Just 20 minutes east of Bisbee, Arizona, I have been building and garden/farming since 2007. An artist by profession, building alternative earth-based structures and organic growing of food have also been my passions. I built an earthbag dome, strawbale pumphouse, papercrete outdoor kitchen, and more. I apprenticed at CalEarth in November of 2007 in Nader Khalili's last group of students. Nader was adamant about all of us teaching so I began hosting a monthly open house (every 1st Sunday for over 7 years!)
I brought garden/farming into the picture in 2009 and have decades of experience in desert growing from date-farming in the 1970's to my present interest in drought-tolerant native varieties of staple foods.
I love learning new techniques and approaches and sharing ideas and experience with others . When I found Bisbee in 2004, I knew I had found my tribe! An extraordinarily progressive and supportive community. I feel lucky to be here. Please ask me for my blog for more.
Travelers could learn about several sustainable building systems, growing food in a harsh environment, and hopefully teach me some things as well! Also an opportunity to spend time in one of the most unique and fascinating small towns anywhere, Bisbee, Arizona.
Farming and building are hard , dirty work no matter what techniques one uses! Currently, I need help with an earthbag building and some new fencing plus miscellaneous farm tasks. I would also like to have help from an experienced person with designing a solar hot-water system.
English and passable Spanish
At our ranch I have a really nice small camper-trailer; possibility of staying in my dome there; camping on site is also an option. Additional space is currently a project nearing completion. It is high-desert here and the hottest weather is in the 90's in May and June. (This is not like the more extreme heat in the low-desert areas) The coldest months are December, January. (Daytime highs avg 60s, nighttime lows avg 30s)
Cooking facilities on site are good but no refrigerator. (I am off the grid)
P.s. I like to cook and eat good food and have fun while I work.
There are numerous local opportunities to hike/camp if one has transportation. I can transport people into town for time off, showers, laundry etc. but not every day. Bisbee is on the National Historic Registry and often has excellent live music in many of it's unique venues. We are 5 miles from the Mexican border.
The Tucson airport is 2hours away .
I must also remind people that this IS the desert. Yes, there are rattlesnakes, scorpions, etc. and one must be intelligent about living around these creatures. My first intern volunteer, was quite terrified about the possibility of encountering snakes but determined to overcome this , and she did! Good boots are recommended if possible!
I now have a hotspot for wifi although it stays with me and I am not always at the ranch.
I believe passionately in the need for small farms , small sustainably-built dwellings , and community. I still enjoy hard work which I have always done but must admit I am slowing down at 67. I want to continue developing this project before I pass it along to others but now I need some help to accomplish this.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week