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Central VA farmstead and microdairy looing for housemates/volunteers

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Hey there, name's Andy!

I moved to a historic micro dairy in Howardsville, VA in 2016 and have been managing the dairy cattle and herdshare operation while slowly building a few small enterprises on the side such as herbal teas and duck eggs. I am looking for a roommate to occupy one of the bedrooms of the farmhouse.

About West Cote: This is a lovely place, circa 1830, with 100 acres to roam, two river fronts, a fishing pond and located across the street from a country store, 25 minutes from historic Scottsville and 45 from Charlottesville. The Farmhouse itself is small but private on 6 ACRES, 2 bed room with a shared kitchen and bathroom but has all the modern amenities: AC, Plumbing, Fridge, Heat, Washing Machine, Drier, shower, etc. There is some shed storage, an old carport and some attic space. Awesome if you like privacy, I am pretty social so I go to Scottsville/C-Ville almost everyday for markets, events, to drink with friends, ect.

Adjacent to the property where I am living is the Farm Owner's land. On her property as well are the dairy cows.
A bit about the operation: We raise American Milking Devons purely on grass using rotational grazing techniques. We have a small scale and efficient processing room and we bottle the milk for subscription style "shares". Right now there are two cows that I am milking and it amounts to about 2-4 hours a day of work, although in an emergency, the calves can feed and they can have a day off in the pasture. It's hard work, but it is a highly valued product and I enjoy the discipline and animal connection.
I have a flock of 34 laying ducks. They are all raised on pasture.
I have a rather large garden in the back that I built by hand last year. There is a lot of good compost and fertility built up already but it is still young. Some of the garden is cultivated as a "forest style" garden and is a tangle of elderberries, lemon balm, passion vine, strawberries, comfrey and other plants. Other beds I used for annual production but plan to go more into tea plants and perennials next year. I also have a small orchard of about 35 apple trees and some other perennials.

About the area: Howardsville itself is an old, residential rural town that is more beautiful than useful. Very quiet place, AWESOME neighbors. Down the road is where the "party" is at, Scottsville. A population of 500 apparently, this deceivingly quaint little town has proven itself to be it's own little universe. There is a yoga studio, a brewery, tattoo and massage, town hall and art center, a variety of restaurants as well as some new co-ops that are opening that I supply some duck eggs to. Many other bars, a Food Lion for essentials, a mediocre hardware store, a damn good auto parts store, bank, etc etc Also a giant yoga community at the Ashram

Further north is Charlottesville. If you don't know what C-ville is like just look it up on google but essentially it is a higher income, college town with a huge historical, agricultural and architectural interest. There is more hiking, drinking, eating and nature than you could ever possibly do/see in one year.

There is a larger room and a smaller one. Large room is about 15x12 with 3 windows and it's own exit and that is 350 a month or 100 a week. The other room is about 10x12 and has 1 window and is 250 a month or 75 a week. They both have heaters. Utilities can either be split 50/50 or we can come up with a flat rate. I have unlimited wifi that would be available for your use for an extra 30 a month since the 4g data has a limited amount. To avoid conflict we can also do something like 50 bucks a month for you to have any groceries or food in the fridge or laundry detergent. I am really flexible about all this, you are welcome to handle wifi and groceries yourself but I am open to working on the lease.

There is an opportunity here as well to work for rent, by milking the cows and working on the gardens although I think that is a role you would have to grow into after some time just so we can get to know each other. I would rather have someone who is independent and pays rent but if you show interest and work ethic I would love to have a farming partner.

About the Roomies:

I'm 25 years old. A bartender and digital artist. I'll just list off some of my interests: Drawing, Writing, Music of any kind, Growing Plants, Herbalism, Survival skills, animal husbandry, greek mythology, sci fi movies and Tv shows, PODCASTS, comic books and superheroes, socio-economic trends, craft beer and whisky, alternative spirituality, reading, learning, hiking, biking, swimming and staring contemplatively at the forest. Im pretty relaxed but like to keep the place clean but not obsessively. If you leave some dishes on the counter or in the sink its' cool; but let's pick up after ourselves and not turn this place into a shit-show.

I think it should be fair to mention my other "roommate", Loki. He is a very primitive breed of northern dog with probably some husky or shepherd thrown in. He has an extremely strong personality. He is not aggressive in the least bit he is actually very afraid of most people until you stick around for a bit and he warms up to you. That being said he can sniff out bad eggs and I trust his judgement better than my own sometimes. He is very high energy and many dogs can't deal. He lives outside primarily and is always on a leash because he is a roamer and destructively curious. He does come inside every day for some play time. If you have a dog that is unfriendly or you have dog allergies or you have a small cat this is probably not going to work.

Who this is perfect for:
Like I stated before, an independent, single person who wants something private and no-drama out in the beautiful country would be ideal. There is plenty of room for gardening, hiking, fishing, etc and I an open to a discussion about having animals here if it jives with the systems I already have. A month by month would be ideal because I like flexibility. Also, please smoke outside on the lovely porch.

There is also the potential for a farm partner, if that's how things play out. I am trying to create small, profitable side businesses to ease expenses and maybe turn into something larger one day. I could really use some help. There is a lot of potential on this land and we are planning to slowly expand. My farm owner hopes to add beef cattle to the adjacent pastures. So if you are looking to get involved in regenerative agriculture but have no land, this place is a good place to start and has the potential to provide something great in the future if that's your interest.

Are you a permaculturist in that stage of experimentation, theory and want to get real contact with the dirt and animals and plants and have the freedom to explore farming/life? Because I am down and willing to inform.

So friends, gardeners, herbalists, artists, musicians, nature lovers and any other cool folks looking for a spot, reach out to me! Thank you all!



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