Help with building a home for our family using sustainable practices in Vermont, USA


United States


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  • Description


    Cottage Build 2020
    - ROCKET MASS HEATER BUILD: Somehow we survived last winter with only a mediocre heat source. We will rectify this by completing our rocket mass heater. This project is happening in July.
    - COB / EARTHEN PLASTER: This summer is all about cobbing / earthen plaster! Our strawbale timber frame home has a lot of strawbale in-fill that needs to be plastered inside and out. First floor interior is done for now, so we are concentrating on the exterior, both ground floor and 2nd floor. If you enjoy scampering on scaffolds or if you prefer staying on the ground, there's plenty o' plastering for all! We use clay from our property + "waste" sand from a local quarry + fresh horse manure for our plaster. It is a peace-filled soothing experience. Learn about clay slip, clay plaster, and a little cob too.
    - OTHER PROJECTS: We still have numerous other projects around the homestead, including (but not limited to): greenhouse construction, hen house construction, grey water plumbing, 12v wiring, extending our food forest (clearing forest, planting more trees and berry/nut bushes, general gardening), firewood acquisition, etc.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Language practice

  • 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

    Our family is constructing our home using natural building methods--timber framing, round wood framing, straw bale in-fill, cob, etc. Our off-grid homestead features sustainable living--solar power, passive solar home, greenhouse, food forest, hugelkulture, composting. Our lifestyle is sustainable by using locally-sourced building materials--trees, rocks, and clay from the build site, locally milled lumber, used windows and doors, used local slate for roofing. We encourage our volunteers to work with us in design and construction methods. We don't know everything, so we listen to the wealth of knowledge others have and implement solutions immediately.

  • Help


    Cobbing / clay plaster, low voltage (12v) wiring, grey water plumbing, general homestead tasks--daily chores, firewood acquisition, etc., etc.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    We have a guest room that sleeps 2. Bedding provided.

    We will provide meals. We have a privy as well as some composting toilets. We HAVE Internet now (and Wi-Fi)!!

    Our lifestyle is extremely rugged at the moment. Here are some amenities we are currently living WITHOUT:
    -running water
    -hot water
    -electric lighting throughout the house

    As we acquire these things that list above will diminish and eventually we will have all of the amenities one would expect even for an off-grid lifestyle. We are still in THE PROCESS of building our home, so along with the ruggedness of our home it is also a construction zone.

    If this isn't your cup of tea, that's totally understandable. Check back in a few months to see where we're at.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are in the heart of the Green Mountains with the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail only a few minutes away sporting Vermont's second highest Peak--Killington Peak. Our property is 31 acres of heavily forested hills with streams, boulders, and plenty of wildlife. Hiking and exploring are strongly recommended. Skiing, snowboarding & snowshoeing available. There is an abundance of streams, lakes, mountains, and hills nearby. Historic sites. Covered bridges. Farmers markets. Museums.

  • 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?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    A few hours a day, every day

Host ref number: 946774366974