This is the letter our last farm manager wrote before he left for the Peace Corps Feb 2018:
Dear Prospective WWOOFers and/or Farm Managers,
The year I spent as farm manager at Lodestar Gardens Learning Center with Barbara and Clark Hockabout was easily one of the more enlightening and worthwhile challenges that I have undertaken.Prior to working as a farm manager, I arrived with general skills and knowledge of organic farming through a few previous WWOOFing experiences. Barbara and Clark graciously welcomed me as an extended part of the family, happily answered any questions and eagerly passed along their knowledge so that I could succeed in my position as farm manager.A little desire and interest to learn, plus a good work ethic, will take you a long way at Lodestar Gardens. You are given all the tools needed to do a first-rate job and Barbara and Clark are willing to give you autonomy in your work.During my time, I was able to assist in the Winter Farmers Market (January-April), help with summer workshops and I was in charge of our market table at the general store a few miles down the road every Saturday. All this on top of my regular work around the farm and time spent lending a hand with the website and social media.The growing conditions in the area present numerous challenges and wonderful learning opportunities. The high elevation, strong Spring winds, variable Winter weather and Summer monsoon rains create markedly different seasons and combine for a short outdoor growing season. Lodestar Gardens has a wonderful greenhouse, hoop house and high tunnel for indoor growing, all of which are unique in their own way.Barbara and Clark are extremely knowledgeable of what works and doesn’t work in their area, but also are open to new ideas and ways of approaching organic agriculture/permaculture. The presence of livestock (goats, chickens and ducks) presented further learning opportunities and responsibilities. Caring for the animals was definitely one of the highlights of my time.As an added bonus, I was able to learn some basics of making pottery and was allowed to spend time practicing in the studio. They have a library full of great resources, in addition to a lot of materials for people who are artistically inclined.I could go on and on about the positives of living and working at Lodestar Gardens. My time there was educational, fun, challenging and helped prepare me for future endeavors.
Mark Nelson, LGLC Farm Manager (Nov. 2016-Nov. 2017)
Here are a number of other reviews from our wonderful WWOOFers throughout the years!