper vans
We are happy to host volunteers with campers or small RV's. Nothing too big! We have electric for plug in and use of outdoor shower and composting toilets.
How many Workawayers can stay?
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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Accuracy of profile:
Thanks so much for open your home and been so kind!
There is plenty to do, even in the winter, as Lorna has a knack for projects and finding quality materials on Craigslist!
I was tasked with sanding five redwood doors,
We were welcomed with great accomodations and Lornas warm and welcoming person.
On the one hand we had to clean the sweet rental apartments and take care of the animals and on the other hand we spent a great time together like having dinner always together, sometimes outside on the fireplace, went surfing together
The work was varied and they never demanded too much from us. The work such as fence building, deck building & tidying up some fallen trees was
It was our first Workaway experience, so we were a bit nervous, but once Lorna picked us up from train station and started a conversation, we knew that it's going to be an amazing time - and it was!
She is very positive, kind and energetic person with great vision and
life ? "
Petra is a sweet girl teaching me about horsemanship, and well enriching my free time during the Workaway , Lorna and Paul both are very generous hosts treating me as a family, such as offering a ride to take me