J. L. HUDSON,
We received this letter from our longtime associate at Strawdog Farm. We hope someone will be interested in this opportunity:
6 November 2012
Ron and I came to Missouri 31 years ago to live a simple life. We built that life, day by day, on an 80 acre farm we named Strawdog. Now Strawdog Farm represents a piece of the past, yet embraces the future. My mate and inspiration for this life of voluntary simplicity, has suffered from dementia and can no longer live an the farm. I now try to figure out how to sustain this way of life.
I would like to have intern/gardeners come and learn how to cook with wood, use a wringer washer, plant a sustainable, organic garden, harvest herbs, can and dry fruits and vegetables, collect and winnow seed, cook with what we grow in the garden and what we receive, as trade, from neighbors and friends, make breads from a sourdough starter, and explore all kinds of ethnic cooking. The day starts around 7am and we quit at 3pm and spend the rest of the day cooking, reading, writing or whatever we enjoy doing on our own.
Strawdog Farm has a 1/4 acre garden we call "The Park" that has a cedar Taj Mahal structure as its entrance and has 7 herbal theme gardens within. We have a 1/2 acre vegetable garden with asparagus beds, rhubarb, blueberries, raspberries, Japanese wineberries, black currants, strawberries and heirloom vegetables in the remaining beds. Flowers and herbs and native plants are intermixed throughout the entire landscape. Natives figure large in my passion arid next year we will begin to establish native grasses in a 10 acre field.
This year we will make plans for a cottage for the intern/gardener. An ideal intern would know about designing a passive solar structure and also enjoy working in this rural landscape. This gardener could come in the early spring and help with the design in exchange for room and board and an opportunity to enjoy another life style.
I have dreams of turning the farm into a learning opportunity, with willow basket making, crafting with bamboo, creating yard art, making wine and other skills a homesteader enjoys. But like our gardens, these things happen organically and only time will tell how it will all pay out.
I'm looking for the unusual, for someone who finds pleasure in discovering a sprig of dill in the late fall garden, enjoys shelling peas for hours, finds comfort in the ordinary and although aware of technology and its gifts, has not become a slave to it all.
If you have thought about a life style similar to what I've described, a summer's internship might help you make that decision. Please send a letter, describing your gardening experience, what you like to do in your spare time, and what you hope to gain from this experience, to:
Mimi Hedl/Strawdog Farm
Belle, Missouri, 65013.
Please include a S.A.S.E.