All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 55
Host ID: 3678
Note: Please login or register if you wish to see all full size photos and part reviews. You will also require to upgrade to premier membership in order to view contact details, weblinks and complete reviews.
Last Updated: May 22, 2013
"Resident volunteers" from HelpX and Wwoof have been a Godsend to our non-profit working ranch serving children and animals on our 55 acre ranch. When we lost our site development funding the day after 9-11, we thought the ranch would go under. But the children who had been coming to the ranch during after school programs and summer camps refused to let that happen. They gave up their fun time on the ranch riding horses and driving go-carts to work every minute they could to keep the ranch going. They hand dug fence posts, built shelters for the animals and did whatever was needed.
In as much as they loved the ranch, they missed their fun times on the ranch until we got our first "resident volunteer" from Wwoof and more followed who also came from HelpX.
Once we signed up with HelpX and Wwoof, the ranch has continually progressed forward thanks to some wonderful help from around the world.
When a new resident volunteer arrives here on the ranch, I warn them to get their feet well planted on the ground because they will be knocked over with kids running to hug and greet them. The kids are so very grateful for all who have come and who have left them with wonderful memories as well as fences, buildings, repairs, etc. The kids are fascinated by the different stories resident volunteers bring from around the world and they love listening to the different accents.
Resident volunteers who come here work hard but go away knowing they made a difference in the lives of children, animals we care for and in our environment. Your help is considered to be a great gift to all of us and has given more free time to the children so they can go back to riding horses, go-carts, and doing the other wonderful things this ranch was built to provide. However, you will also find the kids to be a great help on the ranch as well because they believe in the ranch and in themselves. They know they have, can and always will make a difference.
If you are looking for a worthwhile experience and enjoy children and animals, this is the place to come.
Most visitors fly into San Francisco Airport and take the airport shuttle to Santa Rosa where we meet them to take them to our ranch.
We are mostly a working ranch with ducks, rabbits, chickens, cats, dogs, horses and goats. Obviously, visitors should not have any allergies or sensitivities to any animals if they want to do a stay with us.
The ranch is permanently occupied by my husband and I who are in our later 50’s. We have up to 8 resident volunteers at a time and a tenant who rents a cottage also on the property. Generally, there are people around the ranch. However, much of the work is independent of others. Some may, at times, feel isolated such as when you are out on the ranch working alone or feeding. Other times, the ranch comes alive with guests, volunteers, staff and youth. There is a wide variety of work to be done so it is rare that we get complaints about the lack of diversity. Most visitors enjoy the opportunity to learn to work with animals and livestock.
Visitors stay in a (caravan) trailer, bunk house, or share bedrooms in the main house with other resident volunteers.
The property is in a dense forest of Doug fir trees on uneven terrain. The weather is cold and wet December through part of March, warmer and less rain April thru May; hot during the months of June through September and mild to cool in October and November.
We run a non-profit organization teaching life skills to youth through their on-going service work helping homeless animals and learning environmental appreciation. You can read more about our program on our website and watch our You Tube video below.
Horse back riding is offered to visitors who have experience and lessons may be arranged. There is a pond with small paddle boat and above-ground swimming pool usable during summer months. The main farm house has a pool table and there are several hiking trails on the property or near by. Our ranch is in one of the most scenic spots in our country in the midst of wine country and 1 ½ hr drive to San Francisco or 1 hour to the ocean coast.
Our main focus is working and teaching animal husbandry and working with livestock. However, we do not slaughter or consume (eat) animals raised on this ranch.
Most visitors assist with caring for the animals especially the horses. However, other areas of need for help are with carpentry, landscaping, gardening, maintenance, cleaning, cooking, errands, administration, gathering, cutting and splitting wood for winter, assistance with youth who come to the ranch, fencing, electrical, plumbing. We are open to consider any other skills or experience visitors may have to offer.
Most of the time meals are self catered. We provide a huge amount of canned goods, condiments, etc. plus resident volunteers are given $20/week to purchase fresh groceries.
Resident volunteers work 32 hours a week (generally 4 eight-hour days).
We are a working ranch on 55 acres in a remote setting more than 15 miles from town or bus. We are not within walking distance of town or bus transportation but can provide transportation to town and buses almost every day. Cell phones do not work on the ranch so guests must go into town to use their cell phones and/or purchase a phone card so they can make long distance call from the land line phone at the ranch. Internet access is available on a limited basis (no downloading without permission). We have several vehicles for ranch use and allow some resident volunteers to use them on a limited basis.
We prefer at least two week stays; no maximum stay requirement. Help is always needed year around.
Smoking, drugs or drinking is not allowed anywhere on the ranch and all those who are on the ranch must be mature and respectful of all who are here.
See us on YouTube via our link above and see our video below our photos below.