Volunteering with Us 😊

Over the last twenty years we have enjoyed volunteers from all over the world. Many of them have become family of heart, returning often.We are trying to share the concept that everyone can work toward being more sustainable, a few steps at a time.

As the years have gone by we’ve learned a lot about what works for us and what doesn’t! I thought I’d share a little about what a volunteer can expect here and what we are looking in return.

While we do ask our volunteers to help out, it is mainly about sharing our love for our local culture and the beauty of our area. If we can create a love for it, hopefully it will help preserve it for future generations!

Our life is fairly primitive, but we love it!

Most of the year, volunteers stay in tents down on the campsite.Our campsite is also our native plant garden..with paths winding around colonies of wonderful plants, some of them rare or endangered.While you are here you’ll learn about them.

The bath house has a cold water shower and compost potty…the shower is gravity flow, and has a wood burning hot water tank. The walls have art ….paintings by different volunteers..my favorite was by Charlene, She was from Quebec…all of 99 pounds soaking wet! She came in mid Febuary and it SNOWED!

When she came up to the house the next morning, we asked if she’d been warm enough! Her painting was better with snow coming down…😂

We teach as we go, sharing not only how we do something, but why. Often there be another way of doing it…even a better way..so we try to share those as well.

Another goal is helping volunteers learn how to do things, teaching old time skills…between us we know many of the old ways of doing things..I grew up with herbs both traditional, and the wild ones, so that’s a big focus of what I share.

We set down to three family style meals, sharing Our day and making plans for the next one.

We also take off hiking to the scenic areas nearby…floating the Buffalo during season, and encourage our guests to visit places like Horseshoe Canyon Ranch to climb.

We ask folks to each help with a house chore and an outside chore and then help a few hours each morning with whatever project is in the works. Many hosts ask for more hours, but we have been happy with this arrangement.

Most of our projects are aimed at making a minimum impact on our land…our home was designed using passive solar concepts, and utilizing wind patterns and passive design to help cool it. Our gardens are developed using a meld of French Intensive gardening and horticulture concepts. We forage wild plants in season, hunt and fish..using several different methods of preserving our harvests. Much of our home medical care is herbal based.

We try to share the ideas behind all this and love hearing ideas from our volunteers as well.We have learned so much from them !

Things You Will Need as a Volunteer 😇

Often some of our newer volunteers come in not really prepared for a stay. While we make sure you stay warm and safe, it is easier if you do bring some basics with you.

PLEASE do not go broke buying stuff! We can fill in the blanks.But a little preparation will make you experience better, whichever host you end up staying with ☺

Things we feel are basic for you to have:

A good sleeping bag – it can get very cold here! You also may want to bring A favorite pillow.

A headlamp for walking at night…the house is a ways from the main cabin…and we often go on hikes that last after dark..one of our favorites is moonrise at Hawksbill Crag!

A water bottle..we’d like to discourage bottled water being brought in ….that’s A lot of packaging to recycle!

A good battery powered lamp for your tent or cabin is nice comfort to have.

Batteries! We are on limited funds, so unexpected requests for batteries can end up in whoops sorry😕

Loads of socks, Arkansas weather can be humid..and things don’t dry fast.

A warm hat..beanies work well

.Raingear!

A warm jacket and sweatshirt. Layering clothing is good here. Mornings can be below freezing in winter, and then warm up into the 60’s.

Creek shoes..we hike our creek a lot…

Good hiking boots/work boots..you need good ankle support here..lots of rocks and ankle turners.

Be sure you have any prescriptions up to date..there are times when we don’t get out to town for over a week..our hill is very dangerous in bad weather.

Other things that are nice to have:

Chargers for your electronic gadgets…

Camera

Notebook and pencils

Swimwear and big towel in the warmer months.

Hope this helps you get ready for a visit

Herbhome’s Mission

Mission? That works 🙂

Several of our volunteers have asked that we post our view of what we are about – so here goes…

I thought it would be tough to write about just what we believe and why we do what we do. Surprisingly it is fairly easy.

We want to pass on the love we have for our hills and hollows and be sure that the homestead skills don’t get lost. we hope to show that sustainability doesn’t have to happen in an instant- but can be achieved one baby step at a time.

We can create a better world by taking the dreams in our head and using our hands and skills to bring it to life.

I think that we interact with the “real world” daily, like it or not. Maybe we can make a difference by the small things we change on a daily basis. I used to be one of the loud , aggressive, up front people for the causes I thought were important. Now I think my role has changed. It is more about teaching, making small changes- “baby steps” each one making the word a little better. My best image is of the pebble dropping into the still pool . each ripple going out , touches and changes the next one.

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We love the hills and hollows here and treasure the waters – the Buffalo – our Creeks and Springs are all  rich and beautiful. The culture here is deeply ingrained in our community and we are gifted with a good array of skills that are important to pass done so they won’t be lost.

Our volunteers from the  different work exchange programs we are involved in hopefully walk away with a love for our area- the culture and people as well as a respect for the ecology that is so rich.

I think sustainability starts one person at a time.. if we can pass that on, then we have achieved a big goal!

Day to Day Living -Garden

(Missed a few post for some reason- this is older -)

It was glorious outside today!

Neill and Jason got the green house almost done yesterday, so I went down and finished it out this AM.

Jason and Eric had dug the beds up really well about a month  ago , carried manure for me and it was in good shape…

I laid out six beds and then double dug them this morning – owww m poor old back haha

Then this afternoon I put out a bunch of stuff for spring garden. Lettuce, carrots, greens, garden peas and some bush and pole beans. Stuck some tomato seeds in pots on top of the water barrels so hopefully they will sprout soon 🙂 it felt so nice , being out in the sunshine, getting my toes in the dirt.

It is a good feeling planting a garden to feed your family . It’s a very creative process as well- my garden has flowers scattered everywhere – both as companion plants, as cutting flowers for the house and even just because…

Several more beds down in the lower garden to plant this round, then we’ll take a timeout to wait for the signs to be right again for the next round. I try to do succession plantings of salad stuff- and canning things like green beans .

 

I took a walk in between garden  time today – the woods are still horribly dry – leaves crackling and just ready to flare up at any moment. PLEASE b e super careful with fires until we get more rains.

It’s raining , it’s pouring, the old man is snoring….

(Old post- got missed some how – sorry)

Morning! Rain and more rain ! Creek is up – worrying what shape our bottom road will be in when this rain is all done- weather report says five days of it next week. I love being home but have guests due in – yikes!!! Happy news – Grand-daughter Summer is graduating Sunday – a year early ! So very proud of all her hard work .. . she is a special, beautiful young lady – both inside and out 🙂 Seeing her grow into such a strong and intelligent young woman has been a great gift. Many youngsters are either good looking or good people – MY girl is both LOL!

Had nice visit with friends from church last night -made a fish dinner and had a rare treat for us – ice cream 🙂 They stayed and yakked – think Brother Flippo is going to take  our volunteer Ben out one day next week to play disc golf- Misaki is due in by bus today – can’t wait to meet her- she is an exchange  student from Japan at West Florida University.  Jada and Jeremy are coming in for the weekend , so we should have a houseful- have to set up a Scabble marathon!

 

Daily Thoughts- July 8th

Mornin’ !

Beautiful one- nice breeze and sunny here – we had  a few spotty showers yesterday , but it was glorious- had a day spent helping daughter Carrie- then Darrell BBQ’d for us- got a lot done- missed my class, and forgot to call- I hate that – think it is horribly rude. but got wrapped up in the process – hauling sheet rock , hanging doors and all.  think my memory has an overload switch  and just shuts off,  haha!

Got to visit with Summer a little too- she is enjoying her lifeguard job.

Nicholas helped out the men and got rewarded with a real door ! Happy dance!

Started this morning  out early- Rosie treed about 5 AM  and I went up the hollow to see what it was- had a nice coon up a beech tree- called her off  and walked back down the Creek- drying up , but the big holes still are running – though most of the springs on the west side are dry now. Bees are working something up n the bench – but didn’t feel like hiking up there. Took some time to just sit at one of my favorite pools- It has a beautiful run oinging water- and the breeze was so nice. Coming back down the old road, I saw the south end of a bear headed north – he was bookin’. Chance set himself right across in front of me- “Mom – you’re not going that way – LOL – for such a small dog he sure is bossy.

Chance is my hero dog – I had been going to get a Border Collie pup- but was having trouble finding one I really liked- a lady had pups in the parking lot at Bob’s (now Harp’s) and this tiny guy grabbed my heart- colored just like a BC – so I “took a chance” on him. – He was Aussie/Sheltie cross- and we have boon companions since . He loves snow-his first snow he put his long snoowze down it and started rooting around like a little pig. Buried himself ! He is in charge of the place-

This morning is busy- hiked , then worked in the garden for a couple of hours- tomatoes are later here in the hollow, but have a lot setting on- herbs to harvest – banana peppers are ripe, zucchini and yellow squash are almost ready..

Getting things ready to plant when the signs are right next week- I usually set things out the first week , but my beds weren’t read. y. We are so lucky to be able to have three gardens here each year- occasionally the spring one doesn’t make , but it is worth planting it, for when it does well , it is amazing! Ben weeded tomatoes yesterday for me- this batch are the ones that YO set out.

The baby Muscovy ducks that Jimmie gave us are doing beautifully – I love watching them – they are so clownish. One of them is colored up like a Dominique chicken – he looks so funny. Gave Carrie and Darrell six of the new batch – may they have as much fun as I do!!! The young bourbon red turkeys we got from Ronnie are coming along nicely- they are intended as a breeding flock – the next generation will be yummy for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Got the Nannies moved down into their new digs- took down the temporary cross fence and todays project is taking down the temporary chicken house- the knob is now ready to do all our work on the tower- nothing in the way except rocks , energy and  time !

This wind tower has been a lesson in patience for me- we will get it up soon, I am sure. Maybe….. LOL

Tomorrow we will be celebrating three birthdays at a potluck dinner- Neill’s was the 5th, Ben’s is today and Darrell’s was the 23rd of June.  I am surrounded by Cancers! 🙂 come join us if you can tomoro!

 

Creek Walk and Kittens !

 

Whoo-hooo! The Creek is up! Not out of her banks , but right at it – rolling , muddy and white water!  Part of our life style is living with , rather than battling , the Creek in all her moods-so after heavy rains I walk down the hill and check her out!

I took a lot of pictures of plants walking down to the creek – let’s do an id album- see what you can identify! This is one of the reasons I fell in love with the place the first day we set foot on it.

Other news of note- 6 bob tail kittens- so cute!