Family camp in an Eco village near New York
Project & location:
Joan and Jason started their organic farm project in Janurary 2015. Joan’s background in sculpture, horse farm management, growing her own food and natural building combined with Jason's background in plant science, landscaping and arboriculture have complimented well to develop the farm.
Both passionate about seasonal vegetarian cuisine and animated by their love for their farm animal friends, they are an inspiring example of sustainable homesteading.
This slice of paradise consists of 225 acre of forested land nestled in the foothills of the Catskills near Albany. The land was purchased by Joan’s family in the early 1970's. It was originally settled in the early 1800's, most likely as a sheep farm. When her parents moved to a different farm keeping the place to pass on to their children, Joan left her life on the horse farm in southern California where she was living and decided to renovate the house and barn.
Once Jason moved in, He spent two months clearing trees to access the incredible view of the Helderburg escarpment and the Adirondack mountains. They started harvesting fence posts and firewood, and clearing old, over grown fields. They experimented with tapping maple trees, wild mushroom hunting and growing niche crops like Lotus. They planted a garden to feed themselves and their help.
There is a variety of fauna that is raised for their products and/or simply as pets. The goats produce mohair fiber, chickens and ducks lay eggs, and the cow produces plenty of milk. There also are a dog, a cat, peacocks, a horse and 2 mini donkeys. Birds and frogs can be heard singing and croaking across the farm. A beautiful koi pond with a waterfall is available for the guests to feed fish.
The vision for the future of the farm is continuing to plant the land, creating the infrastructure to host events, retreats, and workshops, opening a commercial kitchen for catering onsite events, producing meals and farm products for tourists and residents.
Duration: 7 days / 7 nights. All year round.
Arrival on Saturday and departure on the following Saturday.
Who can apply?
This programme is open to any family. Children are welcome from 4 years old but must remain under the care of their parents during both work and leisure time.
Tasks will vary according to the needs of the site when you are there. However, the work will be adapted to families and will not require any particular skills.
The work can be:
⦁ Feeding the animals/animal care (goats, ducks, chickens, peacocks, horses and a milk calf)
⦁ Clearing land, clearing trails
⦁ Work in the garden, weeding gardens
⦁ Propagating mushrooms, mushroom harvesting
⦁ Preparing fiber (mohair from the goats) to spin and waive
⦁ Building fences
⦁ Lumber processing
⦁ Forest land sculpture
⦁ Building with wood or cob or cordwood
⦁ Help with cooking
Joan & Jason will provide training and full support.
Fun activities are available on or near the site, such as:
- Swimming holes & waterfalls
- Visiting underground caves
- River boat rides
Accommodation and living conditions :
There are various types of accommodation depending on the availability when you apply.
⦁ A studio apartment that has a double bed, futons and sleeping mats to accommodate a family: The studio is a hand crafted work of art. From the granite floors to the elaborate wooden bed and hand sculpted kitchen.
⦁ A tipi with a double bed and extra matresses: furnished tipi with a stone floor and fire pit to keep the chill off on cool summer nights.
⦁ Campsites with the possibility to rent tents and sleeping bags. There are several secluded campsites located throughout the property. Each site is uniquely designed into the existing landscape
All of the campsites and the tipi have a private BBQ area, a shared out-door toilet, and have access to a shared outdoor shower and dishwashing sink.
Meals are collective. A cooking team is organised to prepare meals each day as you will share in the tasks of daily life: cooking, washing dishes.. Children take part to collective tasks.
Whether for you or for your children, the benefits of this family workcamp are important:
⦁ Learning about the principles of organic farming and self reliance
⦁ Experience collective life
⦁ Participate in a useful local project
⦁ A lower cost holiday for the whole family
⦁ An introduction to the techniques to work in various fields (working with wood, gardening, etc..)
⦁ Discover a region full of wonderful sights
⦁ And so much more… !
Fees in USD:
⦁ Registration fee to organise and follow up the programme + Membership fees to the association: 295 $ per family (from 1 adult – 1 child)
⦁ Participation fees for accommodation (7 nights /7 days):
Staying in the studio with full kitchen, private full bathroom. Included bedding, towels, kitchen dishes: 560 $
Staying in the tipi with outhouse and fire pit, double bed, sheets, blankets, towels. and room for a cot or two: 400 $
Staying in a tent (renting gear), includes tent, sleeping bags, fire pit, log seats, outhouse nearby: 180 $
⦁ Participation fees for meals: 75 $ per person
"Le séjour s'est très bien passé, nous avons adoré l'endroit, le logement était très bien, nous nous sommes bien entendus avec tout le monde, on a aussi eu l'occasion de faire des choses qu'on n'aurait jamais fait autrement comme travailler la fibre des chèvres angora !"