We don’t talk about change. We live it.
Hidden Grove is seeking interns, wwoofers, and curious folks to help us on the off-grid homestead in IL, starting in spring again, as well as people interested in living here, helping to grow the community long term or seasonally.
Hidden Grove is off-grid, farm land to the egalitarian, free, rainbow warrior collective, living free of hierarchy, coercion, and oppression.
The collective uses consensus based decision making, radical sharing/gift economy, mutual aid, compassion, positive communication, the permaculture principles and biodynamic practices to propagate and maintain a sustainable, fruitful and abundant land, and lifestyle that bolsters the heart and spirit.
The best way to get involved is to spend time on the farm, to get a better feel for how we might best help each other. We have several outlets to facilitate a mutually beneficial exchange of time and energy from our guest, for the rich experience, learning, food, and a bed or place to pitch a tent. We are currently seeking long term help for the 2017 season, and beyond. .
The following sections describe what to expect on the farm as far as conditions, accommodations, and work. I hope you find the information helpful in making a decision regarding a stay with us!
What is expected
Guests are courteous, have a passion for sustainability, active, determined to learn, optimistic, and tidy.
Day-to-Day Life on the Land:
Every morning, we eat a basic breakfast of oatmeal or cereal with seasonal fruits and vegetables. We get to work by 9:00 am and break at noon for lunch. Lunch varies greatly depending upon what’s available in the garden. We often eat stir fry, Indian dishes, spaghetti, raw salads, brick-oven baked goods, our own pasture-raised pork, soups, last year’s canned goods, and staples from the root cellar—. Lunch usually runs about an hour, after which we will continue to work until 5:00 pm, or until the daily chores are complete if they are time sensitive. If someone sleeps in, they can expect to continue working after the rest of us have finished, in order to catch up. We will then usually eat dinner around 6:00 pm. More of the same homegrown, made-from-scratch dishes can be expected for dinner. We often have leftovers, due to cooking large portions for the group, which you are welcome to. After dinner, you will have free time to do whatever you please.
The work varies greatly depending on the time of year, but everyone works simultaneously, either in groups or occasionally on your own. We all share the fruits of our labor, with respect to preserving enough to last throughout the year to come. Generally, there is more than enough food coming out of the garden for fresh eating, preservation, and storage. We tend to work five days a week, or the equivalent of 30 hours, if you want more days off. We spend days off and free time playing music, relaxing, cooking, eating particularly well, swimming in the pond, flying stunt kites, exchanging stories, reading, shooting targets, staring into a blazing campfire, relaxing in a secluded spot, and taking trips into the cities to attend open jams, live music, farmers markets, food forest events, local breweries, and other local events.
Off Grid Living
Electricity: We get a majority of our electricity from solar panels, and it is stored in batteries. If we need a lot of power (for instance, for pumping water, using big power tools, hosting live music, etc.), we use a gas generator. We don’t often use electronics with heating applications, due to the fact that they drain the batteries quickly, and it’s important that we conserve electricity in order to give batteries a longer life span. If the sun is shining and the batteries are full we have more than enough to operate, but it is good to have full batteries if overcast days are to come.
We pump roof-captured, filtered rain water uphill to a cistern, or holding tank, which provides us with running water. This is what we all drink and cook with. We use an advanced, silver infused charcoal filter, and are currently getting a slow sand filter up and running. While you are able to drink as much as your heart desires, we try to use the water wisely, as the rain is not a predictable resource.
Accommodations and Sleeping Arrangements:
Earth Home: This structure is still under construction, but has a functional shower, composting toilet, kitchen, living room, jam-space, and workshop, and is complete with heat, running water, and solar electricity. If it’s not nice outside we can enjoy downtime or work on projects in here. There are beds in the earth home, as well. Several hang from the ceiling in loft space, while a few are mounted to the wall and fold up for storage during the day. Each measures approximately 3.75’x7′.
This structure has one full wall, and a partial wall with the rest open for proper summer ventilation. It is fully equipped with a large stainless steel sink and countertop, brick oven, gas stovetop and oven, running water, sleeping/storage loft, picnic tables, and storage space stocked with ingredients and spices. It also has an attached outdoor shower with privacy. It also features a loft bed, which is suspended from the ceiling of the outdoor kitchen. It frequently fills up with items laying around the kitchen like clothes, instruments, shoes, etc., and measures approximately 4’x8’.
Two Micro Cabins:
One cabin sleeps three comfortably and measures 9’x14’. It features three windows, a storage loft, shelves, a wood stove, and limited solar power (enough for lighting, phone charging and a small radio). The other cabin is set up for one person, or perhaps a couple. It has one window, plenty of storage space, and measures 8’x12’. More cabins are to come this year, if all goes well.
Bring your tent or hammock if you prefer an isolated camping experience. There are plenty of nooks and flat, shady spots all over the land that are great for this purpose. We only ask that you move your site every week (or less!) to keep the grass happy and the spot unspoiled for the next visitor.
While our outdoor shower is in-line solar heated and has good water pressure, we have to conserve water, so showers must be quick. The indoor shower, located in the earth home, also has solar heated water, but must be refilled for each use. We tend not to shower everyday, unless we’re getting particularly dirty, but you are welcome to, as long as the rain keeps coming. Natural soap is required to bathe on our property, which is also provided and made on-site, if you should need any.
Composting Toilets: We have an outhouse and a toilet in the earth home. Both are composting toilets, and need a couple handfuls of sawdust thrown in with each use to keep them from stinking and functioning correctly. Composting toilets help keep the farm in a closed loop cycle, save clean water, and, as mentioned before, don’t stink like traditional outhouses.
Food Grown On-Site:
An abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables are available for everyone’s consumption on the land, with respect to preserving plans. We have a wide variety of canned goods from last year’s bounty, and a root cellar that provides staples that are out of season. We take turns cooking for the group, so you aren’t required to cook for yourself.
Work can be difficult, but is often very fulfilling and fun with many hands and the right attitude. While we joke around a lot and are generally laid-back, we take our responsibilities very seriously, as we will suffer directly should we fail to accomplish them. With that being said, we play as hard as we work and have celebrations regularly. Everyone is treated equally and receives the same food, water, and accommodations. We maintain a calm atmosphere in free time with plenty of opportunity for stimulation. Many people read and study from our library while sipping on tea. I want our land to be a home away from home, and hold a special place in the hearts of all those who visit. Let’s make our future brighter with our coordinated intentions and actions! I hope to see you on the farm soon, take care of yourself.
The website is still being updated but for the most part its correct