help exchange   Host 91700
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Española
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 6
Persons: 2 or a family
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 91700
Region: Southwest

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Last Updated: April 2, 2019

DESCRIPTION
We are new-ish owners of an established farm outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Surrounded by flowers, vines, and orchards, we are using a combination of traditional and permaculture principles to create an updated working homestead. We are a bustling family juggling school, work, and the joys of homesteading.

The days are filled with pruning grapes, picking (or pickling) pears and apples, weeding, building new beds, fixing fences, caring for chickens, preserving the harvest and a myriad of other homesteading tasks. As we work off-farm, we do not have heavy production work, just the endless, exciting tasks that come from living on a lush and productive six-acre farm--all while working full-time. Over the next few years, we will be creating biointensive beds, adding drip irrigation, striving to maintain the orchard and vineyards while adding new varieties, fixing fences, building a Forest Garden, keeping up with the weeds, and further cultivating the existing flower gardens with sustainability in mind.

We look forward to good company, help, and a cultural exchange. We have had several positive stays in our first half a year. Feel free to bring ideas and good energy.

In our early traveling days, we met many wonderful people. Now that we have settled, we hope to continue to meet adventurous spirits; instead of guests, we will now be hosts.

As we start this homestay experience, we are hoping to exchange a few hours of work a day (ideally mornings) for accommodations in our attached casita. This would provide helpers with the option of staying on a working homestead while also being close to the cultural richness of Santa Fe (25 minutes), Bandelier National Monument (20 min), Ojo Caliente (25 min), local pueblos, and Valle Grande--all are a short drive away. Wintertime brings skiing options for those who love the mountains. New Mexico is a place of many cultures as well as natural beauty to explore. We can often be flexible with work hours to ensure you can visit sites.

We have no TV, so our evenings are spent eating homemade meals, playing games, listening to records, or evening adventures on the property. Helpers could learn the skills of pruning tree and vines, baking bread, gardening with bio-intensive methods, and applying permaculture methods to the havoc of the daily homestead. Some of these things we are learning as we go! We are trained permaculturalist and have an extensive library of homesteading books, cookbooks, and books in general. Spend your off time reading under a tree. We have many spaces around the property for reading, studying, and art.

CULTURAL EXCHANGE 7 LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
We would love visits from Spanish speakers for a language exchange. Both Tobie and Joseph are certified teachers and would be supportive for those learning.

HELP SOUGHT
So much to do! Some we know, some we are learning. Bring your expertise--or your willingness to work, try and learn. That's the approach we have!

We ask for ~4 hours a day, 5 days a week--with creative options for those who might like to balance longer days with more open exploring time. Because we are non-production, we usually can be flexible.

Examples of our homesteading work over the course of the year:
Fall--harvesting apples, making cider, clearing fields, building compost, updating our seed shed and root cellar, weeding, establishing new beds, cutting back plants, food preservation, irrigation using our traditional acequia system.
Winter--Updating seed shed, cleaning/building beds, building soil, weeding, pruning orchard, and vineyard, caring for chickens, inside projects like house/cooking help.
Spring--Prepping beds, irrigation, planting, weeding, fixing fences, animal care, seed starting, other projects.
Summer--Weeding, thining fruit, eating fruit, fixing fences, preserving, animal care, irrigation. We also project movies in the garden.

We are grounded and relaxed people and seek harmony in our home. We do have some chaos with work, school, children--but we try to keep this positive. We offer personal engagement as well as space to be/explore--and hope you like that balance.

We are excited to be stewards of this land and look forward to sharing the experience. It is a bit overwhelming and we look forward to help, good company, and cheer. In all stays, please be positive, considerate, hardworking, easy-going, and drug/drama free. We value diversity and request you do the same. LGBTQ welcome.

Our casita is perfect for couples/pairs due to the work on the farm and the companionship factor.
Many jobs are easier with two people. If you come as an individual, note we are a bit outside of town. A car will help you explore and feel connected.

ACCOMMODATIONS
Accommodation is in our attached casita. It is a large, one-room, simple and clean--with a small kitchenette. It has a king bed--something to know for friends traveling together. It is heated by a fireplace in the winter. While we have an outhouse, we have real plumbing inside the main house for bathroom, bathing, and laundry. We are in a desert, so those who are used to heavy water use or long showers might enjoy a different placement.

The casita is heated by the sun and a fire on autumn/winter evenings. It can get chilly in the winter, so be prepared to snuggle up under blankets at night. We keep a fire lit during cold days in the main house, and you can bring your book/writing/etc. there. We do not have firewood to heat the casita 24/7, so be prepared to be a bit flexible--lighting a fire in the evening, wearing sweaters and slippers, etc. As we move into spring, we spend more and more time outside--we sleep, eat, and spend time in the out of doors from May to October.

This space would accommodate is ideal for a working pair or a small family. We have a pool, so toddlers or small children would not be safe in the space. We have two children who would be good playmates for families (age 8 and 13).

Our internet is slow, so please be prepared--bandwidth enough for email and general exploring.

Camping is also an option.

MEALS
For meals, we offer shared weekday dinners, basic healthy breakfasts, and shared prep/cleanup. Other meals self-provided while you are off exploring. Lunch is self-provided. We eat a healthy, in-season, with lots of plants and grains and occasional meats. We are omnivores, but don't each much meat and often cook vegetable-centered ways. On weekends, we make more elaborate breakfasts and dinners. Overall, we eat pretty darn good. During the summer and fall, we have tons of fruit to eat.


We ask every helper to leave their accommodation clean and ready for the next guest.

WHAT ELSE...
We are close to Santa Fe, local pueblos, Ojo Caliente mineral springs, forests and mesas to explore. We can share information on hikes, museums, restaurants, and other adventures. There is a public bus outside of our house that can provide some public transportation--it runs twice a day, so rural living is more convenient if you have a car.

We have a puppy that will eat any shoes left within reach and a cat that follows you around as you do outside work.

Some recommendations from other Hosts and conditions of our Insurance Company: Please have health/ travel insurance. When we were traveling we used the ISIC card. Insurance, ID and discounts all in one. Also, please plan on leaving a COPY of your driver's license or passport with us.

We are both certified teachers, so have background checks through the state of NM.

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