Welcome friends! *We are not a business.* This is a homestead. We are in the beautiful hilly driftless region of Wisconsin. You will be as close as you can get to Madison (30-40 min) and still have clean spring-fed trout streams to play/fish/swim in nearby, without the drone of corn fields surrounding you.The hillside is very peaceful, and some days all you can hear are birds chirping. Nightime is quiet and easy to get quality rest, and in the morning you will likely be woken up by birds if you're a light sleeper. My partner Ben (31 y.o.) and I (Courtney, 37) are in the third year of establishing a homestead/small scale permaculture farm. We began building our house last year and are most of the way finished, we have all interior surfaces to put up still. We have WWOOFed and worked/lived on farms and homesteads for years, gathering information for our own spot. I feel that I have much to offer eager learners who ask questions, and also much to learn from others. This the the atmosphere I want to create. Our goal is large, terraced, no-till gardens with intense rotationally grazed ruminants and poultry, and lots of mushroom logs. We may be setting up for future grazing in 2022 although we will not get animals this year. I also keep bees small scale. We do not use heavy equipment except for a brush cutter/weed whacker and mower. We are using power tools with a generator but understand the utility and peacefulness of hand tools for carpentry, so Ben uses them as much as possible.
You will also learn how to live simply, off-grid, with minimal "stuff” and electricity. (there is electricity to charge phones and computers.) We live In the tiny house on the land right now and there is a tent platform available. We cook in the outdoor kitchen and use a composting toilet.
Good things to know about the living situation:
You can bring a dog as long as it's not going to run away and bother the neighbors, or terrorize our 2 cats. Same situation with a cat. The hillside is about 40 acres surrounded by trees, but there is a driveway that they could easily walk down but typically choose not to. We would actually prefer if you have a dog to scare deer away. Unless you want to have ticks around, you will need to put a flea/tick color on your dog/cat. Even so, it is lyme disease country, and we take precautions daily.
There is poison ivy on the land. I know where it is and I avoid it, I went barefoot a lot of year in our "front yard," and spent a lot of time eliminating it, but it is a slow process and part of this process includes using a small amount of chemicals at the right time. We tried other methods, shading with a tarp, ripping it up, this is the only thing that works permanently. If you are very sensitive, this might not be the spot for you, but it's not the end of the world if you get it. I have a very good remedy. There is also parsnip which is less of a concern. We use a scythe to cut it at the right time.
We would like to you to have a car, because it's difficult to get around without one, although there is a bike path about a 10 min drive away that goes straight to Mount Horeb and Madison, it takes a while. If you don't have a car that's ok, as long as you are ok being at the land a lot.
We are musicians and friendly people. We welcome all backgrounds and genders. I'm looking for a self-motivated independent stable person(s) with integrity. If you haven't lived in the country previously, it can be a difficult first month or 2, but then you'll never go back. Well at least that's how it works for most people.
We can accommodate vegetarians but not 100% or the vegan diet.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
You will learn how to live with minimal impact, in a beautifully secret place of the world. You will learn about establishing your own homestead, and depending on your interest and questions: beekeeping, mushroom logs, perennial propagation, building skills.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
This year (2021) in addition to finishing the interior walls and ceiling we will be installing our solar energy system and the earthen floor which we are creating from clay from the land. Also lots of canning tomatoes/salsa and other food preservation. Harvesting food small scale, mulching, there’s always some sort of shoveling and wheelbarrowing. Sifting clay for the earthen floor is a big task.
This host offers a language exchange
Would like someone que habla Español so I can practice. Or Greek or French.
Tent platform with outdoor kitchen and shower
Madison is 30-40 min away, Blue Mounds state park is about a 15 min drive, Gov Dodge state park is 20 min drive, Wisconsin River and Spring Green 20 min drive. Mount Horeb 20 min. Also a very clean trout fishing/swimming stream is right nearby. Bike path that goes directly to Mt Horeb and Madison is a 20 min bike ride.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have some internet but you can’t upload or download big files on it (including watching vids). Library is 10 min away with good internet inside and outside.
Depends on the cat or dog: we have 3 cats, a cat may work male is better. Well behaved dogs (ok with cats) should be fine
More than two
12-15 hours a week