Join the Team!
Deep Mountain Farm is situated just outside the small mountain town of Fayetteville in the New River Gorge Region of West Virginia. An area known for its incredible outdoor activities such as rock climbing, rafting, mountain biking, hiking and more! We (Chris and Christine) are heading into our 3rd year on our 40+ acre farm, surrounded by pristine National Park land. We are a family of 4 with 2 children under the age of 5.
We can provide space for camping (on a platform) on our farm someone or a couple. We are looking for folks to stay a minimum of 3 weeks May-Oct 2019. We provide meals, a place to camp/shower and education in exchange for work put in on the farm. We are happy to pick you up from the airport or bus station.
Over 25 acres of the farm is covered in 75 year old forest and the remainder is pasture, orchard and garden space. The farm has 6 springs, some of which meet at the base of our mountain and form a creek that cut through the farm. Before we moved here the farm was left vacant for 30 years. The orchard is over grown, the pastures are low quality and scrubby and what is left of the infrastructure is beginning to fall over. Many of our projects centered around the intention to reclaim our overgrown farm and rebuilding.
To manage our pasture we have 3 family milk cows and their calves and a small herd of hair sheep. We raise, process and package about 400 meat birds a year. We rotate the grazing animals around the farm, follow them with the flock of birds and give the pasture a chance to rest. Animal chores typically involve feeding and watering all the animals daily and periodically moving them around the farm, trimming hooves and administering dewormer, checking fences and butchering meat birds for sale. If we have an animal in milk we add daily milking to the agenda as well. We use mobile fencing to get our grazers into the hard to reach corners of the farm. So a weekly or monthly chore involves setting up fences, moving animals and breaking down fences.
We have 3 Livestock Guardian Dogs that live full-time with our animals. For this reason we ask that visitors do not bring their pets with them. It’s stressful to our livestock who often have young with them. Our guardians only see strange dogs as threats. For for everyone’s safety your dog (no matter how well mannered) needs to stay home. Our LGD’s are people friendly once introduced and very wise. One is a still pup under a year old. We are very strict with his upbringing to sculpt him into an outstanding working dog. If you think their barking at night will keep you up we suggest earplugs. If that’s not something you think you can adjust to we won’t be the right farm for you, sorry!
We also maintain a garden with annual vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs and garlic, although I think this year we are downsizing some to use our time in other ways. The garden is in its early stages of development we are focused mostly on building soil and suppressing weeds.
This year we are planning 2 on farm events, the first will be a homesteading educational event. We are collaborating with another farm to teach a series of skills to folks who visit for an overnight. The second is a cooking workshop on the farm.
Some projects we’d like help with beyond basic chores:
+ Installing fencing. This involves stretching wire, hanging gates, etc. its simple stuff once you get into a rhythm. This is a project we would do as a group (we often call out to the community for extra hands)
+ We have a school bus on the property we need to clean up and paint. its pretty worn out, but we’d like to get it in better shape and use it for hay storage this coming winter.
+ We will be building an outdoor cooking space from stones found on the farm. This project would involve hauling the stones our of the woods and some basic masonry work. A learn-as-we-go project!
+ Prepping the farm for our 2 events. This involved organizing things, mowing, etc.
+ Landscaping. We have plans for a medicinal flower garden.
+ Canning throughout the season. We put up a lot of food.
+ Make soaps, salves and other value added products for our farm store.
+ Build an outhouse on the farm. We have a fun idea in mind and look forward to completing this project! It will likely be started by May.
We would like to hear from you! How do you see yourself fitting in? Feel free to ask us any questions! We are a fun loving family who is passionate about this way of life and are excited to share the growing season with other enthusiastic people!
And just a heads up! Our children (4 and 1 year) are at our side for everything. It’s important to us that our farm helpers are comfortable around kids and can be patient with them. Our oldest is very inquisitive ( at that age!) and like to work with us.
ALSO! This should go without saying, but we’ll say it. We don’t discriminate! All are welcome! We are open to others perspectives and look forward to learning from you, too!
Chris and Christine Jackson