The Handspun Cow Educational Homestead

The Handspun Cow Educational Homestead is a working homestead in Central Vermont. We are looking for people who are interested in continuing to help us create an educational homestead that teaches participants about a land ethic and finding humans’ place within the ecosystem. The focus is on working the land based on this ethic. A land (ecosystem) ethic is: Voluntary, but potentially socially pressured, choices grounded in a perception of “human’s place” within and impact upon land (ecosystems), to maintain or increase lands’ (ecosystems) stability, diversity and fertility. This includes eating and preparing food and making clothing bioregional (mostly from the land). We believe learning happens best with a little bit of instruction and a lot of repetition and hands-on practice. 

We teach practical and sustainable homesteading skills through immersion programs, including apprenticeship programs and weekend intensives. Participants will help with animal husbandry (including milking), cheese making, low-impact gardening, making hay with a scythe, and wood-fired cooking. Additional skills such as soap making, natural dyeing, basket weaving, preparing wool, spinning, and knitting are also available upon participants’ requests.

In keeping with our philosophies, all meals prepared here are made from local ingredients, the majority coming from this homestead.

Apprenticeship Program:

For those who are interested in a longer-term educational experience, the apprentice program may be for you, and involves immersion into the daily routines, work, and problem solving of a real homestead operation. We expect a minimum three-month commitment (with the ability for the apprentice to stay longer if desired), the results of which are a much more practical hands-on and day-to-day understanding of real and sustainable homesteading life.

Apprentices are expected to work 6-8 hours per day, 5 days a week, and on all homestead tasks in trade for room, board and educational opportunities.

This year apprentices will have a primitive structure to live in, and will share a communal house where meal cooking will take place.

Weekend Immersion:

This is an opportunity to experience the homestead for a weekend, the principle focus of which will be cheese making, milking and whatever else the season has to offer. 

We want to participate in the monetary system as little as we can, but hosting other people takes resources and energy, so we will ask participants/visitors to either work trade or pay sliding scale $80-120/weekend.

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