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Yale
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 43
Persons: 4
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 90500
Region: Southwest

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Last Updated: April 4, 2019

Lovely forested property, 105 acres or 43 hectors with some open pastures and prairie hay fields.

Milk goats provide milk and cheese and friendship.

A large half-acre garden provides veggies and greens seasonally. Also foraging for greens and wild mushrooms.

Chickens are 100% free range and provide beautiful orange-yolked eggs. As well as occasional meat from the roosters.

Eco Construction projects under way.

Permaculture principles important!

Water capture project on the list.

Hello and welcome!
Our 105-acres of land are located in north central Oklahoma, which is in the center of the U.S. and part of the “Great Plains.” It is heavily forested in places and has some open pasture and farm land as well.
LOCATION. We are 3.5 miles from a small town (population 1,200), we are 17 miles east of a university town, Stillwater (population 50,000) and about 50 miles west of Tulsa, OK (population 403,000).

If you travel by air or bus, you may choose Stillwater or Tulsa, Oklahoma for your destination. We can pick you up at the Stillwater Airport when you arrive and return you there when you depart. **If you choose Tulsa—please see information below—under the heading, “TRANSPORTATION.”

Our farm operations are small, consisting of a 1/2-acre vegetable garden; 5 Nubian milk-goats named Ladybug, Whiters, Fifi, Tiddlywinks, PolkaDots, and their offspring, including a buckling goat who is a little fat white pudgemuffin; a flock of about 40 free-range chickens and a few baby chickens; 6 guineas (in the Pea fowl family); several large livestock guardian dogs (4 Great Pyrenees named Greta, Zoie, Jasper & Jeannie, sometimes w/ puppies); and two cats, Stripey + Ota & their kittens.
ABOUT US. We are dedicated to organic practices in raising animals and in our gardening. We use no pesticides, no herbicides, no chemical fertilizers, nor do we push production on our animals with lighting or hormones. We are intrigued with sustainability and self-sufficiency. We are also in the early stages of designing an Eco-Village /intentional community and are studying the options. We are at retirement age. We enjoy having friends from all generations.
We have a small Health Food Store business that we have operated since 2000. We have down-sized and are transitioning it from its original location in town to our farm.
OUR CURRENT MAIN PROJECT is non-agricultural: Constructing a hybrid cob/straw-bale multi-use building from the ground up. We have the foundation trench complete w/ a French drain. The limestone footing with cement and rebar is 1/2 complete (cement is necessary due to earthquake issues). This property is in the Cimarron River watershed and has large deposits of sand. Clay was purchased locally. Materials for cobbing... plus hundreds of straw bales in storage for the walls’ interiors. Two of the three center poles have been erected.
We have a Cob Rocket Oven that seven WWOOFers and Neva have worked on. It is a rocket-fired hybrid cob oven and should burn much more efficiently than a standard pizza oven. (See video links below). 

WWOOFers have recently made great strides in readying the small semi-rustic Cabin for winter.  A wood-burning stove and chimney, two large single bunk beds, a brick floor, insulation, a second roof, counter top, tiny refrigerator, and electricity. A nearby water hydrant, composting toilet outhouse, and solar shower.
Our MAIN AGRICULTURAL PROJECTS are a half-acre vegetable garden, a Hugelkultur planting area that needs maintenance, a smaller garlic and onion planting area, peach and walnut trees, milking goats twice a day, and gathering the eggs. Tobie milks the goats and gathers the eggs, but we are willing to open up those chores if a WWOOFer would like the experience and commits to staying a month or more.
When milk is plentiful, we make simple goat-milk Cheeses such as Panir, Chèvre, and/or Yogurt and Kefir.
FORAGING /WILDCRAFTING is an important aspect of our self-sufficiency. We gather lots of wild greens, such as Lamb’s Quarters and Polk to eat and put up for winter. Tobie is known as the “Morel Mushroom King” of this region, so during some time between late March and most of April he is out roaming the forests in pursuit of the elusive fungi. We eat all we can and then dehydrate the rest. We gather pecans, pears, apples, and persimmons. We gather soapberries from the Chinaberry tree and make a liquid laundry soap.
WE EXPECT HelpXers to commit to a minimum stay of two weeks (and prefer longer stays) and to assist in all aspects of farm life, including the projects mentioned above as well as cooking and maintaining clean and tidy personal and communal space.  A shorter stay by experienced Wwoofers will be considered, but please discuss first.
Maturity and self-motivation are very important; also flexibility and patience: if one project is put on hold for any reason, work on another project will proceed. Physical fitness is integral and expected for all work here on the farm.
In regards to HOURS, we would expect 5 hours of “hard” work per person per day, 5 days a week (or 4 hours x 6 days a week).  That is 25 hours a week. We are flexible about how the hours are structured. For instance, if someone wanted to work straight through from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. or if they would like to break up the hours, such as from 10-12pm and 6-9 pm that would be fine.
By HARD WORK, we mean something like shoveling goat manure out of the barn and hauling it in a wheelbarrow to the garden; hoeing and pulling weeds, planting seeds or seedlings, or shoveling out deeply rooted Johnson grass in the garden, helping prepare and pour concrete, moving gravel, rocks, or mud in the construction process, or helping round-up and work the goats. We might go into the forest to cut, haul and split firewood, repair gates or fences, build a roof, paint walls, or work on the rototiller or pickup. Occasionally we butcher several roosters and in Nov, and Dec. we may have a white-tailed deer or two to butcher.

We are not over-zealous taskmasters, but at the same time we wish to have a reasonable exchange. We have hosted 42 Wwoofers + HelpXers etc so far and greatly appreciate self-motivated earnest work ethics as well as the exchange of knowledge.  At times we work VERY hard, such as getting the garden weeded before a rainstorm arrives, then take it easy during the rainstorm.
We will provide you wholesome foods while you are here.
Phones + WIFI: Minimal usage expected.
We are happy to train you in each task you’re learning, but typically we do not hold hands. We honor you with the liberty of designing how you want to structure your day and expect responsible follow-through on projects. Sometimes we all learn together when we are trying new endeavors.
We welcome HelpXers YEAR-ROUND. Between March and the end of November we would like to have between 1 to 4 HelpXers, men or women who are physically able-bodied and willing to exert themselves. (In the coldest months, we probably only need 2 at most.)
ACCOMMODATIONS:  Water conservation is our standard, so “hospital baths” or outdoor showers are the norm.
Semi Rustic Cabin. Two bunk beds, brick floor, electricity, counter with 2-burner cooktop, tiny refrigerator, and 4 windows. Just west of the cabin is a shower stall (w/ solar camping shower bags), and a composting toilet stall.

A School Bus is being retrofitted for accommodating helpers. It has a sleeper sofa and wood-burning stove so far.

Rustic Tent Camping, either in our Garden or near our home which is tucked away in the trees.

MEALS – You are on your own to prepare yourself breakfast and lunch out of our pantry. Eating prepared meals or cooking on an electric cooktop (or firepit at your campsite as long as the wind is below 6 mph and we are not in a high fire risk).  And you are welcome to join us for simple late evening meals when we do not have Airbnb guests.
You may eat the organic multigrain oatmeal BREAKFAST porridge or prepare your own breakfast and lunch out of what we have or what you bring. When we do not have Airbnb guests, we share or take turns in cooking the EVENING MEAL and cleaning up afterwards.
While each of these is not available all the time, individual items will be available off and on out of our supplies: healthy bread, organic beans and rice, garlic and onions, the best eggs you’ll find the world over, rich sweet Nubian goat milk, goat-milk cheese & yogurt, peanut butter, bananas, venison, spaghetti, home-made pizza, garden vegetables when in season (lettuce, squash, tomatoes, okra, cucumber, potatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, beets), and rarely sweets or berries unless they are foraged. We buy organic grains and beans in bulk, avoid sugar and processed foods and we are not big meat-eaters, so it is not necessarily a portion of any meal.  If you do like to eat meat (and we have roosters that need butchering), we might have chicken rather frequently.

CLIMATE. We do not use air-conditioning because we want to be acclimated to the out-of-doors and because of the expense, but we do have fans. In cool months we use a wood-burning stove for heat.

SPRINGTIME (March, April, May) is usually delightful but sometimes we have volatile storms.  We installed solar panels on the roof, so we are pleased to be getting much closer to our goal of grid independence.

SUMMERTIME June is usually delightful. Temperatures in July and August can range from 90 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit, (32.2 to 40.6 Celsius) with high humidity.  
For the past 3 years we have suffered varying degrees of drought.  For that reason, we are in water rationing, so water use is much more restricted during these times.   One of our next major projects will be to build underground water storage cisterns to capture rain water from the roof.

AUTUMN—SEPT., OCT., NOV. are usually delightful months.

WINTERTIME—DEC., JAN., FEB. we occasionally get a little ice or snow, maybe 2 inches, but the temps usually range in the 20’s to 30’s at night and 40’s to 50’s on winter days. *However, with the blustery, gusty cold winds that one experiences on the Great Plains, you can expect biting cold wind chills and need to bring appropriate clothing to protect your head and entire body from the bitter cold days.

Nearby areas of FUN THINGS TO DO:
Our neighbors have farms and ranches. If you enjoy fishing a nice creek is within 1 mile & the Cimarron River is within 2 miles of our home; a library, museum, 3 restaurants, a Dollar store, Christian churches, & a park with a tennis court is 3.5 miles away.
If you have your own transportation, 55 miles away is the NATURE CONSERVANCY’s “Oklahoma Tallgrass Prairie Preserve” which is the largest preserved tract of native tallgrass prairie on earth. (http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/oklahoma/placesweprotect/tallgrass-prairie-preserve.xml)

ACTIVITIES. We frequently attend a Christian (Methodist) church on Sundays and you are welcome to join us if you like. Tobie loves to forage in the woods. We enjoy acoustical music. Neva frequently is pianist at our church. We have a piano and djembe. If you have a guitar and like to play and sing, we’d love for you to share.
PETS are very much discouraged. Our own large dogs, Great Pyrenees, are protective guardians and might hurt others’ pets. We have completely free-range hens and their baby chicks roaming the entire property which can become quite the temptation for any dog. We also have defenseless little baby goats. A dog that would be caged or leashed 100% of the time (no exceptions) would possibly be acceptable, but please discuss with us first. No pit bulls whatsoever.

LANGUAGE. We only speak English, but we have a little exposure to Spanish, French, and German and are willing to “speak w/ our hands,” and learn ways to communicate with you and help you learn English, if you wish.  We have had two Japanese guys who we greatly enjoyed, even though communication was difficult at times.

ALCOHOL/DRUGS POLICY. Mild, very occasional legal-age drinking is acceptable. No illegal drug use will be tolerated at the farm.

INSURANCE:  Provide proof of your own insurance as we do not provide any.  Here is a link to World Nomads, travel insurance providers:
https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-insurance

TRANSPORTATION options include walking or bicycling 3.5 miles to town. We only go to the small local town about 2 to 4 times a week and to Stillwater 1 time each week. There is very little in the way of local public transportation.

**If you fly into Tulsa, you can take a local Tulsa Transit Bus (#203) from the airport to the OSU Tulsa Campus for $2. There you can connect to an OSU Shuttle Bus to ride the 70 miles to Stillwater, Oklahoma for $13.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, please contact us and request an application. In the meantime, if you would like, please share with us a description about yourself, photo(s), your phone number, and 2 unrelated employer /host/mentor-type references.  Please share what your goals are for your WWOOFing experience. Please give reference to this word: “parula” in your email or other communication with us to let us know that you have read this profile in its entirety. 
Candidates wanting to stay 2 months (or longer) will be given higher preference.

We will be honest, honorable, and respectful with you and expect the same in return.

Wishing you all the best and hoping to hear from you,
— Tobie and Neva

Here are a couple of links to videos a previous WWOOFer made while she was visiting our farm:
Natural Building, Using Cob to Build a Bread Oven

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