Serene "getaway from it all" north of Napa County- California, USA

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United States

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    Last activity

    09/09/2019

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  2019 

 Min stay requested: 1 week or less

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  • Description

    Description

    We're a well-traveled couple, and as an exchange student and professional, I've lived/worked in Europe, Asia and North America before finally settling in a sleepy, rural community just north of Napa County, CA. We enjoy meeting and welcoming people from all over the world who are willing to learn about each other with a congenial, compassionate attitude.

    Our community suffered a tragic wildfire in 2015, destroying 1,300 homes including ours. Since then, we have rebuilt and moved into our new home on the same 5-acre property. We're conscientious about maintaining a fire-safe zone, and thus need help all throughout the year to keep down the weeds and shrubs in this effort.

    From May to October, our area is hot and dusty. We have cats, dogs, sheep, pigs and chickens who live in peace and harmony (more or less). So please keep this in mind if you have any allergies. Because of our livestock (pigs and sheep), picking up and hauling manure to add to our compost piles is a big part of the work. So if you are also allergic to doing this kind of work, please look elsewhere.

    Our place is ideal for someone who wants to get away from the rat race, who doesn't mind being inconvenienced by limited public transportation, and desires a quiet, serene place to practice mindful living through work, being around animals, and meditation.

    We value serenity and healthy living. With that said, we do raise our animals both for weed control and food, so if you are opposed to the slaughter of farm-raised livestock as part of what we choose to eat, you may wish to look elsewhere.

    PLEASE NO smoking of any kind, no drugs, no drama - anywhere on our property (indoors and outdoors). Thank you!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Charity work
    Language practice

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    In exchange, we can help you improve your English (I was formerly an English language instructor) as well as German (my second language). We are generous with our time and can show you around our beautiful, lesser known region here in Northern California which is literally "far from the maddening crowd". You'll share delicious meals with us, and we welcome you to participate in meal prep and maybe learn new recipes. But if you're vegetarian/vegan, you may not agree with our diet as it does include meat, and we may not have time to cook special meals for people with special diets.

  • Help

    Help

    INFO SUPPLÉMENTAIRE: En 2019, je cherche des workawayers qui parlent couramment le français. Je voudrais continuer mon apprentissage de cette belle langue et m'entraîner avec l'expressions orales. Roy parle seulement anglais, donc vous pouvez vous entraîner votre anglais avec lui :)

    ADDITIONAL INFO: In 2019, I'm looking for workawayers who speak fluent French. I would like to continue my learning of this beautiful language and to train with oral expressions. Roy speaks only English, so you can practice your English with him :)

    For 2019, we'd love to host someone who is a lover of big working dogs and can spend lots of time with Skye, our Maremma livestock guardian dog, to encourage him to remain with the sheep and pigs. Although he loves the sheep, he is reluctant to stay in the pens with them, preferring human company (this is not how it's supposed to be!). Our helper may possibly spend one to two hours each day out in the field with Skye to get him to bond closer with the sheep. He is still a puppy so we have an opportunity to bring out his natural instincts.

    All throughout the year, we need strong, able bodies who know how to use trimmers or weedeaters (français: coupe bordure / deutsch: Rasentrimmer) and do general physical labor around the property - moving rocks, removing and clearing shrubs, etc. If you're visiting in the hot months (generally from May-October), this means getting up very early so that work is finished before noon. Thereafter, you have the rest of the day free :) However, using trimmers is not required as there are many more opportunities on the property where you can help, such as teaching French and Spanish (to Roy), doing poop patrol, and more (read below).

    We have a backhoe/tractor and good tools to minimize heavy manual work.

    There's literally an infinite amount of work you can do to help with the animals, garden, clearing of dead trees/shrubs and maintaining a fire safe area on our property. As mentioned earlier, we do need help cleaning up manure from pigs and sheep, which is ESSENTIAL and needs no special skills. As for the other types of chores, we will work with what you are capable of doing and will be happy to teach you.

    We would ask our guests to integrate into our family so that we can all benefit from a cultural exchange. Although technology is integral to how we make a living, we would like to minimize the use of the internet (incl. smartphones) when we're in a social setting which usually happens in and around the kitchen area.

    We suggest a stay of no more than 2 weeks as our location is far from most towns. We encourage visitors to use their time to explore many other beautiful places in California. With that said, we might make exceptions for some helpers.

    PLEASE NO smoking of any kind, no drugs, no drama - anywhere on our property (indoors and outdoors). Thank you!

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, German, French

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    We have a spare guest room and occasionally, a clean, cozy park model RV (like a tiny home) with cots, air-conditioning and heat.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are located in wine country (Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake counties) featuring bucolic scenery, world-class wines and fascinating geology. We have limited public transport, but you can take a bus to Calistoga (Napa County) or Ukiah (Mendocino County) which then has excellent connections to other towns in Napa. We most certainly can give you a lift directly to a destination or to public transport that will bring you either to bustling cities like San Francisco or far away destinations like Yosemite National Park or Mount Shasta.

  • 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?

    One

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Bastien and Paul digging post holes in the garden. Hard work!
Dgi and Roy smiling on a rainy day, building a gate.
Alassane removing nasty weeds/shrubs with a pickaxe
Skye doing a great job being with the sheep ! That's our mud oven in the background where we bake bread, desserts, and make pizza :)
Roy finished building this torii gate to our veggie garden with the help of workawayers and our local builder friends.
Mustafa and Twiggy, our American Guinea Hogs!
Marcia and Dgi admiring their mushrooms at Jackson State Forest in Mendocino, CA.
My little shrine with the caboose (park model RV we have available for workawayers) in the background.
Wine and olive oil tasting at Chacewater in Kelseyville, Lake County, CA
This is the outer decoration of our mud oven where we bake bread, desserts and pizza :D
May 2017 drone shot of property.
The foreman, Sasha, making sure there's no horseplay on the job!

These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.

Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)








Host ref number: 929653947423