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caretaking/work exchange position at 20 year old permaculture/food forest Homestead

 
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Our homestead is a 20 year old dynamic permaculture forest garden which Includes a wide diversity of temperate and subtropical fruit trees, bushes and vines as well as many medicinal and culinary herbs and flowers . We also care for 10-15 goats, 30 chickens, 10-20 ducks, 5-10 turkeys, and honey bees. We own and operate www.fruitwoodnursery.com where we sell propagation wood from our diverse collection of over 1,000 varieties of fruiting plants that we have planted on our homestead.  We also contract out to grow native plants locally and we supply our former online nursery Rollingrivernursery.com with all their propagation wood.  We have intensively planted about 2 ½  acres to pomegranates apples pears persimmons, paw paws, peaches plums citrus, cherries, figs olives and jujubes, table (and a few wine) grapes, kiwis and berries, as well as perennial vegetables such as asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish, artichokes, and a large homestead annual garden. Due to our generous Mediterranean climate we are able to grow and reproduce both the classic northern temperate fruiting plants as wells as many sub-tropical fruits.  We are very passionate about preserving plant diversity and our homestead reflects that passion

Our location is paradisaical, a southwest facing slope right above the Klamath River. We use minimal tilling and make extensive use of perennial cover crops and rotational animal grazing throughout our orchard and gardens. Marc has been a homesteader, market farmer and orchardist nurseryman for the last forty  years with extensive knowledge in the area of agriculture and horticulture. He also has extensive carpentry experience, knowledge of alternative building and solar power systems. Corrina has been a full partner in managing our homestead, annual and perennial plantings and on-line businesses for the past 20 years. Together we are working to create a loving, low input, productive and self-sustaining homestead that can also serve as a model for others. We have 2 children, 23 and 12. We are passionate about our family, homesteading and home schooling, the outdoors, simple sustainable living, plants, eating healthy and a TV free environment. In our leisure time we enjoy doing fun things with our kids, hiking in the mountains, making music, swimming in the river and working on craft projects. The spirit of the farm is one of hard work and good family fun. We eat a diet of fresh ground grains, legumes, goat dairy, eggs, and some meat (mostly raised at our farm) for protein.

We are asking for 8-12 hours of work per week depending on the season, and 1-2 days a week on chores + occasional care taking.We are looking for people who are emotionally mature, easy going and good communicators as well as physically fit.  Related experience is preferred.  A good fit for us would be someone who loves to garden and enjoys spending time working with animals and appreciates animal products and a place to live near the wilderness.  In exchange for work, we are providing  a rustic cabin with electricity and running hot water, learning opportunities as well as goat milk, eggs vegetables and fruit from the garden.  We do not at present supply meat products.  Longer commitment is most desirable.

Please contact for an application and more information about us.
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garden master
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Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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Hi Corrina! Thank you for sharing news about this wonderful opportunity to the permies.com community.

I have recently sent you an email about how I am very interested in your caretaking/work exchange position!
 
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Just wanna bump this a little... because I'm the one that's leaving! And this is pretty much the most badass permaculture immersion experience you can get.

Let me just gush for a moment.

I came here expecting a summer opportunity to stay 4 months.  I've been here almost 2 years. I work a part-time job at the local environmental non-profit, the Mid-Klamath Watershed Council, located conveniently under 3km away. There are also lots of house-sitting opportunities in the area.

I live in a small, one room cabin (the original tiny home), heated by a wood stove. The hot water heater is propane (though the lower cabin is wood-heated in winter and solar heated in summer). It's cozy, I have my own space in the community complete with my own garden bed, the front porch is entwined in kiwi vines with a privacy barrier of elderberries in the winter. The 8 hours of work a week are very reasonable. Corrina is a great manager and makes workdays pleasant and effective. We all feel accomplished and connected after time in the garden or potting shed together. And Marc is the kind of guy who saw Masanobu Fukuoka speak in person.

The balance between the animal systems, the nursery, and the (many, many, many) mature fruit trees are pretty much perfect. Imagine months and months of fruit - apples, pears, plums, cherries, peaches, pineapple guava, grapes, figs, poms... the grazing is real. I take friends and visitors for a tour and in the right season we come back stuffed and high on fruit sugar. The nearby Salmon River is a well kept secret of beautiful swimming holes that make the hot summer a sacred river season. The community vibe is great, things are very informal and the closest we come to farm meetings are Uno game nights. There's just this feeling of comradery and willingness to honor all the life that grows, in a very grounded and practical way. Even the composting toilets are gorgeous stone masonry foundations that only need to be maintained once a year. I just dug mine out last week and it took me about an hour and a half by myself, it was totally awesome, and I made the elderberries very happy. THIS PLACE IS SWEET. It blows my mind that they don't have a waiting list a mile long.

The family is sweet, the place is legendary. I really hope they find someone as amazing as they are. The reason I'm leaving (reluctantly) is to follow my dream of hiking another long trail... this time the Bibbulmun Track in SW Australia. So you people! You do right by Marc and Corrina!! These people have done more to propagate varieties of edible perennials than any other person or project I have ever come across. They have the freakin' seed of Eden. And they do it in middle of the most epic country... don't even get me started on the bear, elk, cougar, salmon, eagles and ospreys, the ring-tailed cats, the exotic birds that come in the spring for the fruit, the king snakes and otters.... the list goes on. And you see most of it from the front porch, though there's also a ton of cool hiking in the area when you're ready to get off the farm.

Anyway, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me or them. Thank you!!!

P.S. This is Karuk territory, so be prepared to be hella respectful of indigenous culture
 
                                            
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We'd like to communicate with the owners by email. We are a mature, diverse experienced couple and are interested in getting more info. Thank you. sustainablewayslodge@gmail.com
 
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Just came across this post and would like to communicate with the owners of this farm. I recently moved to Trinidad and am also beginning an online PDC course. I wonder how far you are from Trinidad? I would love to come see your farm as I am putting together ideas for my first year of adding to the forest/garden where I now live.  Depending on distance I would be super interested in visiting/ work trading/ learning about what works in Northern California maritime food forests. I just signed up tonight to this sight. Hopefully you can easily contact me through here or directly at: jonesafiable@icloud.com
Sincerely,
Bret Jones
 
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Hi All-

I wanted to echo what Elizabeth Rose said- this place is quite special. We're still looking for the right person (or people- we have two positions open) to come live here. I moved here a little over a year ago, also committing to just three months at first. It's been a transformative year. I plan to stay here through this coming fall... possibly longer. I'm the only 'caretaker' here at the moment.

I could go on and on, but I think Liz covered most of the bases. Eight hours of work trade plus an hour or two of animal chores a week, and caretaking responsibilities when the farmers are away, in exchange for staying in one of the most biodiverse food forests in the continental United States. We get a lot of food from the garden. It's a pretty generous situation in my humble opinion. My work this week was planting out peas and lettuce. The week before I was taking kiwi cuttings. The week before that I was potting up rootstocks. Other things I've done recently include seeding hundreds of peach, paw paw, and persimmon rootstocks, seeding plants for the spring garden, and last fall I helped build an extension to the goat's barn.

All the people who have stayed here recently have been here for at least a year- people tend to enjoy it here. All the recent caretakers were in their late twenties/early thirties and left on good terms seeking far off adventures. Our little farm community here has been quite harmonious. And we get a LOT done, considering how few people are here.

We're eager for someone to come and join us for a season or more. We are putting in the spring and summer gardens. Two of the does are about to give birth (more goat milk is on the way!). The days are getting longer and the soil is warming up. I'm surprised their isn't a long list of people pounding on the door to work here. But we kind of go under the radar here. Marc and Corinna tend to spend their time with homesteading activities, and have kept a somewhat low profile online.
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