I’m a retired nurse from Austin, Texas. I worked for many years providing healthcare for the medically underserved but now, in my later years, I wish to start on an even larger project - that of mitigating to the fullest extend that I am able the damaging effects of human activity on the environment.
My son, a lawyer, and I own 30 acres in rural East Central Texas, Bastrop County. My goal is to restore that land to its native condition, reforesting with native trees as well as shrubs and grasses. I’ve already begun the process but need help. Keeping the trees that I’ve already planted watered and weeded is more than I can do on my own and there are many more trees to plant if I’m to reach my goal of complete restoration of the land.
The farm is located in a very beautiful area, the rolling hills of East Texas near the tiny community of Kovar where you can relax in the quiet, see a star-filled sky at night, and experience wildlife first hand. It is 13 miles from Smithville, a town of 3000 that, despite its small size, has much to recommend it - a thriving artists community, good restaurants, great concerts, a community theater and lecture series and a gorgeous “old town” left over from Smithville’s heyday as a prosperous railroad town. Austin is about an hour away as is Houston. Both these large cities have multiple attractions for visitors.
Volunteers would be provided a large air conditioned and heated travel trailer in which to live that is equipped with a full kitchen, bathroom and two sleeping areas. Volunteers with international driving licenses would also have access to a pickup truck for trips to nearby locations. Smokers are welcome but are asked to smoke out of doors.
I would also offer side trips/weekend trips to Austin.
Help with Eco project
Travelers will see a side of life in the United States that visitors seldom see. In addition, they will meet an interesting assortment of people from farmers, to artists, plant biologists and even a specialist in green burials (burials that involve nothing that will negatively impact the environment) who will being working alongside the volunteers to convert 10 acres of the Grange into a green cemetery. Workawayers will learn about the care and feeding of native trees and plants and the importance of carbon sequestration and care of the land to the future of the human race.
I need help creating enclosures (areas surrounded by electric wire to discourage intrusion by cattle and deer) in which to plant trees, help planting the trees and help tending the trees - watering and weeding primarily. The tree care would require no specialized skills other than a love of the environment and a desire to protect it.
There are some water spigots with hoses in the fields but the bulk of the watering must be done by taking water to the trees in a water tote on a trailer, towed by a small pickup truck. It is labor intensive, sometimes very sweaty work but to see the saplings thrive does something wonderful to your heart. And I say this with complete sincerity.
It is important to note that the farm is isolated and the land itself is rough. Visitors will have the pleasure of observing deer, waterfowl and many kinds of birds as well as the cattle that live on the farm. There is always the potential, however, for encountering less welcome kinds of wildlife such as snakes, including venomous varieties, skunks, spiders, scorpions, etc. While it is unusual to run into these creatures, they have definitely all been seen at one time or another. The Smithville Hospital is 14 miles away, though, and the personnel there know very well how to treat injuries, snake bites and illness.
English and Spanish
I have recently acquired a vintage travel trailer (wonderfully funky but not at all junky) that has air conditioning, heating, a full kitchen and bath, a private double bedroom and a sitting/dining/additional sleeping area for volunteers. I would provide groceries but volunteers would be in charge of food preparation. I would spend on average three days each week, maybe more, at the farm to help alongside the volunteers and to exchange knowledge and ideas to ensure the success of the reforestation project and the experience of the helpers.
This experience is not for those looking for a stimulating nightlife or party atmosphere. It is farm life pure and simple with opportunities to visit nearby cities that do offer a wide variety of experiences. Daily life is quiet and peaceful and clears the way for a whole new appreciation of the natural world.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week