help exchange   Host 9820
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Help Exchange

All Year: Winter
Area (ha): 1.25 acres
Persons: 1-2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 9820
Region: South

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Last Updated: December 2, 2019

We are former West Virginia farmers that moved to Flagstaff, Arizona in 2014 and then into the beautiful Tucson Sonoran desert in 2018. We bought a 1.25 acre property close to the Saguaro Park that was completely overrun with cholla and prickly pear. We no longer garden because it's just not practical but my farmer genes compell me to tidy things up:) the jumping cholla is my enemy because I need to keep my little dog and 2 horses safe from it! We live in a small home now and can only host travelers that have their own van or sleeping arrangements. We can share kitchen and bathroom access and of course you are welcome to hang out in the house with us. I would love to have help taming my wilderness/outdoor spaces. This will mainly involve triming prickly pear, taking out cholla, some small brush removal, and helping me haul it to the dump.
While you stay with us you can enjoy our southwestern climate and innumerable hiking trails, parks, and desert vistas. We live in a rural area where you can hike right out the driveway if you want.
We will share groceries with you but we dont promise specific meals. In other words, please feel free to use the kitchen and cook for yourself:)
I have 2 horses and if you are so inclined will take you riding and teach you equine care.
Because we dont have total accommodations I am only asking for help 10 to 15 hours a week
And then you are free to explore:)

I left our WV profile below so that you could read about our life experience and our reviews would make more sense:)

This ridgetop farm is a piece of heaven on earth. We have about 20 acres of rolling mountain top fields and another 25 that is wooded hollers. We especially love the big sky feeling we have here on the ridge. Bruce is a psychotherapist and works full time. Gwen works as a part time service coordinator at the local senior center. We have a small flock of sheep and raise our own beef, chickens for meat and eggs, turkeys, and dairy and meat goats. We make our own cheeses and continue to expand our skills in that area. We have 2 Tennessee Walking horses that are a joy to ride. We have a big garden that requires attention and harvesting from March through November. We have a beautiful sheep guardian dog. (maremma) and have 3 barn cats.
Our barn and sheds provide all the buildings we need, but they all lean one way or the other and need repairs. Our house is almost 100 years old and kind of quirky. I like to say it was originally a poor farmer man's house. Nothing grand about it, but it has a cottage feel to it and lots of room.
We could use your help with all aspects of the garden, animal husbandry, brush clearing, fence building, and building repair. The biggest projects this season are fence building, gardening, and harvesting. We are building 6 strand high tensile fences, and here in West Virginia, that gets to be a challenge because the land is quite irregular. (and beautiful, I might add!) We ask that guests help 25 hrs. a week and we can be flexible so that you can have longer periods off to explore West Virginia. Of course, in exchange for your help, we will provide your meals and a private room and try to share our experience/knowledge with you.
We are located in Ritchie County about 1 hr. from Clarksburg and 45 minutes from Parkersburg. We are 2.5 hrs. from Pittsburgh, PA and 2 hrs. from Charleston, WV. Our area has lots of museums, quaint shops, flea markets, hiking, camping, and canoeing. Go a little further afield for rock climbing.
Our favorite thing in the world to do is stay home and "live the life". Bruce makes music almost every week with friends, and has one room in the house set up with instruments and equipment. Gwen enjoys spinning and knitting. We are both willing to share what we know.
We have 2-3 bedrooms in the house that are available at any given time. We are most willing to share our home with guests. We do have 1 plumbed bathroom, and 2 sawdust toilets on the farm.
Two week stays seem to work best for us. Thanks for considering our farm!

reviews (11)
Helper: Rebecca Morse Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: July 21, 2013
I was lucky enough to spend two weeks with Gwen and Bruce this spring, and ha... view complete review

Helper: Kyle and Margot Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: March 14, 2013
We left Gwen and Bruce's farm this morning and we already miss it. In additio... view complete review

Helper: Daniel Hason Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: December 5, 2012
My stay at this farm was my first ever HelpX Experience. Gwen and Bruce were ... view complete review

Helper: Patricia Gilmore Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: August 10, 2012
Ok I now have two cousins that live in Harrisville, WV. That is how Gwen and... view complete review

Helper: Ryan Banyard Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: March 14, 2012
Bruce and Gwen are awesome! They were my second host but it was my first tim... view complete review

Helper: Ben Cochrane Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: January 25, 2012
I concur with the above statements. This was my first HelpEx experience ever,... view complete review

Helper: Sean Murphy Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: August 22, 2011
I stayed with the Kahlers from June 2011 through July 2011 and could not be m... view complete review

Helper: Dana Leska Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: August 10, 2011
Gwen and Bruce were the best first stop I could have asked for.. they were re... view complete review

Helper: Antonio Campo Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: May 30, 2011
This was my first experience as a helper and the Kahlers were extremely welco... view complete review

Helper: Louise Cordeau Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Canada Date: March 28, 2011
What Lorin has just said is exactly it about Gwen and Bruce,. they make you f... view complete review

Helper: Lorin Schneider Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: March 11, 2011
Bruce and Gwen's farm was my first experience through helpx, and I could not ... view complete review

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