***Accepting folks during the Covid-19 pandemic as long as they have practiced proper precautionary practices(masks, sanitizer, social distancing, etc) & can drive to the farm.***
Our family has been in the Carolina low-country since the 1670s, and here on this property since 1827. The farm and family have seen many changes throughout the centuries, and is looking to the future!
An experimental and educational farm/homestead, we are working to bring a high level of self-sufficiency/sustainability here and to share our knowledge with our visitors.
This is the farm's 10th year hosting visitors. Forty-seven countries represented and over 400 guests staying, all have helped make the farm a better place. They have laughed, learned, sweated, plus they have help grow and have eaten some great food. We hope all that spend time here will take something positive away with them. Looking forward to another year of great helpers and guests!
***Now accepting volunteers from October 2020
**TWO week minimum stay**
Contact us for a questionnaire, include your email address. Spaces are filling fast...all months are available...
Please read ENTIRE profile prior to contacting me, even if you have been sent an invitation to join us!...
Diagnosed with cancer in 2016, I've gone through radiation treatments & multiple surgeries. It's been a hell of a time for me & the homestead, but we've continued to host helpers the whole time. I'm now learning a new way of life due a laryngectomy & a pectoral flap procedure. My mobility is limited & some may have trouble understanding my speech. I will never be back to my old self, but we will keep hosting until I'm not able to handle it any longer. I look forward to this challenge and still having a load of helpful folks to teach and to learn from. thanks***
Located outside of Tabor City, North Carolina, a small rural town on the NC/SC border in the lower coastal plain, 30 miles N of Myrtle Beach, SC. I own 125+ acres of mixed pine/hardwood forest and fields, and a large 2-story farmhouse--the land has been in our family since 1827. Would like to get it back to the level of self-sufficiency of my great-grandparents` day. The property has a small pond, miles of trails, fruit(plum, persimmon, loquat, apple, quince, pomegranate, pear) and nut(pecan, chestnut, hazelnut) trees, grapevines, asparagus beds, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, vegetable and flower gardens, a dog(Snoddy Dawg!), friendly barn cats, poultry(chickens, geese, turkeys, guineas, bantams and ducks), lots of wildlife, as well as a zone 8 growing season.
Current projects include helper education, organic raised bed veg gardening, row crops, high tunnel growing space, mixed edible flower and herb gardens, exotic plants, perennial vegetables, Asian vegetable production, reclaimed pallet/bamboo construction, permaculture, remodeling the 1880s farmhouse, hugelkultur, experimental crops, wildlife management and habitat preservation, asparagus/pecan/blueberry/grape harvesting, chickens, poultry, landscaping, microclime management, composting, food preservation, seed saving, resource conservation and a small nursery. Most tasks involve the large garden, raised beds & high tunnel growing areas, as well as the mixed flower/herb beds around the homestead. Helpers also assist with tasks around the yard & house. Open to trying any new ideas, and always have something going on. I have a library of 6k+ volumes, covering a myriad of topics, plus most friends refer to me as a walking encyclopedia. An old hippie--very liberal--from the Rainbow trail, I moved back to the Carolinas help my mom, who developed Alzheimer's. My children are now adults & on their life journeys. Now, my son & I are hosting volunteers to the farm.
Diagnosed with cancer in 2016, I've gone through radiation treatments & multiple surgeries. It's been a hell of a time for me & the homestead, but we've continued to host HelpXers the whole time. I'm now learning a new way of life due a laryngectomy & a pectoral flap procedure. My mobility is limited & some may have trouble understanding my speech. My son has had to run the farm for me for the past few summers. I will never be back to my old self, but we will keep hosting until I'm not able to handle it any longer. I look forward to this challenge and still having a load of helpful folks to teach and to learn from.
We are in the beginning stages of reshaping the property to self-sufficiency after a couple of decades of neglect. The farm contains a quail habitat conservation area, as well as Prince Bay, one of the many Carolina Bays that dot the southern coastal plain, a truly unique ecosystem. Much more information can be found on the farm`s Facebook page, in the "notes" section.
Need HelpXers from now to end of year---groups accepted if camping is no problem---
I prefer that US volunteers arrive on a Saturday so you have a day for the orientation tour and to settle in before starting the work week and so that no work time is wasted. International helpers--if arriving by plane, flights are cheapest to Myrtle Beach during mid-week. Thanks.
**Need someone with experience doing electrical work**
Looking for HelpXers wanting to learn as well as helping out, **TWO week minimum.** If you contact me for a long-term stay, please follow through. BTW, long-term is more than 2 weeks. We will sit down with you after a week to discuss how things are working out.
***HelpXers must have a completed profile and a photo posted.***
We ask for at least 5 hours work per day(M-Sat) in exchange for really good meals and a spot to call your own. Most work will be in the large vegetable garden and around the homestead. Meal prep/clean up and daily routine are in addition to the 5 hours. We look forward to our volunteers enjoying their stay, however, we are NOT a vacation camp and our expectations of work are high. Volunteers must be healthy and in good physical condition. Volunteers will gain a wealth of knowledge here, and I hope they will carry it with them when they depart.
Open to any time of the year, though chores vary according to the weather(last Spring frost around late march, first Autumn frost around Thanksgiving). The farm has mild winters and hot, breezy, humid summers. Semi-tropical in climate with a plethora of insects and interesting wildlife. Due to the chickens roaming the yard, no dogs allowed; would prefer no children, but willing to consider each circumstance individually. I have two available bedrooms in the house, multiple helpers may share rooms(max inside 6). A rustic recycled pallet house and the tiny "Fun" house are also available for volunteer housing. Plenty of room for camping around the homestead and forest.
Limited parking is available for vehicle camping(no hookups available). I expect my helpers to behave as adults and as good guests. I`m on a fixed income--I`m not cheap--I'm poor and frugal. I ask that helpers not be wasteful (or destructive) of our resources--food, supplies, power, water, tools, belongings.
Helpers are reminded that they are sharing a communal living space and should be considerate of the other household members. I have no problem with being blunt and correcting bad/inconsiderate behaviors, thus Trump supporters need not apply. I have a car I use for farm errands. Transportation is available to town on a fairly regular basis, but not daily. Downtown Tabor City is about a 15 minute walk from the farm--a few stores and small restaurants, but that is about it, not much to do or see. The farm is in a rural area, which means helpers should realize the pace of life is slower and relaxing. Walks in the forest, making hand-churned ice cream, sitting in the hammock chairs on the upstairs veranda, lazy afternoon naps, campfires and `smores in the evening, shooting lessons, movie marathons are some of the recreational activities after work.
There are books, DVDs, games, music and conversation for entertainment. I try to plan outings to show helpers the region around the farm. But remember, I am a homesteader, not a tour guide. Just don't expect shopping trips/guided tours every afternoon, or wild parties every evening. I speak English and Geordie.
I have recently quit smoking tobacco. So, consult with me about tobacco use while on the farm. No cigars/blunts in house.
No alcohol or inebriated folks allowed on farm.
***I am an omnivore, thus volunteers can eat what I cook or provide for themselves. Vegetables compose the majority of what I cook, but sometimes itís one dish meals with meat. If I cook a one dish meal with meat, you are welcome to use veggies from the garden to prepare something for yourself.
Will accept folks with food allergies/special diets(veggie, vegan, lactose intolerant, paleo, all-organic/all-natural, etc) as long as you supply your own food. We make ice cream in a churn.
If someone with dietary restrictions wants to come here, that is fine with us but we can not alter our eating habits to suit someone else, nor buy special foods for you. It ainít going to kill ya try it. If it does, what a helluva ride!
Facilities will be provided for you to prepare your own food if you have a special diet. Skittles, Doritoís, nut milk, Braggís, soda, etc: these are the types of things you would need to provide for yourself.
If you prefer all-natural foods, all-organic, etc, be sure to bring plenty with you. Especially when it itís not growing on the farm. Self-sufficiency isnít expecting availability of everything all the time. We eat farm fresh in season, and always preserve part of harvest for rest of year. We recognize the limits of the seasons and the joys of abundance all year.
International helpers: Part of the HelpX experience is a cultural exchange, which includes sharing native cuisine of your host. You will be eating a variety of American and International dishes on the farm. If you come here expecting to eat like you do at home, then you will miss out on many tasty treats.***
No pets allowed in house.
Myrtle Beach, the Grand Strand, is just down the road and is a huge tourist destination with almost everything imaginable thing you could want to do available. Lake Waccamaw and several (Lumber/Waccamaw/Little Pee Dee) rivers are also a short distance away. After a day of hard work, a trip to the river for a swim is a cool treat we enjoy often. A trip to the ocean on a Sunday is a nice reward after a busy week on the farm.
***Volunteers are responsible for their transportation to the farm.
How to get here if you don't have a vehicle: Closest train station is in Dillon, SC, approx. 35 miles(50 mins.) from the farm. Closest bus station is Whiteville, NC, approx. 20 miles away(25 mins.). Nearest airport is Myrtle Beach, SC, approx 35 miles(1 hour). Spirit Airlines has really inexpensive fares to Myrtle Beach!! If you need to be picked up & dropped off from these places, a fee will be charged. Ask when arranging your stay how much the fee for transportation will be.†Since all transportation to various transport hubs must be scheduled by me, alterations in your travel plans must be pre-approved by me 7 days prior to travel. I am not a taxi service. It is difficult to run a farm if I have to drop everything to satisfy you in response to poor planning on your part.
If you fail to research the realities of life in a rustic setting, then arrive & decide it is not for you, do not expect me to drop everything to take you back to the airport at your command. If you need to depart because of an emergency situation, then plan to arrange your own transportation from the farm. If you require transportation to bus/train/airport prior to agreed departure date, there is an extra fee commensurate to the inconvenience to me.
**Be considerate & schedule your arrival between 9am & 5pm. I do not want to drive to airport at 10pm! These are the only places I will go to pick up a volunteer.***
***COVID-19 is a huge concern for me as I am a laryngectomee & cancer survivor. A covid-19 infection would have dire consequences for me. Any applicant must have practiced social distancing & other precautionary practices prior to coming to my farm. Also, before coming to join us, if you have engaged in irresponsible behavior, you agree to have a covid test. This must be done at least 48 hours & no more than a week prior to arrival. While on the farm, all will practice behavior to lessen any chance that covid-19 could infect me. Already, during the pandemic, I have had people come to my farm who acted as though covid-19 was no big deal & failed to abide by the CDC guidelines--this attitude & behavior is dangerous to me and will result in expulsion from my property. This means, until the pandemic is over, you agree to stay on the property, and absolutely refrain from any unnecessary trips away from the farm. If you cannot do without fast-food, or insist on exploring the area during your off-time, or cannot entertain yourself while isolated on a farm, or stay on the property, then stay at your own home until the pandemic is done. This said, we still may take group trips to safe, open-air attractions in the area. Coordination among farm guests for laundry/grocery shopping/etc. must be approved by me and be limited to once a week. Anyone leaving property must use all precautions while off-farm to lessen chance to bring the virus back to the farm, including wearing facemasks, using sanitizer/hand-washing, etc(volunteers should bring these items with them)--no exceptions!!! *****
We get many requests from volunteers each month and due to limited space, we can only accommodate a few...all requests are first come, first serve...when we accept someone for a stint on the farm, another is turned down...I try to schedule at least 2 people during the winter months, 4-8 during the busy season(April-Sept)--but no matter how well I plan my schedule, there may be a last-minute cancellation or a no-show, which will affect the number of helpers here...see my FB page, `notes` section for my current schedule of helpers...when contacting us, include the word "enlightenment" to show you have read this profile & that you can follow directions. ;)...
Thus, every time we have a no-show or folks who fail to honor their commitment, it means that:
1) Someone else was denied the time slot and opportunity to experience the farm;
2) Projects have to be postponed;
3) Perishable food purchased to fed the volunteers may go to waste;
Remember, we can`t snap our fingers and magically replace the volunteer at short notice...
**Do NOT contact me for a position if you have ANYTHING pending in your life for the same time period that you wish to volunteer, especially if it is something more important than honoring your word. Thanks
So, prospective volunteers, we count on you to follow through when you agree to help here...