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Forest Garden volunteer opportunity in the North Cascades  RSS feed

 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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Work/learn in an established perennial permaculture landscape

In the riparian zone of the Skagit River Valley in Northwestern Washington state is a 12 year experiment in creating long-term sustainable food production by using food forest and permaculture principles and exploring edible food varieties from around the world that can thrive in the unique conditions of this land. We are off the grid with no running water and strive to create a system that does not rely on external inputs. We are looking for volunteers that want to learn from and contribute to this vision. For more details see my posts or send me a personal message with a bit about yourself.

More info about the "farm"
The land is 46 beautiful acres of riparian forest that has a creek and river access. The developed area includes small cabins, gardens, a library, outdoor kitchen, workshop and camping areas.  We have no electricity on site, nor running water. We get our water from a hand pumped well or from water catchment.
The community of people has varied from about 6-12 people with occasional gatherings. We expect folks to work hard with us, putting in around 20 hours a week.  We are into simplicity, eating local, foraging, hard work, music, preparing for "the collapse", and being creative about more sustainable ways to live. Work here could consist of helping with management of an existing forest garden, gathering native fruits, natural building. local food processing, country living chores etc.
Pets and children may be okay. English with some Spanish spoken.  We are close to the North Cascades National Park, other organic farms, eagle wintering sites, beautiful and wild rivers and stunning mountains. Bellingham is 60 miles away, Mount Vernon 40.
"WWOOF"ers may camp, live in their own vehicle, or perhaps have space in a small dwelling. Life is rustic but good. Bathing is in the creek or at the campground a mile away. "WWOOF"ers have access to the outdoor kitchen and mainly local food. Some meals are shared, usually omnivorous, gluten free and with a wild component. Other food cults can be accommodated.

 
Steven Kraft
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I can vouch that this opportunity is wonderful, and quite unique.  Surely it is not for everyone, in that it is rustic, and not even close to an organic row farm.  This is what makes the place so excellent!  It's permaculture!

In my experience traveling the US and the EU, it is rare to find someone so dedicated to living in a way such as this.  The OP has a vast knowledge of the bioregion and its history, and has developed a deep relationship with his land, carrying a lot of information about perennials, trees, shrubs, and simple living.  I stayed there for over a week this past winter and enjoyed the company of him and his community, meals together, hikes, learning from the plentiful books in the library, and especially from the life experience of someone who has worked for quite some time with a piece of land, using simple technology combined with observation and humility.

Have fun - I'll surely be going back again!

_S
 
                                                
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It sounds like you have a pretty amazing thing going on here. Is there any pictures of what you have established so far? Also i am a college student, graduating in may, and seeking to experience and learn somewhere such as this place you have described. Is this a one time opportunity or would it still be available in the upcoming year?
 
Rebecca morgan
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HI there,
I couldnt figure out how to send you a private message, but didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to start dialogue with you about coming to particapate in the sytems yall have been working on establishing for what I understand to be around 12years! wow! I feel that from reading your post yall have alot to offer in terms of experiential learning, and I have enthusiasm for contributing what I can to help bring yall closer to a place of creating an integral relationship with your land base. I have contributed to alot of farm systems that make me wonder "why am I toiling so hard just to perpetuate systems that require a life of toiling, and why are they doing this to themselves??!!" maybe they believe they'll still be able to order online their pounds of imported leaf compost to be dumped at the loading dock of for their trackter trailer every week for the rest of their lives. Not to say that I think using gas guzzlers are inherently wrong, just that I believe they are tools best used to initially bring one or a peoples towards being able to step away from such dependecies. Well, I am sure that before you would invite me to have fun with yall you would like to hear more about me, I too would like to be able to talk more with you. I would prefer to do that either through email or phone. An email you can message me at is crappymikspoonhead@yahoo.com, once contacted there I would be comfortable in giving you a phone number you can reach me at if you prefer. Either way it sounds like yall are doing some cool stuff, and I send wishes of the fruits bearing with a decline of nessasary labor,
sincerely
Rebecca
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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For more info google"matt feral farm".For the ideological underpinnings of the project google"farmzine beyond agriculture".A zine I wrote in 2002.(Id link but my phone dont let me)
 
Shane Gordon
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Location: Etobicoke Ontario
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this is a really cool project. i am extremely interested. i send you a PM on here. let me know
 
Alexandra Budz
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Hi my name is Alexandra Budz,

I am a recent graduate of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. I have always loved gardening , and my family tries to use organic produce, meats, etc. and I have become very interest, in doing more. I don't not really have a great deal of experience with permacullture farming, but have done a great deal of research and I would love to learn more.

If you have any opportunities please let me know,

Thank you in advance for your time
 
Shannon Sylte
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I am interested in volunteering in May 2013.

May I have some more information?


Thanks!!

-Shannon
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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Its easier for me to respond to emails than the personal message service.You can find it listed on my profile.Thanks,M@
 
Shilpa Gaur
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I am interested in coming in April.
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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We are still going strong this year.Infrastructure improvements are almost done!
 
Matt Ferrall
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Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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Here is a link to the Feral Farm website.

www.feralfarmagroforestry.com
 
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