Thursday, January 9, 2014

Farming Support & Thinking About Haycations?

I wanted to update you guys on the workshops and a new idea I have been kicking around. As of this week I have a dozen events up (plus ongoing Indie Days) and I will be adding Dulcimer Day Camp again for the early fall, probably September. That is a lot to plan and hopefully some of the topics interest you guys to make the trip to Cold Antler. I love meeting readers, sharing this scrappy place, and enjoying a house full of conversation, learning, laughing and stories.

Here are some updates: There is only ONE spot left for fiddle camp this August, and there won't be another opening until 2015. I hope one of you grabs it fast. If you're not familiar with Fiddle Camp, it is a weekend here in Washington County for people who have never touched or played a fiddle before. Folks who think they can't play an instrument, but wish they could. You don't need to read music, heck, you don't need to know how to hold a fiddle. Just show up and by the end of the weekend you'll be playing a song. Promise. This will be my fourth time doing this in March and I am starting to get the hang of it!

Same goes for Dulcimer Day Camp (and just like fiddle camp) it comes with a dulcimer. We spend the day in the farmhouse or outside in the pasture learning to pluck, strum, and make that sweet, southern mountain music. No experience needed. That will be in September, and September around here is fall-down-the-stairs beautiful!

Besides music there is a second Arrow's Rising planned for October (beginners archery workshop, comes with a bow!), a workshop for people thinking about a horse someday, chicken 101, farm dreams and planning, and I'm sure I'll add more wool and sheep stuff as well. There are always Indie Days for folks who want One-on-One instruction to spend a whole day learning an instrument, learning to shoot a bow, or just to spend a day around an author, her horse, her hawk, and her hope.

If ANY of these sound interesting, I urge you to sign up! Without workshop attendance there isn't much hope for Cold Antler at this point! So to keep the dream going and to keep the animals stocked in grain, kibble, and hay - send me an email at


$250 a person
$350 a couple

Season Passes get you into any farm event with available space you want. You pre-pay up front and then you have yourself a spot at Arrows Rising, Goats and Soap, and Cold Antler Confidential waiting for you. If you come to just one camp all year, it saves you money. The only thing the Season Pass doesn't include is the cost of instruments, bows, etc. So if you decided you and your partner want to come for Goats and Soap and The Farmer's horse, and Arrow's Rising - you still need to either bring a bow of your own or buy one separate. That's the only added expense: equipment.

As for the thing I am thinking of trying out? Would any of you be interested in spending three or five days working here at COld Antler? It would be a haycation, not an internship. I am not legally set up to host overnight guests like a B&B nor can I legally feed you from my kitchen. But if you want to pitch a tent at a campsite just a couple miles away and learn what it takes to keep 6.5 acres of animals, activity, and awesomeness going strong I am considering getting folks here to work and play alongside me for an extended version of the Indie Day Program. We could probably fit half the workshop topics in five days, I'm sure. If this is something you'd consider, please send me an email with your thoughts?

Lastly, if you want to support the farm and have the means but can not travel here (which I totally understand) you can always buy a local a Day Pass or Season Pass to help someone who can come, but doesn't have the scratch. If you are kind enough to do this I will include a three year or Lifetime Membership to Clan Cold Antler. Yup, being a good person pays off around here. All of this helps in ways you may not realize, even clicking the ad that changes at the top of the blog helps.

I thank you all for your readership, support, emails, stories, comments, and criticism. You're a part of this story, too. I would not be here without out, and I really would like to stay here.


Blogger Holly said...

Totally awesome idea about "haycation". Might be fun to advertise this when you do Indie bookstore signings around your area.

January 9, 2014 at 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A haycation sounds like a really good idea. Hope you get lots of folks getting their hands dirty, real dirty!!

January 9, 2014 at 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A haycation sounds like a really good idea. Hope you get lots of folks getting their hands dirty, real dirty!!

January 9, 2014 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Em said...

I don't know anything about the laws in NY, but if you really need help on the farm have you looked into becoming a WWOOF-USA host? You might have to talk with your insurance agent to make sure, but that sort of thing may already be covered under your policy since you offer classes on the farm. Hosting WWOOFers is a lot of work in and of itself (namely in the feeding, accommodating, and educating thereof) and you can't expect the same of a WWOOFer as you would from a paid employee, but we've enjoyed being hosts for the past three years.

January 9, 2014 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger Kelsie said...

We had WWOOFers stay at the dairy farm I worked on in Oregon and it was great! They pitched a tent in the sheep pasture, ate our communal meals with us, helped us with mending fences, cleaning out barns, moving manure piles, etc. After the work was done, we'd all have beers and go swimming. As a bonus, most of the guys were pretty cute. :) I think that the only reason the law isn't on your side here is if you're charging people to stay at the farm, because then it becomes a B&B type situation. WWOOFers work for free with you as their host--it's just like having guests over, which is, of course, totally legal in terms of housing and feeding. It's a great way to get strong backs and willing hands to really get stuff done!

January 10, 2014 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

WWOOFers are great, and I know the program well. BUt I have no place for them to stay and this isn't about help on the farm, this is about expanding the workshop experience to help as income.

January 10, 2014 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Em said...

Ah, gotcha. If it's about revenue, have you ever thought about making and offering e-books and e-courses? I would think that would be right in your wheelhouse with the writing, graphic design, and internet savvy! I've gotten really interested in that avenue as potential source of passive income for our farm--once it's created and out there, the digital files can be purchased over and over. I mean, it still has to be marketed and you have to have a good online store/delivery system (I've heard good things about ejunkie), but I think I'm going to give it a whirl this year.

January 10, 2014 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Carmen DiGiovanni said...

WOW!!!! YES AND YES! I have been searching in my area for something similar, I want to go and donate my time while learning + helping me to determine if I actually have the skillsets to do so. What a great idea. Also thanks other commenters! I am now looking at WWOOF !!!

January 10, 2014 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

I would be interested! What's the nearest airport and would I have to rent a car, etc?

January 13, 2014 at 9:18 PM  

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