help exchange   Host 44110
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Help Exchange

All Year: May-October
Area (ha): 5
Persons: Prefer 1
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 44110
Region: New England

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Last Updated: March 3, 2020

Greetings, Helpers!

This is a five acre organic homestead in the Monadnock region, but just 90 minutes from Boston and Brattleboro, VT. The property has 2,000 square feet of annual garden space, 500 square feet of perennial space, and permaculture inspired landscaping. In addition to medicinal herbs, fruit trees, and berry bushes, we have laying hens and in midseason, meat chickens.

In the 2016 season, we added 15 blueberry bushes, hardy kiwis plants and hazelnut bushes and created mobile Quonset huts for the chickens. We will be getting a small greenhouse up and running for season extension. In 2017, we added a field for meat birds, raised beds for a garden expansion. In the 2018 season, we added a tiny human! In 2019 we worked towards completing a tiny house, finish the raised beds, adding woodchip mulch to various sites around the property and trying to stay ahead of the weeds. In 2020 we are adding another little to the family so our hosting will be on hold until at least LATE SUMMER.

Y O U R H O S T S:

We are Alisha and Dave, a married couple nearing our 30s. We have been growing our Homestead since 2013, with a long term goal of land resiliency and sustainable living. We are both here and actively homesteading on weekends and summer nights. Alisha is home and Dave’s daytime homesteading is mostly limited to the weekends

Our family dog, Marley, is easy-going, and likes to supervise the work. The cat Huey, will take as much attention as you want to give him. We board dogs privately out of our home, so the occasional extra furry friend adds a layer of excitement.

P R O P E R T Y P R O J E C T S:

We welcome your help with the usual planting, weeding, mulching, and harvesting. Winter firewood is a year-round effort, especially because we are in the process of converting forest to pasture. We recently purchased an unfinished tiny house (for future helpers!) that tops the long list of building projects (carpentry and interior work is ongoing!) We have plans to convert a small shed to a wood fired sauna.

Helpers also have the opportunity to participate in food preservation, processing, and wildcrafting. If the timing is right, those interested in animal processing can help with on-site chicken butchering. We’re always open to artistic help starting a labyrinth, designing outdoor relaxation spaces, and photographing the land, animals (and people!) Individuals with childcare experience can use some of their hours in caring for our easygoing 9 month old daughter.

We ask helpers to contribute 20-25 hours a week to the homestead. We usually start work by 10 a.m. Early-risers are welcome to start sooner. Much of the work time is focused on the weekends when we can all work together, but this is flexible when helpers have a weekend-specific event or adventure. During the week, helpers are often free to chose their working hours. In the summer, group projects happen throughout the day. In the shoulder seasons, group work takes places in the early evenings. We are flexible with the scheduling of work hours, and want helpers to have one or two days off each week.

A R E A A T T R A C T I O N S:

The Wapack Trail begins five minutes from our front door. There are lots of local woods to explore, the medieval Yankee Siege Catapult is nearby, and many of the local swimming holes are also big enough for our canoe. Greenfield State Park, ten minutes away, hosts music in the summer. Peterborough, the nearest cultural hub, is twenty minutes via quiet country roads. The town offers a music festival, a music-venue pub, cute museums, shops, a professional summer theater, an ice cream shop, and is home to the oldest artist’s colony in the U.S. Peterborough is also a Mt. Monadnock gateway town. The peak is the highest in the Boston region and is one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the world with excellent, 360 summit views.

The Monadnock region is also home to dozens of New-England-famous covered bridges, historic cemeteries, and sugar shacks. And, of course, in the fall, we’re surrounded by the world famous fall colors as the local trees put on their annual show.

H E L P E R L I F E S T Y L E:

Our Cape-Cod style home has guest bedrooms and two full bathrooms. We eat whole foods, grown organically and from the homestead and local community as much as available. We are not vegetarians, but could accommodate those who are not strict about food preparation surfaces (we cook and eat meat).

The property hammock is a great place to spend a sunny afternoon. The back deck is a lovely place to enjoy a beverage while listening to the songbirds under the pergola. There is a peaceful outdoor shower. We have a newly dug pond which will be a nice place to cool off after a days work. There is a full sized ping-pong table in the basement. In the summer, as part of our forest-to-pasture conversion, we sometimes have evening bonfires. Our bookshelf contains several volumes on lifestyle and homesteading, and we have Wifi. Your help exchange should leave time for you to pursue your own projects and goals, or to see the local sights. This is a lovely rural neighborhood.

In addition to writing with an introduction of yourself and what attracts you to this area/our property; please describe your previous experience that you think is relevant. This could be related to: farming, gardening, yard work, animal husbandry, carpentry, physical labor of various kinds. :)

Depending on the day, rides from the Nashua bus station are possible for helpers who are flying into Manchester or Boston and catch the bus. Those using public transit can take the Boston express bus or the Greyhound to Nashua Exit 8 stop. For those coming from the west, we can pick you up from the Greyhound bus in Keene, NH. Manchester, New Hampshire is another regional transit hub. New York City (4 hours) is the next major metropolis after Boston (90 minutes).

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