All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 8.1
Category: Non Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 58101
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Last Updated: October 2, 2019
About Our Farm
(NOTE: WE HAVE IMMEDIATE OPENINGS FOR UP TO TWO SEPERATE INDIVIDUALS AND WILL HAVE THROUGH 1/14/20!! PLEASE CONTACT US NOW TO RESERVE UP TO A TWO WEEK WORK EXCHANGE STAY HERE AT OUR MATURE, OFF-GRID POULTRY RANCH!!)
We are a growing, learning center for those seeking to learn to live off grid, learn alternative (solar & wind) power, alternative construction, stone masonry, water conservation & rain water harvesting, small to moderate poultry flock management, debt free life, “New Homesteading”, scratch cookery and sustainability.
We are a bit different than other hosts, in that our goal in inviting you to our ranch is to teach sustainability, off-grid skills and what we call a “one planet lifestyle”. We are not looking for free help planting & harvesting our cash crops like so many hosts.The opportunity is here to learn EVERYTHING you need to know to live sustainably on or off grid, in Alaska, or the Amazon.
This is an “all natural” homestead. Certain imported insect pests prevent it being 100% organic and surviving, but we are as “organic” as possible. Your experience here will be much different than some other farms. We work together on projects and at the moment, the entire ranch is under construction. Rather than a negative, that is a positive as it offers you the opportunity to learn things you WANT to learn, rather than just plant agriculture. We need help with the gardens & the construction, scheduled to be completed by January 1, 2020.
For accommodations, we have a 26' travel trailer for our guests to stay in. The travel trailer is a bit Spartan now, no running water, no AC, no 110 volt power. but that is what we will work on during the next few months.
We have WIFI, satellite TV, hot & cold running water, heat and electricity. For the self-contained, there is a campground. We can take self-contained volunteers almost any time.
This season will be full, active and exciting as we complete the main structures and develop the aquaponics greenhouse! This is an excellent opportunity to work with alternative, sustainable building materials for YOUR future home!
REMEMBER, in order TO farm, you must first HAVE a farm! We can teach you most of what is needed to build one!
While you may cook for yourselves in the travel trailer, we will share all of our meals and enjoy doing so! We eat a variety of foods, including meat and dairy. We are a working poultry farm after all and have some 600 pounds of chicken & duck meat in the freezers! You may bring your own food and snacks, however, we DO NOT allow “freecycled” foods, e/g: foods obtained by “dumpster diving”, on the ranch. There is a huge disease risk in dumpsters from homeless people using dumpsters as toilets.
We have a nice campground underway on the property and can take anyone with their own tent, RV or trailer, at any time…… providing you contact us before arriving! Part of your work then, would be to improve the campsites!
We are creating a center to learn how to being your journey into the sustainable life that the changing climate & unchecked population growth will demand. Our main focus will always be to provide a starting platform for those seeking to preserve the planet by limiting consumption & becoming as “unplugged” as possible from a life-debt, non-renewable, non-sustainable life.
Because of this, you will work closely with me the vast majority of the time. If you are looking to be alone in a field, this is the wrong place.
If you are considering building a “hobbit house”, straw bale house, earthship, cob house, pallet wood house, or other alternative building construction, a stay here will give you the opportunity to learn masonry basics like: foundation/footing creation, rubblestone foundations……mortar AND concrete mixing…… sourcing, selecting & placement of “raw” rock……shaping, cutting & polishing rock……setting glass & plastic bottles in walls……. setting plumbing & electrical in masonry walls…….. setting windows and doors in mortar and much, MUCH more!!!
Our ranch is located about 25 miles from the Mexican border and 20 miles from Big Bend National Park, in the Texas Chihuahuan Desert. There are many opportunities to hike, canoe and raft in the Big Bend National Park, as well as Big Bend Ranch State Park. We encourage you to visit the Parks while here. To aid in that, you may take time from helping with our work, for exploring the Parks, overnight excursions on the Rio Grande & mountain trails, or visit McDonald Observatory.
Despite the foolish rhetoric coming out of a certain individual in Washington, DC, you are completely safe here! The Chihuahuan Desert IS our “wall” and unwelcome transients are extremely rare! There are NO cartels, nor hordes of illegal immigrant criminals swamping the border. In nine years here, we have yet to see a single person trying to enter the USA for a better life illegally!!!!!
Amateur astronomers will appreciate our clear, dark night sky! Since it is a long way to, well, ANYWHERE, if you don’t have a vehicle, you will be “stuck” here, as we only make one trip into Terlingua every week, on Friday. Please bear that in mind.
To learn more about us and our goals, you can check out our YOUTUBE channel at: https://youtube.com/ecoranchusa
We have several small, geriatric dogs. They bark and NEVER get used to visitors, but they are fenced in or supervised at all times. Because of their safety, we cannot allow large or “fighting breeds” of dogs, regardless of temperament. However, we can discuss other geriatric dogs, toy dogs or registered service dogs.
There are power tools, broken glass, nails, screws and everything you would associate with a construction site, all over. NONE of these are toys for children and we feel the ranch is too dangerous for kids & anyone under the age of 18. NO ONE can insure that children are supervised all the time and we won’t have a serious injury on our conscience!
This ranch was designed to be an example of how we can live sustainably & responsibly, while enjoying the important aspects of 21st century living, not “camping on our land with a light bulb & laptop”. But it also is not “dancing through wildflowers, picking blueberries & singing kumbaya!” This is a great place to enjoy seclusion, to test yourself & your skill-set, learn off-grid life as it should be and have a bit of fun!
Rules & Criteria
Smoking is not tolerated in our presence, but if you do smoke, just stay away from us and OUT of the buildings. You are welcome, just be considerate of our health while damaging yours. We like to drink alcohol and provide it, but won’t suffer a drunk around us, so use moderation.
NO ILLEGAL DRUGS! The Border Patrol & others routinely visit, due to our proximity to the border. They often bring their drug dogs to train here in our 17 acre “badlands”. However, Texas law is VERY, VERY strict and under the RICO act, we could lose our property if illegal drugs are found on it, same as everywhere in Texas. If you MUST use them, go somewhere it is not punished so severely, or legal, like California!!!! We are not anti or pro drugs, just VERY protective of our ranch!
We ask for & expect at least 3-4 hours of work Monday-Thursday & Saturday. After that, your time is your own. The parks are massive & cannot be seen in a morning or afternoon only. We have no problem with you scheduling day or overnight trips to the parks, or even overnight horseback rides or river rafting excursions. This IS a vacation destination after all, so plan to enjoy it! We can get by for a couple days while you enjoy the least visited National Park in America….. before some jackass tries to build a wall in it!
Cell phones don’t work here and during work hours the WIFI is unavailable. While smart phones can be a useful tool, not during working hours and NEVER while conversing with us. Talk to us, or look at a kitten in a teacup, but never both at once!
Firearms and other weapons are NOT ALLOWED ON THE PROPERTY and particularly NOT ON YOU AT ANY TIME! This is not open to discussion!
Expected guests MUST phone from Alpine as there is no cell service south of there & ALL GPS units route you down non-existent or impassable roads. You must get directions FROM US, before heading south from Alpine, or risk damaging your vehicle, severely!!! (it is also polite to let us know you are on your way)
We do not and will not “text”!!! Phone or e-mail!