PERMACULTURE AND COMMUNITY FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVING
We host visitors all year and are open to various types of work-trade or other arrangements depending on your needs, resources, and interest. We have a 2-week minimum for folks who would like to be part of the village, and longer term membership is negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Some FAQ for visitors:
Do you grow all your own food? How sustainable are you?
We do grow and process much of our own food, especially in the summer and fall, and this is a focus of our life here. Our garden provides lots of fresh, organic, produce, and we use honey from our bees and eggs from our chickens. We enjoy harvesting and drying herbs for tea and medicine, canning, pickling, fermenting, and inventing new recipes to enjoy the garden bounty, as well as foraging mushrooms and edible plants from the forest. We also buy groceries regularly, including grains, dairy, condiments, and some processed foods.
We also have a strong sustainable infrastructure for living, including solar panels, springfed water, woodstove heat and composting toilets. At the same time, residents maintain jobs or sources of income in the cash economy, drive cars to work, and use fossil fuels and power tools to help us get projects done faster.
We are always interested in learning more and providing for more of our own needs - from baking and fermenting to wildcrafting, trapping, building, and improving our food production capability - as we work towards a future of localized, resilient communities. We welcome your contributions of knowledge, energy and enthusiasm to this ongoing project!
Can you accommodate my dietary needs?
We generally provide simple vegetarian food; all our garden produce is organic but groceries may not be. Vegans have been happy participating in community meals - especially those who have decided to partake in eggs from our contented chickens. Please mention if you have specific dietary guidelines or restrictions, as we may not be able to accommodate strict diets.
Where will I be sleeping?
If you have your own mobile sleeping arrangement (van, *small* camper that can pass through the river, tent, etc.,) you are welcome to set up shop wherever you like. On 160 acres there are many nice spots to camp. In summer, most people stay in tents - we have a few that we can share if you can’t bring your own.
We currently have 3 small cabins and one larger building that we rent to short-term visitors. Renters have priority, but often some of the cabins or beds will be available to residents on a random, night-by-night basis.
What are the living accommodations like?
Things are rustic and beautiful around here; if you expect to be camping in the wilderness you’ll find the village luxurious since we have an indoor bathroom with hot shower, a seasonally available wood-fired sauna, an established outdoor kitchen, and an indoor communal kitchen / living room. Terrain is steep; weather is hot in the summer and often rainy in the winter with a rare chance for snow.
What kinds of tasks will I be doing?
Projects vary from day to day and by season, but include all of these:
Cleaning of common areas and housekeeping for rental cabins
Animal care for dogs, cats, bees & chickens
Gardening projects: weeding, planting, harvesting, mulching, pruning, watering, shoveling, etc.
Food processing: cooking, fermenting, canning, pickling, etc.
Maintenance & building projects: building stone walls, moving & cutting firewood, water system repair & expansion, building maintenance & repair, figuring out how to make things work, etc
What is the work schedule like?
We keep a weekly schedule where each person can write in their own hours for the week ahead. You can choose to take days off or spread your hours out over the week. We also keep an “activity log” where each person writes down what they did on a given day so we can keep track of what’s happening and what still needs to be done.
What kind of community activities or structures do you have?
Tuesday evening is our community meeting night, usually around 7-9 pm. We have a logistics meeting to talk about scheduling, upcoming events and projects, and what the coming week will look like for everyone.
After logistics meeting, we have a short group practice which we take turns leading (it can be anything from a guided meditation to a physical movement or communication practice, a reading from a book or something silly). This is followed by “Heart Club” which is a group circling practice where we create a safe, confidential space for each person to share what is going on for them in their inner life.
Will I need money?
We currently offer work-trade arrangements, varying by season, for folks who want to experience life in an off-grid homestead. We provide room and board in exchange for 30 hours per week of work contribution.
People have lived happily with this arrangement for many months, but if you should desire such things as a car, cellphone, insurance, vacation travel, medical needs, etc., it would be up to you to provide those things. Although there is a bit of a commute, many people who live and have lived in the village have also held jobs in nearby towns. There are also several farmer’s markets that run from June to October where you can sell things that you make.
-- Our desire is for our everyone to have a mutually beneficial, rewarding experience built on understanding and realistic expectations. Here are some important or atypical distinctions about MMV we want you to know about before you commit to a visit:
1) This is RUSTIC living. Three of our four cabins are primitive, meaning they have no electricity, running water or indoor plumbing --those amenities are accessed in our common structures. We use composting toilets.
2) Our location is REMOTE. If it might bother you to be far removed from the grid, reconsider your length of stay. Be aware that there are bears and mountain lions here, too, although you'll probably never see one.
3) We have three DOGS, four CATS, and CHICKENS. We will consider other well-behaved animals although owners are responsible for their own animals including food, medications, etc. All of our animals are primarily "working" animals; though we love and pet them they all live outdoors and have a job to do in the village. Dogs are generally not allowed inside the community hall.
4) BEE stings. We keep beehives and they are in relatively close proximity to cabins and this means you could get stung. If allergic, come prepared.
5) We are in the "FORMING" stage of development. There are a few of us here full time with some part time supporters and volunteers.
6) CELL/INTERNET. We have very limited cellphone service (1-2 bars of "extended" service, no 3/4G) available from Verizon and US Cellular. Other carriers do not serve our area at all; if you have AT&T or other providers the closest cell service would be in Cave Junction or Crescent City. Those who do have service are often happy to lend a phone if you need to send or receive messages. We do NOT have wifi or internet service - please let your worried parents/family/friends know that you may be out of phone/electronic reach if you anticipate not having phone service in or near the village.
7) PERFECTION. For being all about buzz words like sustainability and green and all, our diet is often NOT organic, IS omnivorous, and some of our building materials are not "green." It happens. This can open up a larger conversation about embodied energy, buying local, convenience and cost/benefit ratio, but you should know that these kinds of sins sometimes happen here. We have even been known to eat Ben and Jerry's ice cream and potato chips and utilize a bulldozer. Idealists and purists beware.
8) With all of the logistics that goes into correspondence, directions, pick-up, orientation and so forth, we ask for a TWO WEEK MINIMUM commitment on volunteer stays. Unless we make other arrangements before or during your visit, please honor our minimum stay agreement.
9) WORK. Weeding, digging, raking, hammering, and loading materials, etc is physical work. If you're not in pretty good shape or haven't recently been doing this kind of work, it could be challenging. Be realistic. If you have bad knees, back or feet, please reconsider. Our volunteers commit to a weekly 30 hour contribution. We teach you what we know, take care of room and board, and offer a unique experience in exchange for your volunteer work.
10) WEATHER. Especially if your visit is between December and April (the rest of the year is easy) you should be apprised that this is temperate rainforest. Temperature lows are in the 30's and it can rain for eight days straight in winter months. We had 112 inches of rain during the 2010-2011 season (from July1st to June 30). In order to be prepared for winter months you should be emotionally OK with cold wet days and bring suitable rain gear.