Hazzard Free Farm & CSA

Pecatonica, IL

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Farm Description:

My farm is 6 acres Certified Naturally Grown. Woman owned and operated with many other irons in the fire. Situated on 240 acres with a creek good for cooling off in an lots of free range fowl, dogs, and cats it has the feeling of remoteness without being remote!

2012 will be the 6th year in business as a vegetable and herb farm. We added grain to the mix in 2011 and with our Oats, Corn and Barley, this year we will add Wheat and several other grains to that. Opportunities may arise on the other farm located 7 miles away for those that are quick, handy, have some experience and are interested in learning the larger scale side of farming by working with the grains.

The farm has 4 greenhouses two of which are movable and is focused on honing the off season production as well as maintaining main season production. I am experimenting with small grains and roller crimpers. I am usually certified CNG. My practices are organic or beyond. I believe in saving seed and am working toward more varieties every year.

The farm is a business. I expect you to treat it as such. I will not ask you to do something I wouldn't or haven't done myself. Being through is very important, asking questions, being present of good attitude and ready to learn and work hard. I expect that you will have proper footwear, long pants, good gloves and a hat. Know thyself.

Projects: Build a walk in cooler. Create an organized separate storage area off of packing shed and reconfigure packing area. Build growing area in packing shed. Repair barn doors and replace barn windows. Add windows to new chicken house and finish interior, build nest boxes and better roosts.
install wood burning fireplace in barn. Repair raku kiln. Build shelving for storage in corn crib. Build drying racks for onions and garlic in shed. Finish cleaning and putting together a system for large scale entertaining in barn. Finish irrigation system. Build some stone walls. Create a seed cleaning area. Many other things that i don't have time to write.

Length of stay: several days to several weeks. I am open to longer and seasonal stays for the right people. Apprentices welcome.

Work can encompass such tasks as chores, planting, bed prep, weeding, brooding chores, transplanting, tilling, mulching, harvesting, washing, packing, delivery, splitting wood, maintaining perennial beds, repair and maintenance of buildings and equipment, record-keeping, organization buildings and systems. Mason and stone work, talking to visitors, eating amazing food, creating art, relaxing in the "hill-billy sauna" taking walks, entertaining, meeting other farmers, locals, family and friends, and surely some things i haven't thought of!

I am a youthful person and this is a youthful place that i approach with reverence, resolve, spirit, learning, creativity, community, art, music (not usually mine) and problem solving. Friendly to ALL people of good heart and open mind.

WWOOFers accepted almost any time.

Accommodations: Are in the 5 bedroom 106 year old main house. I have 2 rooms with queen beds and bedding and one room with a comfy futon and bedding. The bedrooms are animal free. smoking rules are decided upon by the house members, though usually outside. Laundry is available onsite and typically hung to dry. There are outbuildings that may be of interest to some and plenty of space to carve out a nook for camping, along with a campfire area.

Transportation: A bus comes to the area from Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison and i am happy to spirit you from the station to the farm or vice versa with notice. A vehicle may be available for your use.

Language: I understand alot of Spanish though my speaking is limited i would relish the opportunity to learn. I can sing in german! Silence is golden and human experience is universal and can be expressed in a myriad of ways.

Pets can come but I may require that they are restrained if they have a penchant fighting or for chasing poultry or cats. They are not allowed in the house (my dogs are outdoors). Respectful and farm experienced children are welcome, this is a working farm with a large creek and large equipment around and lots of dangerous situations a child could easily get themselves into. Ask me I have stories ;)

Meals: All visitors are expected to participate in basic kitchen duties. All you can eat from the garden, fowl for butchering as we need it and other meat as it comes. I am a carnivore. I respect and am interested in learning other types of cooking. I have never met a dish i didn't like. In the summer I often eat from the garden, I tend to cook on weekends or when friends are coming out. Due to my extremely busy schedule often you may be on your own. I keep the kitchen stocked with the basics and Local milk is available, eggs are here, some fish in the creek and i am experimenting with mushrooms. If you are dedicated to the farm for an extended stay. I am willing to purchase specific food, coffee, tea, other, etc. for you (within reason) and Rockford has a good selection of natural food markets as well as ethnic.

Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee are a stones throw away. There may be other day or weekend opportunities on other farms or markets in Chicago for the right people. 8,000 Acres of Forest Preserve are in the area and a lively nightlife in Rockford.

Being a traveler is being open to the is. It is also vulnerable as is opening ones home, energy and mind to strangers. We shall be aware of these things and of each other so that we can give each other the space and understanding to thrive.

warmest regards
the farmer

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