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companion permies wanted: unique farm within a farm opportunity  RSS feed

 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
pollinator
Posts: 750
Location: ava, ant village
618
chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur hunting solar wofati woodworking
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Hi, I'm Evan. I suppose I'll start with a bit about me and my situation.

I am a worker in a work-for-stay arrangement at Bardo Farm. I came here to learn about farming, experiment with permaculture, and build a hobbit house (wofati). I've been here for almost a year now and most notably, I've designed and built a ~325 sq ft hobbit house, (2/3rds complete,) and learned how to operate a chainsaw, a tractor, a sawmill, and an excavator. I've also spent a lot of time taking care of pigs, goats, chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, quail, an ox, and a bull. I've built many hugels, mulched more, and planted veggies, shrubs, herbs, and even a few trees. I've harvested wild plants and mushrooms for food and medicine. Chopped a lot of wood. Carried a lot of water.

Most of the year I lived out of a tent overlooking the wofati site, and for a couple months I lived in the unfinished wofati, but until the wofati is more complete, I'm overwintering in one of the four cabins here on the farm, (one other of which is currently unoccupied.)

As I write this, the outside temperature is about -10F. It's definitely winter, which means cold and short days but relatively less work compared to spring and summer, and the work I do to stay here currently looks something like this:

rabbit care: 1/2 hour a day x 7 days a week
pig care: 3-5 hours/day x 4 days a week
on call for general farm work: Sunday through Wednesday
road maintenance, firewood, chipping, cleaning, misc., etc.: maybe another 4-12 hours a week

With the rare exception of farm emergencies, Thursday through Saturday I am almost entirely free to pursue my own projects, which currently includes building a rocket mass heater, finishing the wofati, working on a food forest design for the 2-3 acres immediately surrounding the wofati, and scheming how to best utilize some of the 200+ acres here on the farm to fulfill my pep1-gardening requirements.

I'm fortunate to have come to an agreement with Bardo where the ongoing advancement of my permaculture education is tied to an increase in time available for self-directed projects. When I attain a white belt in gardening, I will be freed to pursue productive personal permaculture projects starting on Wednesday every week. Likewise, a green belt frees me starting Tuesday, a brown belt Monday, and upon attaining a black belt in gardening I will be free to practice self-directed permaculture all week; my ongoing contributions to the farm increasingly taking the form of fresh produce rather than directed labor.

---

You've heard of companion plants, I'm looking for a companion permie or two. Someone who can thrive in similar environmental conditions and has some skills and strengths to complement my own. Someone I can bounce ideas off of, share with, teach, and learn from. Being nuts about permaculture is a must. Some experience and working knowledge is a plus, but enthusiasm, intelligence, and stick-to-it-iveness are essential. Can't be afraid to get your hands dirty. And of course, we'll have to be compatible enough that we don't strangle each other. In particular I'm looking for partner(s) for this partial list of permaculture projects:

sculpting wofati roof
rocket mass heater in wofati
cordwood walls and cobbing gaps in wofati
designing forest garden and planting cover crops and soil improvers around wofati
building tons of hugels
bees, bats, and bug habitats
growing everything on the pep1-gardening list and more
finishing a root cellar
designing and building earth-sheltered animal shelters
designing and building earth-sheltered greenhouses
designing and implementing paddock shift systems
learning more about wild edibles and herbal medicine
mad microclimates and much more

Maybe you just want to help with one or two projects, or maybe you want to live here at Bardo for a while and work for room and board. While I'm an active participant in the Bardo Farm community, I'm also creating my own distinct space here, a farm within a farm. Maybe you'll be inspired to create your own farm within a farm too. Maybe we'll become great friends and be wofati-mates, or maybe we'll decide that our respective varieties of crazy are just not compatible. Either way, we're bound to learn something.

Send me a pm or post here if any of this sounds like something you might be interested in. Details, details, details.
 
shelbi sarrett
Posts: 1
Location: Ohio
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Hello, I'm Shelbi. I'm in high school at the moment and I'm trying to find something to do once I get out. I'm wondering if I could be able to stay with you over the summer to see if I would like the type of lifestyle. I'd work for boarding and food and though I'm not very experienced, I am interested and want to learn. Hope to hear from you.
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
pollinator
Posts: 750
Location: ava, ant village
618
chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur hunting solar wofati woodworking
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Hi Shelbi! Can you tell me a little bit more about yourself? What is your current lifestyle like and what kind of changes are you looking for? Hobbies? Interests? Goals? Desired conditions? Also, what projects or particular aspects of this opportunity are you excited about and/or interested in?

Some things to consider: Do you have any family or friends in New Hampshire or the northeast? If, for whatever reason, things didn't work out on the farm, it would be useful to have a local support network you could turn to. If your heart's not set on this particular region, it might also be worth checking out the farming/permie scene in your local area around Ohio. It would be most unfortunate if you came all the way up here and then decided that the lifestyle wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Thanks for your interest and I hope to hear back from you.
 
susan vita
Posts: 71
4
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Hi, I'm thinking of spending the summer in New England this year and wonder if this might be a good fit for me.

I'm a single adult female with a few years of farm management and farm design experience if not education.
I'm hoping to find a summer gig where I will learn to build hobbit houses, thatched and/or living roofs, orchard skills, or any livestock skills. I'm already a good hand with horses, know how to drive a single and am familiar with fowl and goats and pigs. Living fences, bees, and anything to do with water systems really intrigue me as well.

 
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