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Organic commercial size farm in western N.C. mountains looking for carpenter for a work/vacation.  RSS feed

 
M Foti
Posts: 171
Location: western n.c.
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Hey, we have several profiles made on sites such as WWOOF and Workaway, but thought I might post up here. Great reviews and ratings on those sites, as of this writing the workaway website is down so I cannot post a link and our wwoof profile is restricted to members only... I will post a link when Workaway is up and running again.

I thought I might post on here as well because we are looking for something a little different from our normal visitors from these organizations. With all our focus on various farming related projects, I keep pushing other little projects to the wayside and would really like to see them completed. One of those projects would be a really cool little cabin or two built, nothing fancy just more places for future guests to stay in, something 12x12 would be ideal. We would of course provide all materials and incidentals as well as provide housing and food during the building process. Now, that said, in compensation for doing this, we would provide a place for you to stay as well as food for a period of time to be agreed upon.... If you wish to have more of a WWOOF type educational farming experience we can provide that as well, but my main focus for this posting is trying to find someone with enough background in construction so there would have to be minimal supervision and help from me... Obviously, you'll need my help, but I'm saying I'd like to find someone willing to do this basically on their own. You would need no tools, just the knowledge and skills. We really like hosting couples, mainly because a couple won't get bored as easily as a single person and couples entertain themselves. You must have a car, and we will be putting anyone through the same application process that a wwoofer would go through as well as a little further communication than normal because we usually only have wwoofers for 2 weeks at a time, this would be a much longer situation lasting the entire summer or until you decide to leave.

So, simply put, I want someone to come build a little cabin in exchange for room and board this summer. We have an RV for our interns/wwoofers to stay in, but I would expect this cabin to be built kinda quick so then you can move into it and the RV is then open for other guests (or the other way around). I would think 2-3 weeks would be plenty long enough to actually build the little cabin, then you could have a rent-free summer here in the mountains... see the copy/paste below for a better description of our area...

Here is a copy/paste of our WWOOF profile.

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Farm Description
ATTENTION! PLEASE READ ENTIRE PROFILE BEFORE SUBMITTING INQUIRIES. Thank you!



Welcome to Brasstown, North Carolina! Our farm is a 30 acre site in the Appalachian Mountains at the tri-state junction of Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina. The property is 2 hours from 4 major cities, Asheville, Atlanta, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

Check out our facebook site for more info and better pics! We ask that all potential wwoofers read this profile and only contact through wwoof though.

We are predominately a berry farm and are branching out into Wasabi production as well as heirloom crops and native medicinal herbs. This is a fledgling operation, having just established our Blueberry planting in March of 2011, and currently preparing for our Cherry orchard as well as our Raspberry planting. We are concentrating more on large-scale wholesale farming than on CSA or tailgate markets. Those wwoofers looking to gain CSA experience might not benefit from our type of farming, however those looking to have mid/large-scale organic wholesale farms may really enjoy seeing what we are doing. We are very large compared to some farms, but tiny compared to most commercial farms. This is a great opportunity to learn what it takes to start an organic farm, while still seeing what goes on for existing crops. On our farm we have a nice small pond for fishing/swimming, as well as a nice trout stream. Work on the farm is ever changing and varies with the time of year, please inquire as to what we EXPECT to be doing during your proposed time to visit.

The surrounding area is abound with activities. We have canoes that wwoofers are welcome to use in any of the lakes close by or there are whitewater rafting expeditions in either the Nantahala Whitewater area and the Ocoee Whitewater area, both are less than an hour away. We are located not far from the Appalachian Trail, so this would make a nice stop on your hike to rest and gather your strength. There are many other very nice mid level hiking trails in our area as well as lots of lakes, rivers and creeks to play in.

The Brasstown area is best known for the John C. Campbell folk school which also hosts a work-study program. A short 10 minute walk or 5 minute bike ride to the Folk School offers lots of activities ranging from free concerts to weekly contra-dances.

Our entire community is full of artists of varying media, most of whom welcome and encourage participation and company, while several host interns and apprenticeships. Lots of people come to Brasstown and like it so much, they stay. One could conceivably complete an internship at our farm, go to a workstudy program at John C. Campbell Folk School, and then apprentice under one of the local artists here. That would make for an exciting break from the "real world"! As a side note, Maya (the lady of the house) is a potter and learning pottery while you are here is a real possibility!

Regarding our needs and desires from the wwoofers, since we are a fledgling farm there will be lots of hands on activities in preparing an area for organic farming. Normal activities include keeping up with the weeds, running irrigation, fertilization, and soil amendments as well as experimenting in the greenhouse, harvesting produce, selling at local markets and fixing/building things around the farm. We are always excited about any type of green building or alternative energy projects to embark upon. Usually volunteers are done with all chores before noon and then have the rest of the day to go have fun in our area, we want you to have fun while you area here and you are NOT free labor, we hire folks for the big stuff. Of course we are participating as hosts to get some help on the farm but we will not work volunteers like hired hands. We ask that WWOOFERs complete 1 small project per day that they are here, these projects vary from day to day and we will try to match them to your skill level. We will NOT have you weeding for 2 weeks, and we will NOT have you digging ditches every day however sometimes your work will be boring or tedious, that is the nature of farming and it is not always fun. This is YOUR responsibility to communicate to us what you like to do or what you wish to learn while you are here.

We understand that with all the fun things to do in our area folks may want to take camping/hiking trips or other activities that will take more than an afternoon, that is fine with us and we will work with you on figuring out a chore schedule to suit your needs as well as ours. If you are truly in this to learn how to farm, you will want to put in more time than the minimum we require, however if you are looking to use our place as a hostel type situation where you barter a couple hours a day for room and board then we are fine with that, just communicate your desires clearly and honestly with us.

Our home is a small mobile home and is too small to host wwoofers in, we decided it was more important to build the farm first and the house second. Now we have 1 18 ft. camper trailer for a WWOOFER to stay in, it is large enough for 2-3 people to be comfortable in if they are friends or a couple, would be a little "close" for strangers in my opinion. The camper has a real flush toilet in it (not a gross R.V. toilet), and any showering can be done in our home bathroom. We hope to expand with a couple more campers here, but until then we can only offer primitive camping or at your desire the Hillbilly Hilton (barn loft) if there are multiple WWOOFERs here at the same time. The Camper trailer will be "first come first served". We have plenty of nice camping gear and those who have put a tent in the loft of our barn have found it comfortable and nice. There are plenty of areas for Green Building to happen, and building 4 small off grid habitable structures for hosting interns and renting to Folk School students are on the longer term agenda. Anyone with real world experience in green building would be most welcome to help put up some more habitable structures.

Due to dietary concerns meals will be as you wish, you can eat with us and eat what we choose to eat, or you will have access to our foodstuffs and outdoor kitchen to cook what you wish. We normally eat a traditional southern diet, and regularly cook Asian and other Eastern cuisine. We cannot accommodate dietary restrictions, we can make an effort to feed a vegetarian, but a vegan, raw food, or gluten free diet will be too hard to shop for on top of our own shopping. We cook a large meal for dinner usually around dark, all other meals will be up to you with access to our foodstuffs. This means that if you desire breakfast or lunch, then you have to figure that out on your own using our kitchen and food. Special requests for food should be made prior to your visit here, any questions you have please do not be shy, ask away!

There is no public transportation in our area, so if you do not have a vehicle then transportation to town will be available when time permits. A bicycle is a very viable option in this area, however the nearest town with anything more than a gas station is 7 miles away (Murphy, N.C.) so only the experienced should consider a bike as their main transportation, however there is a nice little gas station/general store within easy walking or biking distance. We have had a bad experience regarding a wwoofer with no vehicle of their own. We may still consider wwoofers with no car, but, in order for us to do this we will have to receive more work from you than our customary laid back agreement to make up for our time and money spent. If we have to drive 2 hours away to pick you up, then that is at least a 4 hour round trip, 8 hours of our time if we have to also drop you off, please keep this in mind. Also, we may or may not have time to show you the sights in our area as we (meaning us/ourselves) work every day on the farm. Please pay close attention to our emails and follow up with us often if you are expecting us to pick you up somewhere. There are several car rental agencies in the area, their contact information can be provided upon request.

Children and pets are not ideal for us right now, and at this point we cannot accept guests with small children or pets. Possibly at some point in our goals, we can have a situation here that is more conducive to families just not now, we apologize for any disappointment in this regard.

Length of stay will be assumed to be a 2 week maximum, however in certain situations we have let people stay for much longer periods of time, self sufficiency is the mantra here. If you would like to stay longer, that can possibly be arranged after a face to face meeting and we have spent some time working together, the 2 week maximum is in place in order to give other wwoofers a chance and so that we are not obligated to provide a place for folks to stay longer if the "fit" isn't right. Obviously, if you do not like being here, no bad feedback will be given for leaving earlier than previously agreed upon. Because of this, we cannot guarantee anyone the use of the camper, if a WWOOFer decides to stay on full season here, then the camper may be occupied. We will certainly notify anyone in as timely a manner as possible with updates on this situation.

WWOOFers should come here with enough money to survive on, and equally important, enough money to leave when your time here has concluded. With that said, wwoofers who are a particularly good fit and wish to further participate may be interested in asking about an apprenticeship type situation, where a long term commitment will be required with similar working hours as ourselves. This would result in a profit sharing situation whereas the wwoofer can leave our farm with a little money and skills to start a venture such as ours for themselves. Only the most dedicated individuals should consider asking about this as it will require quite a bit of time, energy and self sacrifice. Here at our farm as wwoof hosts we would like to have everyone leave with the experience that they expected and desired, whether that be a week long mountain vacation with a little bit of work, or a 3 season apprenticeship.

We hope you will come visit us on our little homestead, and will be looking forward to hearing from anyone interested. Feel free to ask any questions you wish, we are not shy or judgmental people so folks with alternative lifestyles are welcome here! Emails are checked several times a week, calling by phone is best done after dark when we come in for the evening.

We will ask that you fill out an application before being invited to our farm, the application is for our protection as well as your own to give us all insight into each other. We will send you the application as well as a copy of our liability waiver and a farm rules document, the application will be returned before you are officially invited here and upon arrival you will be required to sign the waiver, we send a copy ahead of time via e-mail so there are no surprises and you have plenty of time to review everything before committing to anything. Any questions or concerns should be addressed prior to arrival and we will try our best to answer them to your satisfaction.

Check out our Facebook Page (see link to website) for more up to date information and happenings!

Thank you for your interest,

Micah and Maya
Ajila Ama Farm

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please send a private message or "purple mooseage" if interested, any questions or concerns that you feel SHOULD be addressed publicly then ask here on the forum. There are obviously more details to be ironed out and quite a bit of discussion to make sure we are on the same page and that we will get along well. We're pretty easy going folks and live in a super cool area for a summer vacation, so this could work out quite well for someone in the right position. Anyone coming here should have enough money for their own personal uses, but food, electricity, bathroom and any other necessities will be taken care of as part of this arrangement. It is possible that money may change hands, but not for the cabin building. There are sometimes little jobs around that I can't get to, and if you are experienced in construction you can possibly pick up some off farm side work, but that should be considered extra, anyone who shows up should have enough savings to last them for their entire stay and you should have a place to go when you leave here.

anyhow, maybe this would be mutually beneficial for the right person or persons, we get a cabin built and you get a place to crash for a while...
 
M Foti
Posts: 171
Location: western n.c.
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there is a link in our signature to our facebook page as well... We have LOTS of pictures on there from the farm, some of them are little tours through the farm and time lapse transformation albums... Here is the link in case folks have a hard time seeing it www.facebook.com/ajilaama I have to ask that ANYONE interested in this arrangement ONLY use email or "purple mooseages" to contact and NOT go through the facebook page message system. That way we can keep track of everything, with so many applicants and guests through the summer we have to keep our communications organized or things get confusing very quickly.
 
M Foti
Posts: 171
Location: western n.c.
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Workaway is operational again. here is the link to our workaway profile http://www.workaway.info/113689141844-en.html
 
M Foti
Posts: 171
Location: western n.c.
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Bumping this one back to the top.... had some interest, but still looking for the right person/persons to come spend the summer here... Again, I'm offering room and board for the summer in a really nice mountain tourist location in exchange for a few weeks worth of construction help. Possibly some paying work from time to time, but not to be expected, after the cabin is built, you'll have PLENTY of time to get a part time job or just have fun exploring the mountains...
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
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Sounds interesting, I love the NC mountains, but unfortunately we have two kids. Good luck in your search.
 
M Foti
Posts: 171
Location: western n.c.
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Thanks for the well wishes, in the future we hope to be able to accommodate children, but for now our property is just too "raw" for that. I find that a funny statement though, I grew up off grid and basically in the woods haha...

anyhow, thank you
 
Joseph Kemp
Posts: 2
Location: Charlotte
dog hunting woodworking
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Hey M Foti,

I know this post is a bit old, but I thought I would reach out anyway. I may be relocating to the Tryon area and am in the process of meeting other people interested in / working in fields that I gravitate to. If you need any help some time or wouldn't mind showing me around the farm please let me know.

Joseph
 
M Foti
Posts: 171
Location: western n.c.
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This is an old thread haha... although, I would say that most of it is still relevant.  Tryon is quite a ways from us though, I am located in the furthest western tip of N.C. about 2.5 hours west of asheville (most folks think N.C. stops at asheville).  Anyhow, if you're interested in some sort of a workstay, we can work out some details via email.  ajilaamafarm@gmail.com
 
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