As a local here in Cherry Plain, on the MA/NY/VT border, across route 22 from the Beer Diviner, and East Coast Village, my only question is, are you all still sacrificing animals and calling the kontumble spirits (as advertised on your website.and admitted to the Eastwick Press in the 13 Barbies found on Bly Hollow Road story? ) LOL. Not sure how that type of activity fits into "permaculture."
Kids do make a difference. If you crave country and he craves city, what do the kids want? I followed my dream back in 1994 and now live on 40 acres here in upstate NY. Took the end of my marriage in 1998 and a nasty divorce to stay here. I figured out how to refinance on my own. 15 years ago i remarried a city boy who learned to embrace the country lifestyle. My 25 year old daughter moved back to the farm after 7 years of city life and will build her home on our family farm. Husband and i both hold down full time jobs in Albany Troy while growing a massive amount of food. My daughter and i train and care for our herd of horses and llamas. My advice? Plan your life and follow your dream. Be prepared to go it alone. Believe in yourself. Jules
Oh I totally hear you. We care take our land here to ensure we have hay and gardens each year.
That's why we purchased 40 acres here in Upstate NY next to my neighbors 1500 acres, and also adjacent to State Land. We have fought the state to keep them from logging the land, and also managed to keep the poachers gravel pit miners and cell towers off this land. It's a battle. The VT land of 80 acres is enough to protect the center should we decide to build there. Somehow the wind turbines missed our mountain but not by much.
I feel you. I agree with you. We are open to 30 acres or so, there's lots of options in the Old Town area of Maine, we are in no rush to buy. Right now living large, just looking for a parcel so that we can camp out and stay a while with our community in Maine. Should we sell VT I'll have plenty of cash available. If not, we will look at a smaller parcel and keep the VT land.
Hi there thanks for your response. We plan to build a small strawbale house. We have our homestead farm on 40 acres here on the MA/NY/VT border with horses mules llamas dogs cats and bees. We also have 80 acres in VT. Our friends and community are around Montville/Bangor. We are interested in raw land with elevation, pasture, woods and good water. Kind of a small extension of our place here.
Saying all women are bad and ruin lives is extreme. Obviously there are many women homesteaders leading the way. I do believe that partnership is critical, and its true we have all also seen dreams shattered as described. There is truth in almost everything written in this thread (with the exception of 'all women are bad'). The lessons are: Always hold onto your homestead dream, and be careful who you build your homestead dream with...
Yes. You will want a variety tho and be prepared to use traditional if needed. Heres my suggestions: Diatomaceous earth in their grain. Molly's Herbals sells excellent wormwood blends sweetened with stevia. Hydrogen peroxide is sold at Guardians of Eden which diluted can be included in their water. We use garlic powder in their grain. We chain drag and scoop poop daily. Our horses are roaming on 20 acres. Jules
Great topic. I'm a mountain girl myself, and my husband, when he moved in after we were married 13 years ago, came from a town/city lifestyle. He sold his house in town and moved to the country. I owned this place already, and had a vision for where we would be today, which is pretty much accomplished. Making our homestead the beautiful space it is now required a lot of work on both our parts, but I held the vision, while he dragged his feet.
This went on for years, yet we managed to stay married. It was PAINFUL. Finally after 13 years he has joined in fully in the vision, and we can enjoy this place which requires a lot of work daily to maintain. Gardens, horses, llamas, fencing...trail clearing, cutting wood. We both also work so you can imagine. We also hosts woofers and permies each season to share what we know. I'm still in charge of the vision, the animal doctoring, the garden mulching as he hasn't fully learned what he needs to know, but he's getting there.
What I'm saying here is, the bottom line, in my opinion, has nothing to do with being married to a non-homesteader, but is more about the fact that the area you live in is unaffordable for the vision you carry. I suggest you look around farther than the next town, and find yourself a piece of land you can afford to purchase now while you have the funds and the vision. Continue to rent and know that you have your piece of land. What type of work do you do? Can you afford to find another job in the future?
You may or may not ever get to homestead it, but at least you will have your future plans in place. I can see why your wife is attached to her mom, especially with a toddler (does mom babysit?). Not having running water while building the homestead on a dime in an area where the land costs are out of your budget seems to me not financially feasible. Her attachment to her mom may never end, which leads you to your plan and your future. AND the future of your son, who will appreciate having an inheritance in the country.
You have made a critical decision that I fully agree with. You have decided to NOT GO INTO DEBT for a house you do not want. I know people who have done that for a spouse and regret it later as they are still paying for the house and their dreams are shattered. Hold onto your dream. You may or may not remain married in the long-term, but chances are your vision will remain. IF your wife never ever gets around to wanting to homestead, and you continue to carry your vision in the years going forward, you may part ways. It happens to the best of us.
I had to move away from mom finally for good at 29 years old. I disliked (hated) the town where I was raised (Lawton, OK) and relocated first to the West Coast, then to the great Northeast, where one can still afford to find land with water, grow gardens in the front yard, enjoy a wonderful organic movement, and get a good job. I have held my vision my entire life, and my first husband shared my vision. We split after 9 years, but I kept the land and house (and I paid the mortgage, he filed a quit claim). My husband of 13 years never had my vision, but yet here we are, living in the same place I originally bought with someone else. And in case you are interested, this place was not even remotely paid off, so I assumed the debt, and paid for it myself. My ex did not.
Follow your dream, and don't sell your soul. If you have a chance, find a house in the country in an affordable area and purchase it. The land/town with shady people where you live now may not be in your future.
Think outside the box. Find another job in a state where you can afford to follow your dream. Move forward with your vision.
Hi everyone. I have had multiple inquiries about our property in VT. I'd like to provide more details about the general area, what you can expect, and what we are willing to offer. First, let's discuss southern VT. Bennington, VT is the largest city/town in the area, with Rutland VT farther north by about an hour. Bennington, VT is about an hour from Albany, NY, where most of the decent paying jobs are located. We are surrounded by forest, the Green Mountains, the Adirondacks, the Berkshires, the Taconics, and then to the south, the Catskills and Shawangunks. Major lakes in our immediate area include Somerset and Harriman reservoirs. Skiing/Snowboarding mountains include Killington, Stratton, Mt Snow, Okemo, Magic, Bromley and many more. This area absolutely is hands down the most stunning and fresh place I've ever lived. We have year round water, no problem, with good snow most years, and long enough growing seasons in the summer for many many organic farmers here. The slow food movement combined with a higher consciousness of what real food can be provides the market for a sustainable permaculture movement. More and more young people here are returning to the family farm and continuing the legacy of their ancestors. These young people who are new farmers are the reason why we are and will continue to be wwoof and permies hosts (Cherry Plain Sanctuary Farm).
Our land: I bought the property to preserve the wildlife on this mountain. Other owners have the same vision. We have moose, bear, cats and the usual assortment of critters here. The springs feed off the mountain directly onto our hill slope. We have 30 acres of south facing property abutted by a nice high ridge, where the hawks soar immediately overhead. Our property is in the VT Land Use program and our forester is Lynn Levine, a noted wildlife tracker. We are working towards making our wildlife sanctuary official.
Within this sanctuary we have room for a few like minded individuals. However, we are not willing to hold a note without a big down payment. We are willing to subdivide 10 acres (or more) to the right folks, if they are willing to do the legwork and come up with the cost, which is $2000 per acre. Many people have contacted me, I've made appointments, shown the land, I've spent hours on the phone and emailing, and at this stage I feel communicating up front is needed. We bought this property and have debts ourselves, although this land is paid off, our farm is not. We live nearby on the MA/NY/VT border. We have jobs, horses, llamas, gardens, our own scene here that takes up so much time.
Because our property is in the Land use program, our taxes for VT are only $300 per year. It costs me literally that much to hold onto this land. As you can see, my incentive to keep it so far outweighs any desire to let it go. If you are SERIOUS and have enough to afford to buy property, I'm happy to discuss with you further. Please keep in mind we have our own debts and this is not a free come live here and develop the land offer. I'm open to a subdivide with the right folks who hold the same vision and won't let their land get repossessed or sell it to a developer. Trust must happen.
I hope this clears up any questions folks may have. Please google white road ruba readsboro VT to see the approximate location. Thank you, Jules
We have multiple composting toilets here. We burn all tp due to ancient septic. For pee anything goes. Ive used leaves and snow mostly depending on the season. For poop i love TP. If no TP i would go for newspaper, leaves, cheap paperback books before plucking the beloved mullein plants. Lets all remember the bioburden. Greasy poopy butt and fecal tainted hands require soap and water. I have been waiting to hear how everyone washes up after using various wiping objects. And yes, my weimeraner dogs eat each others fresh poop before it hits the ground. Some things once seen cannot be unseen. Jules
Hey we have 80 acres in Readsboro not too far from Brattleboro. Contact me offline. I am working with a new forester to create a wildlife sanctuary on our land keeping it in the landuse program. A Camp on our land would be possible. There are 30 south facing sloped acres with water that needs clearing (goats would be ideal. Jules
We are open finally as the weather has become spring like.... I train horses in natural horsemanship... our particular style is no bits no shoes no stalls usually no saddles. Interested? our last permies visitor was from Scotland and wanted to train her ponies also work in the gardens (required). We have a sweet place with horses llamas weimeraners cats and love visitors. Jules
Hi everyone. It's that time of year again where we are thinking about building soil, cleaning out the greenhouses, taking down old dead trees, clearing trails and preparing for spring. We have a lot posted here so just check out our previous posts if you want to know more. We are looking for a couple or single person who wants to live in the Northeast and learn how to homestead. We have a great loft for our woofers/permies, and have hosted folks for going on seven years now. Our gardens, home, mountainous trails and lovely springs are an inviting taste of nature. If you like the outdoors, and love horses, llamas, weimaraner dogs, and cats, we are the place for you. No pay, but plenty of fun and hard work to be had. Check us out. Upstate NY on the MA/VT border. Drop us a line. Jules
My apologies to those who are hoping to live on the VT land and develop it without a financial investment.
We are now in a position where we must purchase land next to us in NY for our horses/llamas, and for me to begin my not for profit llama rescue and forest sanctuary. A commitment to the NY land has led us to this place.
Years ago we opened up our VT land to folks wanting to homestead, seasonally, and just be there. We are now selling our 80 acres in Readsboro, VT for $125k. We have a full description posted on landwatch.
Just wanted to mention if you moose message us, I'm happy to reply, but leave some contact info if you don't mind. If they will allow my email address here, it's email@example.com
We have 80 acres with five springs in Readsboro, VT, and we live in upstate NY, near the MA/VT border.
Due to getting older and so much happening on the Farm here, we are looking to rehome our VT land. Should the right people contact us, there is opportunity for you to share our NY homestead (with your RV or trailer) while creating your space on the land in VT.
Hey all, we are open to a woofer or couple who would like to come stay with us for about a month or two, depending on how comfortable you are with the weather. We have a sweet loft, you are also welcome to park your RV here. Trail work and mulching the garden are the primary jobs. We have horses, llamas and bees (and dogs and cats) if you want to learn more about natural animal care and training. I'm vegan, my husband eats meat. We have a grill outside if you want to grill your meat, no problem. We have a profile on Wwoofusa, and have hosted lots of woofers and permies folks. Drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to discuss.
Hi everyone. I hear you on the sentiments about VT. This ain't west Texas that's for sure!
On the other hand there's ways to do things that work really well in VT. We have acreage in upstate NY where we live, and 80 acres in Readsboro, VT. Our taxes for our Readsboro land are only 300 per year, as the land is in the Land Use program. Our dilemma is that we are purchasing land here in NY, and are selling our VT property because we just dont' have the time to build two homesteads.
Our VT property has five streams, all spring fed, no neighbors, and all surrounding land is in the Land Use program. You can take two acres out and build on them, while keeping the other 78 acres tax free. Anyone want to know more contact me directly at email@example.com. The Land Use program stays with the property so whoever purchases it already has a plan in place and the forester who signs off on our tax bill.
BTW, I am a ski patroller at Bromley in Peru, VT and do a lot of business in Bennington as we are at the border. I am pro VT! I bought the property planning to homestead there. Our NY home has become the base, as we have 15 animals here now. You have to know how to work it. Right now you can build solar, and be legally completely off the grid. On our VT property we could build a LARGE hunting lodge and pay no additional taxes.
Before we diss VT, remember, it's a sweet state, one area code, and plenty of room to relax.
Our current woofer may have to move with her mom to Florida. The loft could become vacant sometime in April this spring. Do you love the Northeast? We are at the corner of three states in the beautiful Taconics, Berkshires, Green Mountains. If you love fresh clean water and giant reservoirs for kayaking in VT, along with a close proximity to the Adirondacks, that's us.
We are open to couples and families with children. Please see our previous posts to see photos of what we have to offer. Horses, llamas, cats, dogs and bees live here. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to have our people in place by May through September. If you want to spend your summer in one place, please check us out.
Enclosed is our Wwoofusa profile with previous woofer comments. I would gladly ask any of our previous guests to return to our farm. I stay in touch with most of our previous woofers on facebook to see how their lives are unfolding and to share ours. We are truly a family homestead. We have hosted folks from permies and wwoofusa for six years. We love kids and kind hearted people of all persuasions.
If you are into visiting us, please contact me at: email@example.com and we can exchange phone numbers. Please tell me something about yourself when you do send an email. Thank you all for reading.
About Our Farm
Here in the Great Northeast, in a tiny corner of the world, we have a small space where we grow organic food using permaculture, raised beds, llamas for fertilizer, and the many blessings of Gaia, our Great Earth Mother.
OUR little FARM is a homestead and sanctuary. Many plants, animals and insects work together to feed us and our community. We are not a certified organic farm, but we are fully committed to no pesticides or other toxic substances. Our farm is a safe haven to live and learn about nature.
MEALS here are shared and fend for yourself so bring food! If we are making a family meal, which happens on occasion, but not frequently, you will be invited. You are welcome to share our food, and we expect you to also contribute more of the same high quality organic food that we enjoy to the communal household stash.
In other words, woofers with some type of income are highly desirable, as this is a teaching farm, not a room and board situation. We tend to share breakfast and lunch on work days. Breakfast might be a green garden smoothie made in the vitamix and coffee on the pavilion, while lunch might consist of brown rice and lentils.
RIGHT NOW We are open to hosting farm helpers from March through October. You would be welcome to remain here for longer if you are willing to help us continue with the farm work that has to be done and have a strong desire to learn about new ways of homestead farming. We have 80 acres in VT that we are also working and can use some assistance with building trails. We are still learning about the ecosystem there.
PLEASE expect me to ask you to mail or email copies of your passport and driver’s license and references should you wish to come visit us and become a potential woofer. So far our woofers worked out beautifully; they did not hesitate to provide ID and references. If this is something that you are not willing to do, we understand, and we wish you the best of luck with another farm.
I am primarily looking for people who are interested in learning about raised bed micro-farming, herbology, soil building, ecosystem health, bee keeping and working with llamas and horses. If you have building skills, and can run a chainsaw, that is always a big help.
Ideal folks would be two people who wish to stay in the barn loft, help tend the gardens and animals, and go outside and play when we are not working.
Your children are welcome here depending on the situation. We have hosted two moms with children in the past. We will want to talk in greater detail as sometimes children fit in, other times they do not, depending on their age, ability and behavior.
We believe in learning together, so children visiting with their parents are always a possibility. We happily hosted a farm helper and her two year old daughter one year for five months, while the next summer we hosted a farm intern who has a full time job and a golden retriever. Anything is possible.
Please be willing to put in some occasional hard work with us cutting wood, shoveling, hauling hay, building fences, moving soil, and working in the greenhouses and forest. There’s a LOT to do during the growing season, and our style of gardening is all raised beds with cattle panel trellises. You’ll like the ease of both planting, weeding and harvesting produce.
Farm work commitment is 25 hours per week. We count on your help to get things done. Your true commitment with a willingness to work on the honor system to the Farm Sanctuary is vital.
We have a big bright loft for overnight comfort. The loft is private, and allows a pleasant blend of both outdoor and indoor times. There’s a big fire pit outside the barn, near the house for sitting round the fire at night. We also have a brightly lit outdoor composting kybo toilet that is a wonderful sanctuary. You will love it, I hear it’s the main attraction of our farm for some woofers. We hope to build an outdoor solar shower to accompany the outdoor stove that is currently on the property. Our goal is to provide 100% for woofers in their own space.
We have a vast library and much information to share. We make our own herbal tinctures, liniments and fermented veggies. If you’d like to learn more about herbal remedies and other ways to be healthy, this is a great opportunity. It’s a free place to live in exchange for a learning opportunity about maintaining a small micro-farm and of course, bountiful veggies and strawberries too.
We are beekeepers, so if you are allergic to bees, this may not be the right place for you. I am Kripalu focused, with Iyengar 200 hour yoga teacher certified and practice a lot of yoga as you can imagine. I am certified to teach Breath Body Mind yoga for trauma. I am completing my 500 hour yoga teacher training at Kripalu.
Since we are a non-commercial and small scale family micro farm, the work here is fairly chill except when we are doing something serious like moving a bunch of hay right before a rain storm, or harvesting and canning produce. There are two dogs, five cats, four llamas, three horses, and three bee hives to care for, beds to build, plants to tend, and plenty of time to also go outside and play.
I do mean play, by the way. We have rivers to run, lakes to paddle, cliffs to climb, trails to hike. If you have a mountain bike, so much the better. Road biking can include Vermont, New York and Mass in a nice loop from our farm. Work can be strenuous at times, such as when we are hauling dirt from the farmer and building raised beds. Mostly we are relaxed. We occasionally build trails, cut down trees and haul wood.
For recreation, we have built several miles of trails here in the woods for mountain biking and hiking, plus we are on the border of state and national wildlife sanctuaries and parkland.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: You will need a vehicle to woof here with us as there’s no public transportation available. You will also need your own income as this is a non commercial homestead.
We collaborate with our local friends and have an extended community of people who help us, as we help them.
Please only contact us if you are sincere about wanting to live, learn, work and share a small homestead microfarm.
In case you are wondering, cigarettes, alcohol and drugs are discouraged here at our sanctuary. We are a great launching site for those who are ready to embrace the homesteading life. Also, we are queer bi transgender friendly. In fact. we love diversity!
Thank you so much.
Woofer comments below:
"I arrived at the farm not really knowing what to expect, but it ended up being a real life changing experience for me! Jules and Jerome were all around great hosts ,showing me what living a sustainable lifestyle was all about. Jules really got me up to speed with weeding and building the soil in a garden, as well as how to interact with the horses and lamas she cares for. I felt great energy being around her and the land, as she spends her time doing so much for the world, and that really inspires me. Jerome was also very friendly, and it enjoyed learning about his martial arts practice as well as his views on psychology. I was asked to work 5 hours a day weeding the garden and stacking firewood. Later on it was more so shoveling and placing lama poop/clearing the trails nearby. It was tiring, but also very meditative work. Living in the barn loft made everything even better, it was cozy/rustic and I couldn’t get enough of hearing all the nature that surrounded me and looking up to the night sky to see a blanket of stars. I hope to return someday"
"This beautiful homestead is nestled up a long rocky driveway surrounded by abundant tall trees and an ecosystem of forest creatures. The energy here is truly out of this world. Jules is a powerful woman with so many stories to share about her winding character building life path and experiences that have molded her into the inspiring woman she is today. A woman of strong will power, a yogi, outdoor sports extraordinaire, homesteading powerhouse and animal lover. She makes things happen and her power to manifest and get work done is abundantly magical. During my month long stay my chores consisted of hauling hay, weeding, strawberry harvesting (yum!), Helping feed the horses Mama and Zoey, Help care for the dogs, cats, and llamas. Baby Jack ( the newest part of the llama fam) was born during my stay. We took turns bottle feeding him when his sassy mama Princess was in the process of taking him on as her own. I learned a lot about the personalities of llamas and how to care for them accordingly. Jules welcomed me into her family and welcomed me into her friends, family and community and I will forever be grateful. So much love"
"Jules and Jerome welcomed me and my son, who's 10, with open arms. The mutual respect of land, animals and humans creates a life cycle that benefits all who enters. Fending for yourself means they work away from home, but you have the entire garden at your disposal. We have also had nice meals together, Jerome being an excellent cook. I'm here in the fall so there wasn't the spring veggies, but there was an abundance of leafy greens, squash, garlic galore, grapes and even tomatoes that have come back stronger and for a longer time....because they like it here. They are very understanding of my son, respecting his curiosities but also have firm, but fair rules that keep their animals and people safe. She is a tough mama that has been through a lot so she is a humanitarian at heart and love to help people where they are and encourage them to be their best. I've learned so much about the care and respect of animals and gardening. The barn loft is beautiful and clean. There is a composting toilet that doesn't smell of waste. It was a joy to be here and meet her community. Will Return."
"I volunteered at this little farmstead for a week this past winter. I would have stayed longer if circumstance had allowed. Jules was a gracious host, providing me with a choice of accommodation and making sure I felt at home. Because it was winter, My work responsibilities revolved mainly around animal care. There were three llamas, a horse, and several cats and dogs. There are also raised bed gardens, at least one acre in total, which require lots of attention from March-November. Jules was not too demanding, asking for only 5 hours of work, 5 days a week. That being said, there was always more to be done in case I got bored. But that's not what makes this place special. She calls it a sanctuary, and that's a fitting title for this cozy piece of land. This is a place of healing and growth. Her vast library includes everything from alternative medicine to Jerome's sci-fi collection. It was hard to pry myself from the library at times. There's so much to learn and experience here that I could easily see the right person staying enraptured for many months. This is a loving environment, and Jules will treat you as one of the family, truly. She is open-minded, intelligent, gnarly, and motherly. Her knowledge of spirituality and health is contagious, and you are certain to absorb some wisdom by staying here. Jerome also made me feel at home. Although he was at work most of the day, and we had limited contact, he proved easy going, funny, and an excellent conversationalist. Oh, and if you're into outdoor exploration, look no further. Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, hiking, etc. It can all be found here. It was a lovely experience. Would recommend."
We have a beautiful homestead, organic, permaculture, horses, llamas, bees (our three hives survived the winter!!). Our land comprises 25 acres of forest and gardens on the MA/NY/VT border, plus another 80 acres in nearby VT should you wish to really have an adventure. Two greenhouses, with a separate cooking area and loft for permies folk. Outdoor composting toilets. Our farm is queer and kid friendly. We have hosted permies and woofers for five years, this will be year six. Contact Jules at firstname.lastname@example.org