Come Enjoy the Country Life!
Flower & Vegetable Gardens, Chickens, Ducks, Creek, Pond, Wildflowers, Woods, Wildlife!
Happy Hollow is my name for my small farmette in the country near Bath, PA, about 10 miles from Bethlehem & Allentown. I’ve been here and gardening since 2000, but now need someone to manage the garden & property and harvest and share the food as I spend summer through fall at my new home in Nova Scotia.
UPDATE 2016: Basically at this point I am looking for a house sitter/caretaker for July–October to live here for minimal rent in return for maintaining the property, gardens and caring for the animals: 3 cats, 5 chickens & 2 ducks.
All the other share options mentioned below are still open for consideration of course. Contact me ASAP if interested in any way in living here. firstname.lastname@example.org
Following is a rambling description of what I’m hoping to do with Happy Hollow in order to provide it as a resource to others during my annual time in Nova Scotia. (July–October usually) I want to make sure it doesn’t sit fallow again, so feel free to share on the social networks at the bottom and/or distribute the link to anyone you know who might be interested.
Long story short, I had heart surgery and after successful recovery decided I needed to get back to my first love surfing, did some traveling and discovered Nova Scotia. I ended up buying and building a small cabin up there and am now spending summers there, from mid June through October (surf season)…thus have no one to maintain my gardens & property or harvest.
First year up there, I luckily found a couple to house sit. I planted, they weeded, mowed, and got the food and eggs, and gave away the extra (as I always did.)
Next year I couldn’t find anyone and for the first time ever I didn’t have a garden, it broke my heart!!! My awesome neighbors mowed the meadow and took care of the chickens.
Last year I put in a vegetable garden anyway even though I didn’t find a live in caretaker and various neighbors and friends (some who found me online through this ad, yay facebook!) and family combined to weed and harvest the food and eggs.
I’ve had to pay a professional the past 2 years to take care of the rest of the flower/shrub gardens and although she does an incredible job, (Thanks Jenn!!!) I’d like to find a way save that money since I am now completely retired.
So by now you can figure out the situation and the solution. I would like to connect with people who will keep the gardens up and harvest, preserve, and eat and share the food! You would think that wouldn’t be too hard…but I am isolated and know few people, and am a very shy introvert type and have lived here semi-reclusively these many years.
If you have a network of like minded people, or know anyone who dreams of this kind of lifestyle, share this info to help me to find folks who’d love to come out here, enjoy the meadow, woods, and creek and grow some food. FREE!
I have the soil in best condition ever. (I have chickens…LOL) and I have a mini-Kubota tractor with multiple attachments including roto-tiller. I can till, and plant and prep everything. Have other good sized plots I’d like to open up for more gardening and food growing for the community. Have planted fruit trees that need care as well. Have barn, workshop, equipment shed, garden shed, all garden & hand tools, you name it.
I have dreamt of making this place a community haven/garden/park/refuge/retreat/sanctuary since I bought it and started working on it 15 years ago. It would be my dream to have families with their kids come out here, spend a little time weeding the gardens, and enjoy wandering the paths through the wildflower meadow, splashing and hunting salamanders in the creek, even having sleepovers in the hayloft on weekends. You could even put up a tent or bring an RV and park out by the barn, make music, have fun, picnics…lots of possibilities.
My main concern is security and safety, liability, things like that. I wouldn’t want kids or people getting hurt, or have things vandalized or stolen. Usually this kind of thing has such good karma that doesn’t happen, but all it takes is one bad apple to get wind of something, come out, look around and decide it’s a sitting duck to knock over and grab some stuff. Lots of that type in parts of Allentown and Bethlehem, drugs, etc. and it’s out here too, been some busts right down the road, so concern is heightened now unfortunately. I’ve never locked a door in 15 years though, but with possibly groups of strangers coming through (if we did a community garden type thing) we’d need to have something in place. Also in respect of my neighbors privacy and security I would not want scores of people coming in without some sort of screening process in place and advance notice.
The most ideal situation would be to have a young trustworthy committed & energetic 30-40ish couple come stay for the summer—i.e. older, more mature, non-partying post grad, but pre-career academic or artistic/creative free-lance independent types looking to get their feet wet and hands dirty starting out in the country lifestyle—to live here during my absence and be general managers of the property, assign tasks, deal with visitors and volunteers, do chores, assign individual garden plots if needed, that kind of thing. It could transition to a full time residence for them, if it’s the right fit, as I hope to eventually spend much more time in Nova Scotia, only returning in Spring and Fall for a couple months, when I’d stay in the barn loft studio, or in town at my Mom’s.
The house (200 year old log cabin) needs a little repair work now, I’ve spent too much time in the yard, LOL. I hope to get it done this spring, and that would be a great opportunity for me to work with and get to know prospective folks, and for them to get dialed in on the area, and the tasks here. I couldn’t pay them unfortunately at this point. There would need to be some sort of a trade out arrangement…unless I can find some kind of public source or other kind of foundation to offer funding…LMK if anyone knows anything…any thoughts from other’s experience on this aspect would be appreciated.
I think this place is heaven, if you do too, or know someone who will, let’s get together and brainstorm! Anyone with ideas or contacts or questions may contact me via email at email@example.com.