Help our family to create a sustainable lifestyle in the Blueridge Mountains, Catawba, Virginia, USA

  • United States
  • Favourited 78 times
  • Last activity: 26/01/2023

Availability

  2023 

 Min stay requested: 1 month or more

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Details

  • Description

    Description

    Our Ranch is a ten acre paradise located in Catawba, VA. Our specific location is Craig Valley in the Washington and Jefferson National Forest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We are new to the area and the property (moved from Pennsylvania on 3/18/2021) and we wish to build and grow a sustainable lifestyle here with expansive fully organic gardening, self sustained water supply and electricity. Currently we grow hay for our neighbor's 80+ cattle and they maintain the field. Soon, we will begin designing and installing a solar power array in 2023. On our property, we have a 300 meter long brook with multiple small waterfalls (1 meter high), and the brook drains into Craig's Creek which is larger and has trout in it and many other small fish, turtles, frogs and other animals. We have a LOT of wild animals in our area such as deer, turkey, hawks, bald eagles, lynx, coyote, and even black bears. The famous interstate Appalachian Trail (AT) is 1 mile behind our home, on Brush Mountain. The most photographed site on the AT (McAfee Knob) is also close by and also Dragons Tooth trailhead and Cascade Falls. If you like hiking and great weather and the outdoors, and creating and living a sustainable lifestyle, consider our location a perfect spot for you! If you are creative and artistic and want to paint some murals on our barn, we'd love that! If you enjoy organic gardening, we have this are expanding it.

    About us: Steve holds the position of Associate Director of Climate Action, Sustainability and Energy and Campus Energy Manager at Virginia Tech (University) located 25 minutes away. There, he directs activities that lead to 2030 carbon neutrality for the university's Climate Action Commitment. Christen is a homemaker and essentially sustains the property and would be forever grateful for your help to make a more sustainable property. Our son, Andrew, just graduated university with a bachelors degree in communications and is now working at Virginia Tech and living here with us for the time being (the workawayers enjoy him!). Daniel (2nd year university student obtaining a bachelors degree of Nursing -RN), is away at university and has intermittent involvement with the property given school is a 6 hour drive. We are a close knit, loving family with full respect for life, inclusiveness and difference and can foresee a great relationship in the making here with workawayers! Andrew created a quick Youtube video about us and workwawayers that have enjoyed staying with us (video not posted yet).

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Coming from outside of the United States, you would absolutely become very accustomed to the American way of life experienced through seasons, holidays, etcetera and also the local culture of southwest Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's a farming culture here so you'd see how locals manage that lifestyle. If you are religious, you likely could share that with others in the region, our family included. Virginia Tech and the Blacksburg Community is an excellent local resource for everyone especially young Workawayers! We would provide you access to those attractive resources as well (Steve works there). You'd have the opportunity to learn about clean, renewable electricity and much more around sustainability.

  • Help

    Help

    If you've got some gardening experience and most importantly, you enjoy gardening and being outdoors, then this could be good for you. If you want to learn how to operate the farm tractor, we have that. If you want to learn how to design and actually install a solar array, we need you! If you have previous experience with solar, even better, but not required. We have begun composting better so any support improving that would be beneficial. We have a barn that we are considering doing some updates to, especially if you are creative and want to paint some murals onto it, that would be very cool, we'll supply you the materials. For the right person, we are flexible and if there are other ideas or initiatives while here that you would like to pursue, we can certainly consider those.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    You would have your own bedroom, fully furnished, heated and airconditioned. You would have your own bathroom. We have laundry here for you to use. We live in a very nice 2300 square foot brick ranch house. There's always plenty of food and snacks and ice cream, things like that in the house. We keep a lot of fruit around and we grill a lot of vegetables on the grill. We do eat meat but not lots of it. We'll feed you well, as if you were part of our family. Also, we have the most loving and fun pets, a rescue dog, three cats and a crested gecko (hopefully that okay with you).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Again, Virginia Tech and Blacksburg is a big draw for some people, the AT is a big draw for hiking, there are lots of hiking and fishing opportunities (we have the fishing gear), there are state parks nearby, the bus station in Blacksburg will take you to Washington D.C. or New York so you could travel there for the weekend, for example, or maybe we will show you around there. We have bikes that you can use. We go into Blacksburg almost daily and even Roanoke, so we can transport you as needed.

    You:
    the right person for us is someone who is humble, who is kind and loving, who is eager to learn and create and manage a sustainable lifestyle. Ideally, you would be interested in learning about our culture (and us learning yours!). We expect you to be open and honest and communicate very well. We like to stay fairly well organized and clean up after ourselves. When and what we work on each week can be flexible. Some weeks there won't be as much to do so you'll have more free time (no pressure from us).

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    One

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, maximum 5 days a week. We are flexible.

Host ref number: 866635982835

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