help exchange   Host 85805
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All Year: May to October
Area (ha):
Persons: 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 85805
Region: New England

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Last Updated: January 26, 2020

This is a 10 acres totally off-grid place situated in the low hills of Central New-York. Our home is powered with solar panels that are more than sufficient to produce electricity for all the comforts we need, including the use of power tools when necessary. In the depth of winter, when the sun is low, the sky overcast and everything covered in snow, we sometimes use our backup generator to fill our batteries. Our water is supplied by a well and a spring. Approximately 4 acres are open, the rest is wooded.

The two of us, Jim, mid-seventies, and Prisca, late thirties, are a loving couple who envision the creation of a homestead based on the principles of permaculture. It has the possibility of evolving into a place of showing and learning, through exchanges, how to tread lightly on this Earth, and respect all beings that populate it.

We bought this place only recently, and moved here with our two cats in January of 2017: we are at the very beginning stages of bringing this vision to fruition, and have a never ending list of projects that we want to see accomplished. They range from very straightforward necessary everyday things to very experimental co-creations. We always welcome new ways of looking at things and new ideas and visions.

Our current list of projects include some remodeling of the house (changing the bathroom-bedroom layout, opening a door on the porch, modifying the shape of the loft...), some outdoor building projects (the creation of a wood shed, finishing and coating a deck, fixing a wooden bridge...), the creation of stone paths, landscaping, gardening projects, firewood gathering, splitting and stacking and other tasks related to the upkeep and well-functioning of the homestead.

We also wish to experiment with different type of energy or resources harvesting (creating a solar water-heater system, rainwater harvesting, etc.), with different styles of gardening (raised beds, swells, food forest etc.).

Depending on the completion of projects, or if some get discarded, or or if we get new ideas (maybe from you!) this list will evolve. Depending on your skill level, the difficulty of the task and other criteria, you will work alongside us or on your own.

We are night owls ans don`t get up early, so you would have the mornings off and start working around 1-2 pm until 6-7 pm on week days.

We will have the evening meal together (we are not vegetarian nor do we have any specific dietary requirement. If you do please let us know in advance so we can plan accordingly), and you will be provided with food to make yourself for breakfast and lunch.

There is the possibility of flexibility in that schedule.

We envision this arrangement as being an exchange of skills and wisdom, welcoming your input and ideas on how to make our place as wonderful and welcoming as it can be, while you learn about off-grid living and homesteading in a beautiful area.


You will have a choice between a bedroom on the second floor of the house, or our travel trailer,. Both have a double bed a can accommodate a couple. If you are two friends traveling together, you can each have one. You can also pitch your tent somewhere on the land.
If you choose the travel trailer, you will have your own kitchen in it. There is a possibility that you can also use the toilet and shower in there too, or you can use the one in the house.


Jim has many years of experience in construction and mechanics, and a wealth of knowledge to share. Prisca has experience in management, studied ecology and is working on her permaculture design course. She`s also done some translation work between English and French. Both of us are avid readers and enjoy playing games (although we don`t have many).

We met at the Findhorn Foundation where we both lived and worked for several years. It`s an intentional community, eco-village and learning center in Scotland. They believe in inner listening, co-creation with nature, and alternative energy and sustainability. A lot of what we do here is inspired from what we learned there.

Our land is bordered by a State Forest, deep in the country side. Cortland is about 40 minutes away and Syracuse about 50 minutes. There are many beautiful State Parks what lots of waterfalls and canyon walks that are less than an hour`s drive away. The Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks, the Catskills, the Thousand Islands or even Canada are easily reachable for a week-end trip (or for some, a long day trip).

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