All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 80
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 84995
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Last Updated: April 29, 2018
We are a small-scale forest farm located on a beautiful south-facing hillside at 2,000 ft (with a spectacular view) on the west side of the Hood River valley in Oregon. The majority of the land (80 acres) is forested with about five cleared acres where we grow food, flowers and medicinal plants, and keep chickens and goats. We are a small group of cooperating independent people (plus two dogs and three cats) who share a commitment to sustainability and stewardship of this beautiful land. We are off the grid and rural (8 miles from Hood River) but we also network frequently with the larger community. We are off-grid—powered by the sun and by a natural spring up the hill (ie solar power in the summer, hydropower in the winter). Our water is some of the best tasting anywhere we’ve been told!
We grow a wide variety of organic vegetables, fruits, seeds, herbs and medicinal plants. Although not organic certified, we observe all organic practices and also incorporate permaculture principles and some biodynamic preps. We work almost entirely without machinery, using hand tools and sustainable methods. We grow food for ourselves, to trade with neighbors and for several local events, plus the farmers’ market. This year we are starting a small CSA, headed by Ricky and Ari (volunteers last year and now residents!). We are very excited to start this project and find enthusiastic volunteers to help get it off the ground (and in the ground:).
We are looking for one more person that would like to stay with us for the whole season. We will be prioritizing people who aspire to a life on the land and in community, and we especially welcome people of all colors and gender identities! We’re also open to shorter term stays throughout the year from folks with or without experience, who are ready to join in with whatever is on the agenda.
Having your own transportation is preferred (but not essential), since we are 20 minutes from town and can’t always provide a ride. However we’re happy to pick up and drop off for the bus in Hood River. (We are a one-hour bus ride east from Portland, up the Columbia River Gorge.)
We expect people to work an average of six hours a day, five days a week. The schedule varies depending on the time of year, harvesting needs, and the temperature. It’s important to be able to work as part of a team, take direction, and also work alone occasionally.
There’s the opportunity to take on a lot of responsibility here and potentially become a long-term member of the group. Experimentation is a big part of what we do (that’s farming in a changing climate!) and of course we love people who are enthusiastic, creative, and hard-working.
In return you will have the opportunity to learn:
*raising starts in the greenhouse and direct seeding outside
*preparing beds, applying organic soil supplements
*weeding, feeding, mulching
*composting and biodynamic preps
*succession planting, harvesting and presenting produce (for a CSA and farmers’ market)
*food preserving (drying, canning, pickling and fermenting)
*holistic orchard maintenance
*off-grid, community living
*possibly some traditional skills such as basketry, hide-tanning, primitive pottery and cobb building.
*pest control (trapping gophers if you have the heart for it)
The upper floor of the main building is dedicated for community and volunteer use. It includes a large open studio overlooking the garden and Mount Hood (Wy’east), a kitchen, shower, and two sleeping lofts for the cold/wet months. Food will be simple, mostly or all vegan with lots of fresh produce, and optional dairy and (occasionally) local, grass-fed meat on the side. Usually we take turns to prepare a main meal together each day, and other meals are do-it-yourself in the community kitchen which we keep stocked with all the basics. There is great hiking all around us and we have a new pond/natural swimming pool, which is perfect for cooling off during the hot, dry summer months.
We are LGBTQIA+ and POC friendly!