Live close to nature in a forest in Oregon's Cascade Mountains, lending a hand with firewood and garden chores. USA


United States


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  • Description


    Come experience life on 20 acres of forest in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains (elevation 1600 feet) near the wild and scenic North Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

    We think we have found paradise here, and for 22 years we have created our home and garden and been stewards of the forest. We are two self-reliant, retired professional women, aged 64 and 72. We both have traveled widely in the United States and to a limited extent abroad. We are readers, cooks, community volunteers, music-lovers, dog-lovers, nature-lovers.

    Our quarter-acre organic garden grows vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. We preserve, dehydrate, and freeze what we can't eat and give the excess to friends and the local food pantry. Our friends and family think we’re good cooks, and our guests are well-fed.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will experience a different way of life than in urban or suburban America. This is a rural area, and we live a very simple lifestyle, although far from rustic. All of the jobs that need to be done can be taught to anyone with interest and willingness to work. You could learn about harvesting and processing firewood, organic gardening, water conservation techniques, canning and preserving, cooking and bread making.

    One of us is originally from Louisiana, so the food sometimes has a Cajun/Creole flair. Other times we like to cook various international cuisines. Share your favorite recipes with us and we'll share ours!

    We can also introduce you to a truly beautiful and unique natural area. The North Umpqua River is world-renowned for fly-fishing, and the highway that follows it is a National Scenic Byway. Dozens of waterfalls, stretches of white-water rapids, hiking trails, rocky outcroppings, abundant wildflowers and wildlife, all make it a place to immerse oneself in nature. We are knowledgeable about local birds, wildflowers, trees, hiking trails, and other things to do in the area, and we like to share our knowledge.

  • Help


    As of September, 2019:

    We don't need additional help until October. Here's work that's likely to be needed then.

    We will be putting the garden to bed for the winter: pulling out spent vegetable plants, adding them to the compost pile, spreading finished compost on the rows. Strawberry beds need to be cut back. Perennials in the flower beds will need to be cut to the ground and composted. We have a large pile of aged mulch to be moved and spread on beds.

    Our barn is almost full of firewood. By then, we hope to have retrieved some more madrone to be split and stacked. There is also some cut firewood still in the woods, in a rather difficult place for getting to with the tractor, that needs to be retrieved by either wheelbarrow or tossing closer to tractor access.

    In the woods around the house, it's an ongoing job to clean up and reduce fuel load in case of wildfire: cutting underbrush and low limbs, collecting and removing dead material. By October, fire season will be over and we will be able to burn some of the piles we've accumulated, haul more debris to the bonfires. We have piles of larger limbs to chip and spread for mulch.

    The work requires that you be used to sustained physical activity.

    If you have experience with setting up computer networks, we would love to have you troubleshoot our network. We used to have our two computers networked, but that suddenly stopped working (we suspect a Windows 10 update) and we have not been able to share files or printers ever since.

    If you like to cook, we would enjoy tasting your favorite recipes and having an evening free from preparing dinner. Otherwise, we will cook, but we would like help with cleanup.

    We prefer to host for one week.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, tiny bit of French

  • Accommodation


    You would use our guest bedroom and guest bath, which are in a separate part of the house from our bedrooms. Two people can be accommodated if they’re a couple, as there is only one bed. You would share our living room, kitchen, dining room, laundry, library, and outdoor spaces such as the patio, deck, and garden pergola. We eat meals together.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We live in a forested area with lots of outdoor recreation opportunities. The North Umpqua River is just over a mile from our house. You can explore back roads in the Umpqua National Forest, hike or mountain bike the many miles of trails , and swim in the river or creeks. We enjoy playing games: ping-pong, badminton, croquet, and washerboard outdoors, cards and board games indoors. Sometimes we pull out the arts and crafts supplies and turn the kitchen into an art studio. We have lots of books you are welcome to borrow. Our dog would love for you to play with her, or you can relax or snooze in one of the hammocks (weather permitting).

    There’s no TV and limited cell phone reception, although there is wi-fi and we like to watch movies. There is no public transportation in this area. The nearest town, with a couple restaurants, gas, post office, and small stores, is 8 miles away. Roseburg is 30 miles and 45 minutes away for grocery shopping and other errands.

    The Umpqua Valley is becoming known for its outstanding wine production, with about 30 wineries. If you appreciate wine, during your free time you could take a wine tour and sample some of the local varieties.

    We live a quiet life -- no parties, few neighbors, just a few visitors. If you like quiet and solitude, you will enjoy your time here.

  • 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 hrs per day, 5 days a week

The spectacular North Umpqua River
Our home waits to welcome you
Firewood stacked in the barn
A good day's harvest in late summer
Firewood waiting to be split last year
Flower bed behind the pergola
Cocodrie loves to play with her tire
Cocodrie responds to "Are you a pretty girl?"
Grape-covered pergola, garlic and strawberry beds
Flower bed, garden, and barn beyond
Last summer's garden - just planted
Garden and greenhouse from the pergola
Nestled in the forest

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Host ref number: 879377496677