Will be open to hosting more people in Spring 2017, please write if that fits your timeline.
We have 16 acres nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains, about an hour from San Francisco, Santa Cruz and San Jose. It's the rich, bottom slope of the only named little mountain around here, mostly covered with towering Redwoods, Douglas Fir, Bay Laurel and gorgeous Oaks, with some cleared sites in between. We are named after a perennial creek which feeds the larger Pescadero Creek (even after several years of historic drought), once home to Salmon and still home to Steelhead Trout.
Our home base is modest and rustic, and we use off-the-grid electricity, high speed Internet, hot outdoor showers, self-milled lumber, and a few temporary structures. We live and work lightly on the land, but our ambitions are big.
Sepp Holzer led his first Permaculture workshop in California here in 2013, and supports our plan to develop half of the property as a private eco-camp to continue to host workshops and events while building a small farm.
Your input has the potential to help direct the future of our camp and farm, and we welcome your experiences and insight.
We love international travelers and open minds!
You must have strong respect for working in and preserving nature.
We expect 10-20 hours of your time per week depending on accommodation, with a 1-2 week trial period. Scheduled hours are negotiable, but on work days we usually start by 10am and expect you to work a 4-6 hour shift.
Everyone must sign and return a Waiver of Liability when they arrive, and we are happy to email it to before you arrive. This is not risk free tourism, and we need you to acknowledge that you are voluntarily helping with real work, and understand that you are responsible for yourself while visiting. We do everything that we can to make sure you are safe, trained and comfortable out here in the woods.
There is some very limited bus service available, but we may be able to pick you up from the city or airport. Having your own vehicle is very helpful.
You will have full access to the shared kitchen, but we cannot provide food except for the basics of rice and beans, oil and cooking spices (our gardens are in the early stages of production but often coffee, tea, greens and mushrooms are available). You will need to have a little money to get the things you want in town (10 minutes away for the basics, 25 for supermarkets). In the past, people have shared most meals, taking turns cooking. (Of course, you are expected to wash your own dishes and clean up after yourself just like anywhere else.)
We always have lots of different things to do and ask that you tell us your skills and your interests before you arrive so that we can make a sensible work plan. Some people have mechanical skills, for example, but don't enjoy the work. We need certain skills, but respect that you should also have a great time!
Please indicate three things you are willing to do:
-Campground Hosting (April-October)
-Digging/Leveling tent or garden sites
-Collecting Branches (firewood and fencing)
-Spreading Mulch or Gravel
-Weeding plants (esp thistle, but if poison oak doesn't bother you that would be enormously helpful)
-Starting Seeds and Transplanting
-Harvesting Seeds and Plants
-Cleaning and Organizing
If you stay past the trial period, you may also participate in the following which you would need to be instructed in first:
-Driving a small utility vehicle, using a chainsaw, innoculating mushroom logs, building irrigation lines, website building, setting up a new greenhouse, building garden terraces, building a BioSand water filter, making seed mixes, preparing tent sites, helping prepare for workshops and events...
There's a lot to enjoy in our local area, from Beaches to ancient Redwood trees, Farmers Markets and Horseback riding, Mushroom picking, Surfing, incredible Biking, Free concerts, great bars and restaurants, etc. AND if you have a car, being close to Santa Cruz and San Francisco means you can do just about anything else you want.