This is a general breakdown of areas of the homestead in which you can engage during a short or long term visit.  Please consider in which areas you have interest and/or skill and communicate your goals and abilities as much as possible.  We need help in all areas but also want you to learn during your stay!  Generally we offer a work exchange for food and/or boarding.

  • Kitchen and shared meals – preparing food, cooking, cleaning related to collective meals.  These are generally in mid day (2pm) during peak heat of summer or evenings (5-7pm) throughout the rest of the year.  This might also involve creating menus, getting food, coordinating with the harvesting crew, etc.
  • Processing food – creating “value added” foods such as dehydrated fruits and vegetables, jams, etc. for both the homestead use and for direct sale under the cottage food laws of Michigan.  We welcome micro-enterprise ideas.  This is an area for possible income for those who can see an entire process through from beginning to end or have a particular skill such as marketing.  This happens in the kitchen of the main house when a big harvest comes in from Earthen Heart or a nearby farm.
  • Cleaning house – we try to do a deep clean once a week and there is ongoing need as with any home to clean the collectively used areas such as bathroom, kitchen and dining room.
  • Maintenance – this is related to ongoing and maintenance of the house and property.  Things such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry, fencing and mechanical issues can come up at any time.
  • Workshop – the list of machines and tools always in need of care and attention includes:  a rototiller, chainsaw, push mowers, saws, axes, rakes, shovels, etc.
  • Childcare – we welcome a hand now and then getting all the little ones together and doing something fun, educational, nature based and physically challenging.
  • Animal care – Though we currently only have 10 or so chickens, 3 dogs and a cat, it was not long ago we had goats, ducks, rabbits and many more chickens.  That is in large part due to the amount of time it takes to care for these animals.  We welcome expanding the diversity if others can assist.
  • Automotive – though we have a reliable mechanic in town, there is always a need for someone with skills related to maintenance and repair of cars.
  • Gardens – there is, of course, an ongoing need for planning, weeding, sowing, mulching, harvesting, irrigating and otherwise tending to the plants in our gardens.
  • Bucket and Shovel work / Soil Movement – this involves moving leaves from the forest as mulch, transferring different soil types from one area to another, digging out ponds and chinampas, moving rocks, biochar and ash to certain areas and generally moving heavy things around from one area to another.
  • Blueberries in August – there is a peak need for help at this time.
  • Garlic in July – also a great need, though less intense than blueberries.