Expérience riche et variée dans les montagnes Blue Ridge, Virginie, USA



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  • Description


    Thanks to all my wonderful farm guests during this re-opening after a year and a half hiatus due to covid. We are looking forward to the 2022 season with excitement and a gladness for the online helper communities. We are full through September and are awaiting finalized application for October and even November. BUT we may have room and I have a neighbor Dan, mentioned in my profile below that may be able to host you. So read on to see what we are about. Please check specific dates for the fall at the end of my profile and on the Workaway Calendar.

    WINTER 2023 - I am looking for a couple or two friends that can share a bedroom, to help half time with pottery studio winter work and half time farm and projects. Both would need to have an interest in working with clay, and one would need experience glazing and general clay knowledge. This would be a bout 3 months from January through March. It would be best to have a car, as we are in a rural area, with most shopping and places of interest 30 miles or more away. Contact me with some specific info about your love of clay and experience.

    We are fully vaccinated and require our farm guests to be so too by their arrival time. If the CDC suggests closings or our local government or community requests different guidelines, we will adjust to honor them to keep ourselves, our communities and our farm guests safe in a manner that makes sense to us. We will post any changes as they occur. Please no request for pets, as we have livestock and our own dogs and cats.

    Now for the Nitty Gritty.......Thanks to all my wonderful farm guests during this re-opening after a year and a half hiatus due to covid. We are looking forward to the 2022 season with excitement and a gladness for the online helper communities. We are full through end of March 2022 already, with inquiries coming in for the coming year! Please look at my 2022 availability at the end of this profile.

    We are fully vaccinated and require our farm guests to be fully vaccinated by their arrival time here. If the CDC suggests closings or our local government or community requests different guidelines, we will adjust to honor them to keep ourselves, our communities and our farm guests safe in a manner that makes sense to us. We will post any changes as they occur.

    Now for the Nitty Gritty.......

    We are not your typical American family, farm stay or community. I garden extensively, have chickens, cattle, bees - somewhat like a homestead. We live in an intentional community of 60 adults and 12 or so kids and teens. We own about 500 acres of land together. Our community has been going strong for 47 years. We are based on co operative living and decision making, taking care of our beautiful land and promoting land stewardship and harmonious relationships. We live in owner built homes that range from cabins through more elaborate structures, we try to encourage energy efficiency and sustainability. Most members make a living out in the community, in town, telecommute or are retired. We tend to be left of center politically and progressive thinkers.

    We are open to singles or couples, straight, LBGT or however you identify yourself, as long as you consider yourself a good, kind and caring person. You will be living with me and my family in our home. Two adults, myself and husband live on one side of a duplex we built. My daughter and her byoncee (boyfriend/fiancé - Chris) - live on the other side. We share bathrooms, laundry the basement work spaces and come and go pretty freely. Five of our grandchildren are living nearby or in Richmond or Staunton, VA. Only 2 other grandchildren live far away in Texas. We are an irreverent and sometimes boisterous bunch. Colorful language abounds, silliness and good conversation are to be had. We are peaceful, pacifists, politically progressive, and nonreligious. Most of us read widely and love meeting new people.

    We are looking at three week stay cycles. See calendar and dates at the end of this profile description for specific dates each month. If you are fully vaccinated you can be in our family bubble. If you are not vaccinated then we do not feel comfortable inviting you to come at this time. With the upsurge in the Delta variant, we ask that you do not socialize indoors off the farm, masked or not. We do take out orders and outdoor dinning. We do go shopping once or twice a month, stop at our local country store and hardware or feed stores as needed, fully masked, use distance precautions and wash or sanitize hands.

    For the general growing season 2022, we like to have two helpers at a time. If you have a helper friend or partner, please consider applying for both of you. Each will need to fill out an application. If you are a single person, I will try to line up another farm guest to be here at the same time. I do have two spare bedrooms, one double room and one single. So with two, you each have your own bedroom. Couples automatically share the larger bedroom.

    All farm stays would include a 1 week trial period. If either of us are not happy with how things are going then your stay can end without any hard feelings (I hope!). I have only had 2 individuals leave early over the 7 years or so since I have been a host. They both left early due to their own self help needs and we agreed that it was best for all concerned. Hopefully the trial period is just a time of introduction and all goes well.

    I am retired teacher, artist, farmer and jack of all trades. I have an extensive annual and perennial garden, low tunnels, rebuilding a greenhouse - so gardening happens year round. Depending on the season and weather gardening and cattle care is the main work, in addition to working with chickens, bees, berries, cooking, cheese making and other odd things. There are always lots of different projects planned, both inside and out. Projects could be helping to build something, putting a roof on my tree house, small painting and other odd projects. While I am not a market farmer or grow commercially, I know many local farmers who do. I think if you are interested in growing things organically, sustainability and alternative lifestyles, this could be a good visit for you. No experience required.  If you have the ability and willingness to work, a sense of follow through and the desire to do well, I will teach you.

    This year, one of your 5 days help will be working with a neighbor of mine who had an accident 4 years ago and now is wheelchair bound. He is a wonderful guy with lots of experience in alternative energy, alternative building concepts and working with recycled materials. He needs help to do things and projects around his house that he can no longer do. We are in the process of figuring out how to make a lift and have put hand controls on our tractor so he can continue to drive. He is a great guy and an inspiration to us all - You can learn a lot from him. His name is Dan, his courage and adaptability in the face of such a life change is inspiring!

    Here are SOME of the things you MIGHT be doing and learning depending on season, availability and energy: organic vegetable, herb, flower and fruit growing – plus how to cook, preserve and use garden produce; forage for mushrooms as well as how to cultivate mushrooms, greenhouse growing;  prepare beds for perineal flowers and shrubs; learn how to trap bees and manage hives; learn about animal care; help prepare a site for a future helper cabin or other building projects; build a roof for a treehouse; use a chainsaw and/or log splitter; cook, bake, preserve and eat healthy foods; make kombucha, yogurt and simple cheeses; move temporary electric fence; learn about grass fed beef cattle care; learn various crafts; join in on community projects. Let me know what you might like to do and we can see what is available.

    Everything planned revolves around season, weather, time, materials and energy to do the various farm tasks. YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO DO IT ALL! But you will have lots of opportunities to try different things. 

    Everyday will be quite varied and usually what needs done most is what gets done first. We spend about 6 hours each day, usually from 9 am to 3 pm, which includes a full hour for lunch, Monday through Friday doing things. I make a weekly outline of the weather and what we will most likely be doing each day, barring weather changes or animal emergencies. This is somewhat flexible for both you and me. Your time off is your own to do what you like. Healthy meals will be served. Each farm guest and myself cooks one evening meal during the week, if you don't cook or haven't learned, I will help you. All other meals will be on your own, from foods provided by our house. Weekend time and after our day is done is your own to do as you wish. Experience is not necessary, just a willingness to learn, ability to work physically and get your hands dirty.

    I will help you find out more about homesteading/farming culture, my intentional community, this local geographic area and it's people, as well as places of interest in the area. I take my role as a farming mentor and cultural ambassador seriously. The Appalachian Mountains and all it's lovely history, music, communities and wild places are on my doorstep to explore.

    Good healthy meals and all facilities are provided in our home, laundry, bathing and showering bed linens and towels. We are omnivores, we can cheerfully accommodate vegetarians, as the many of our meals are vegetarian.  As long as you are OK with meat being cooked in the home or the fact that we raise animals for consumption, we will be ok. Vegans or other strict diets, accepted on a case by case basis, but please be aware that you will be living with omnivores and you may need to supplement some of your own dietary needs.

    We ask you to be friendly and respectful to our community members, their kids and guests. Your off time is your own to relax, explore or do your own projects. Rural America does not have public transportation. If you do not have a car we can help with occasional rides to Charlottesville, or other shopping, but most of your time will be on spent on the farm. Two bikes are available to get around on the farm and for fun. Some members might invite you over for dinner, parties might happen again outdoors and other social events happen that you can join in on or not, depending on state wide and community covid 19 precautions. You will have one meal each week at either Dan and Jill's house or another community outdoor weekly volleyball is happening again, for the time being. It happens every Wednesday from early spring to fall. These weekly pick up games for serious players happens six months of the year, some music or drumming get-togethers' happen on a regular basis in the area at the same time for those who wish to socialize or you can do both. You can join me visiting our local farmers market, and other community events that I attend, if  you like or not. No pets please.  If you do not have your own car I can pick up in Charlottesville VA, if needed, at the bus, train or airport.

    Local attractions: Charlottesville VA is a thriving college town with a wide range of events going on year round: music venues, art (First Fridays), lectures, galleries, crafts, history etc. Transportation into town can usually be arranged and there is a free trolley serving the University and Downtown areas. I also have a bicycle and bike rack that can be used. Staunton, a lovely, small, beautiful, thriving Appalachian Mountain city. It has a lovely thriving downtown area, good arts and music scene and charming old houses on steep streets. If you don't have your own car, I have one working bike at this time, might have more later on when parts come in. I will help you get to a few local sights while you visit here, either by taking you myself or having you hook up with others.

    We have decent internet for a rural area. You will be sharing our home with all of us, living room, family room - we call the ballroom, kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, decks and outdoor areas. I have a small single bedroom with a loft bed, and a larger guest bedroom with a queen bed and a single bed. I usually accommodate 2 farm guests at a time. If you come on your own, you may be sharing a room with another same gender individual, or you can camp out on our tree house platform, about 300 feet into the forest, if you wish for more privacy. If I only have two farm guests scheduled and no family guests you each can have your own room.

    The monthly outline below gives you and idea of what to expect at any given time for the type of activities that might be happening each month. I have written the highlights of each month below, but many other things happen. You will be able to do some of the things listed, but not all, as all activities are weather, priority,seasonal and time schedule dependent. When the weather is too wet, too hot or too cold we will be doing indoor projects in my home, the barn or in community buildings.

    2022 Farm Visit Schedule

    Full for January
    We are generally closed for January, but will consider farm guests occasionally. It is still winter, can be cold with snow or icy rain, though we usually get breaks in warm spells that we thoroughly take advantage of and enjoy. If it is sunny outside and no wind we will get at least a few days of tee shirt weather in some afternoons. Most of what goes on in February below will be happening. If we are cold enough ice skating may happen on our small lake. By the end of January the very first snow drop flowers emerge. I thrill letting us know that the season is turning towards spring.

    Full for February
    We still can get snow and ice skating might happen on our little lake, but we get less snow each year. Greenhouse work and repair, low tunnel harvesting, seedlings, garden preparation for the up-coming season, cattle feeding and training, building raised beds, cattle fencing and general farm maintenance. Towards the end of the moth daffodils start blooming, snow drops have exploded and crocus are up. We can also have some of our coldest days in February.

    Full for March
    Green house work, seedlings - both indoors and outdoors, peas go in the ground, more garden preparation for the up-coming season, sometimes morel mushroom season at the end of the month, chicken care, chicken coop work, prepare beehives and swarm traps for the season, cattle care and general farm maintenance. Great excitement as the weather warms up and spring starts to emerge, The grass starts to green up, daffodils are at their peak, virginia bluebells all over our backyard and the very first spring ephemerals bloom. Spring time change starts our weekly volleyball games at the farm.

    Full for April
    Lots of planting, seedling care and weeding, depending on weather could also be morel season. Chicken and cattle care and general farm maintenance. Set out swarm traps for more bees and install any new package bees. Forest ephemeral flowers blooming in profusion, trillium, bloodroot, wild geranium, tout lily and many more, red buds bloom and the weather is delightful. One of the most beautiful months in Virginia as is May. 

    Full for May
    Planting in full swing, frost date gone, tomatoes go in and all warm sun loving things. Haltering and continue training of last years calves, chickens, bee care and general farm maintenance. Forest, fields, shrubs, trees are all greening out and flowering like mad. Maybe warm enough to start swimming. Farmer's market opens and runs through October, every Saturday morning.

    Full for June
    The garden comes into it's own with lots of greens and lettuce to harvest. Weeding start in earnest. I will be experimenting with landscape cloth, cardboard and black plastic to help cut down on this onerous task. If the weather co-operates could be the beginning of Chanterelle season. Chicken and cattle care and general farm maintenance. Daily swimming begins, but not yet brutally hot.

    Full for July
    Definitely Chanterelle season unless we have a drought, first tomatoes (ensalada caprese time), daily swimming, lots of garden weeding, blue berries, blackberries, fireflies. Chicken and cattle care and general farm maintenance. We work in the sun early and then shift to woodland/shade or inside later in the day.

    August - Closed but these activities might be happening in July or August, depending on weather. Harvest tomatoes, salsa making, peaches, fencing, cattle care, fencing, hunting last chanterelles, swimming, lots of garden weeding, making yogurt and fresh cheeses, ferment pickles and kimchi, kombucha - which happens year round, and general farm maintenance, peach season. Plan fall garden, low tunnels and greenhouse.

    Full for September
    Still some hot summer days and nights, but cooling off towards the end of the month, harvest galore, still swimming daily, beginning to think fall and garden clean up. Starting fall greens indoors and in the garden. Everything listed above in August except Chanterelles are gone and we start looking for fall mushrooms. Fall greenhouse and low tunnel planting, planning for later planting of garlic crops and other winter vegetables. Apple season and processing. Chicken and cattle care and general farm maintenance.

    Most likely full, but contact me anyway! October -  Sunday, October 16th, through Saturday, November 12th
    3-4 week stay, end dates flexible
    Salsa time, continued last apple season, harvesting and cleaning up the garden. Planting garlic and perennial onions, sow seeds for greenhouse and on light shelves in the house. One of my goals is to have lettuce for salad year round.  If it is wet, fall mushrooms!. Chicken and cattle care and general farm maintenance. Stacking wood, preparing for winter.

    Most likely full for November but contact me anyway - My season for 2022 ends around mid November.
    Putting the garden to bed - remove some fencing, take down trellises, mow, till and seed cover crops, caring for early fall planted greenhouse and row cover veggies. Chicken and cattle care and general farm maintenance. Stay and join us for Stone Soup Tradition and community Thanksgiving dinner.

    December - Closed

    Rules are pretty simple. Be considerate, ask questions if you don't understand directions, clean up after yourself, participate in our household, be kind. Be able to help me and others, but also be able to be independent when needed. Enjoy being out of doors for several hours at a time. Be physically fit and able to help for about 5 hours per day. Weekends you are on your own to explore our farm or the area. The day starts around at 9 am, maybe at 8 in the heat of summer, I am not an early bird farmer. I expect my farm guests to help with a small amount of daily chores around the house, clean up after themselves and cook a dinner meal once per week.

    I ask that you have medical insurance or if coming from abroad have traveler's insurance. Farms can be dangerous places, especially for the uninitiated. Please be up to date on your tetanus shot or booster and have all your childhood vaccinations under your belt. Make sure you feel up to a moderate amount of physical activity. I am a pretty energetic 71 year old and will work with you most of the time. If you are more than a little bothered by pollen, dust, dander, cats or dogs and mold or for that matter, you can't tolerate a fair amount of bugs, some reptiles, large domestic animals, and the occasional wild animal, my farm might not be the best place for you. We have ticks, copperhead snakes and annoying insects. I will help you to learn how to avoid them, but they are in our environment.

    We want honest, easy going tolerant individuals with a good sense of humor. We are a boisterous, an irreverent bunch, and use colorful language. We like lively discourse on far ranging topics. We are politically liberal, non-religious, and generous. If you are these things, we will get along.

    As long as you like what we eat, we will provide all your food and snacks. We don't have much processed food and you may need to make your own sweet snacks from our stores. Remember special diets like vegan or gluten free may need to supplement what we have. We try to use as much organic food as we can afford, but not exclusively. If you are over 21, some alcohol OK, but you must provide your own and in moderation only. You can smoke tobacco outside, in a safe and clean manner. No drugs, weapons or paraphernalia associated with either allowed.

    Whew, thank you for reading all this info. I hope you get a feel for who we are and what a stay here might be like. If you like what you have read, please contact me on messages for any questions or request a visit for the date listed.

  • Types d'aide et opportunités d'apprendre

    Types d'aide et opportunités d'apprendre

    Bricolage et projets de construction
    S’occuper des animaux
    Aide dans une ferme
    Cuisine/repas pour la famille
    Aide à la maison
    Entretien général

  • Objectifs de développement durable de l’ONU que cet hôte essaie d'atteindre

    Objectifs de développement durable de l’ONU que cet hôte essaie d'atteindre

    Objectifs de l’ONU
    Pas de pauvreté
    Faim «zéro»
    Bonne santé et bien-être
    Éducation de qualité
    Égalité entre les sexes
    Eau propre et assainissement
    Énergie propre et d'un coût abordable
    Travail décent et croissance économique
    Industrie, innovation et infrastructure
    Inégalités réduites
    Villes et communautés durables
    Consommation et production responsables
    Mesures relatives à la lutte contre les changements climatiques
    Vie aquatique
    Vie terrestre
    Paix, justice et institutions efficaces
    Partenariats pour la réalisation des objectifs
  • Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre

    Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre

    Since we live within an intentional community, you will get a glimpse of alternative American lifestyles. I am a retired farmer, teacher, artist. I can most likely help you find out about most things growing and living, when home, my husband the geek, can fill you in on most other topics. All things gardening will be the major activity, bee hives to tend, 10 head of cattle to watch over, chickens, bees and I am constantly trying out new things. This year we might be starting the building of a guest cabin, inoculating logs with mushroom spawn and setting up new bee hives. We will be building a roof over our wood fired pizza oven and finishing the barbeque grill. I have also done many crafts in my life and often have materials for you to try out. You will live in our home with us, sharing meals, facilities, conversations, chores and recreation. You also can have as much of your down time to yourself, if wanted. We will help you to visit some areas of interest in our locality if you don't have a vehicle. Two bicycles are available to get around the farm. I can teach you how to drive a standard manual shift old farm truck (if it is running).

    There are many activities happening each day, what we do varies with the season, what needs most to be done, our time and energy and what is realistic. We will do lots of gardening, some animal care, cooking, helping others in my community, maybe visiting other farms for some work exchange, and of course lots of free time social activities you are welcome to join us for or just take your own time to relax.

    I think you will find a rich and varied experience here in the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia!

  • Aide


    Help during the growing season would mostly be with me in my garden, vegetables, berries and flowers, some orchard help. Tasks involving cattle, training a pair of young heifers to the halter trained and with ox commands, fencing, greenhouse, outdoor tasks when the weather is good, and general projects indoors. We have chickens, beef cattle, bees, foraging for mushroom and cultivating them too, always some kind of building project or repair. I am quite flexible and want to make sure time here is fun and full of opportunities to learn. I am the artist, educator farmer, my husband is an Agile-very experienced programmer/coach. If you have a particular interest, either I have the skills or know people who would be willing to be with you. We are a diverse group of individuals in my own community and in the larger rural community of Nelson County. We may visit other farms for help exchange or if your interests lie outside of what I do here. Guests are expected to help with general house chores, clean up after themselves, cook once per week and be fun.

  • Langues parlées

    Anglais: Courant

  • Hébergement


    We eat lots of vegetables, grains, and dairy as well as meat. We usually eat evening meals during the week together, breakfast will be on your own, lunches will happen during a mid-day break. On weekends, we usually forage in the fridge for meals. Our house will be open to you for bathing, laundry, relaxation and hanging out. We do not have TV but do have high-speed internet. We have a large flat screen for movies or other media. My husband is an avid music collector and loves his music. We have a good electronic piano and an acoustic guitar, that you are welcome to play. We have a library of books, you are welcome to borrow. Your time after chores are done is your own. I will often invite you to join an activity I might be doing, you are welcome to join us or not. We tend to like both alone time and social times. It varies with what is going on. We assume our guests would like both, too.

    Central Virginia is quite hot and humid in the summer, winters are mild and getting milder, but we do get snow sometimes. Bugs abound. Dust, mold, and pollen are ever present. Farm work can get pretty sweaty and dirty. We hope you can be comfortable in this environment. If you have strong allergies or are very squeamish about bugs, dirt, reptiles, and pets, this might not be the place for you. Please note that 2 dogs and 2 cats live in our house. You should bring season appropriate clothing, bug spray, sunblock, hat, sturdy shoes, and any medications you might need to combat our environment and for your comfort. If it is winter when you come, please be prepared to bring warm clothing as outside work abounds!

    My husband and I are smokers, but we only smokes outside. No smoking in the house!

    Happy volunteering to you and may your adventures be wonderful!

  • Autres infos...

    Autres infos...

    We are looking for honest, easy going people with a good sense of humor. We like conversation and talking about a wide range of topics. We expect guests to be good people. We hope that you will think that we are too. I have been a volunteer host for over six years and have greatly enjoyed visits from a wide range of individuals. Their reviews of our home have been consistently good. We try to make your visit an enjoyable and good time spent here. We do not smoke in our home. You can smoke responsibly outdoors. If you are over 21, moderate social drinking is OK, but you must provide your own. No drugs or illegal activities allowed. No fire arms or weapons allowed. We also expect you to be sociable and courteous to our community members and neighbors. We are not religious or follow any paths in that department.

    There are lots of wilderness places to visit and the small but historical and pretty hip city of Charlottesville, VA is interesting. Charlottesville is a university town about a half hour away by car. Lots of music, art, theater, shops and restaurants abound. We can either bring you into Charlottesville occasionally or help arrange rides. The Appalachian Trail and many day hikes are only a few miles away. Again, we can help with rides to specific places, as the USA does not have good public transportation out in rural areas. Having your own vehicle greatly expands your ability to visit the sights. Our area abounds in wineries, breweries and local farmers. We have a vibrant and very active farmer's market April through October. Our land also has quite a lot to offer in the way of out door activities, walking trails, a river and lake to swim in. We have two bikes that you can use. We also have a guitar, electric piano, ukulele,
    some penny whistles and a Bodrum drum. Unfortunately we do not play any instruments, but love music and you are welcome to use our musical instruments.

    Our community often has pot luck dinners, other get-togethers, weekly volleyball games every Wednesday, local musicians, dances and parties happen, and other social events. As a guest in our community you will be welcome to join us if you like.

    We have an application for you to fill out and return. We ask for a photo ID, two references and social media info. If you are traveling from abroad, please make sure to secure a guest visa for travel purposes. You will be a guest in our home, not a volunteer or worker, this is a very important distinction that you must adhere to, if you claim to be a worker or volunteer you may be refused admittance into the USA. Please provide your direct email address after contacting me. I will send out the info and application to you directly. After we agree to host you, we will send you a final medical form, and liability release form to fill out. We do require that you have medical/traveler's insurance. We do not keep any medical information on you once you leave. The information is for us to have in the event of an emergency. Hopefully we will email each other with questions and eventually have a phone or zoom conversation before finalizing our visit dates. Please note that the Workaway site has me down as 0% response, that is an error, I have always had 100% response rate to inquiries and messages. I will try to have that fixed.

    Good luck in you Workaway plans, we wish you a wonderful experience!
    Virgina and Mike

  • Informations complémentaires

    Informations complémentaires

    • Accès Internet

    • Accès Internet limité

      Accès Internet limité

    • Nous avons des animaux

    • Nous sommes fumeurs

    • Familles bienvenues

  • Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?

    Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?


  • ...

    Nombre d'heures attendues

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Ce sont des évaluations supplémentaires en option lorsque les membres laissent un feedback. La note moyenne pour chaque option est affichée.

Exactitude du profil: (5.0)

Échange culturel: (4.5)

Communication: (5.0)

N° de référence hôte : 115427742892