Immersion Travel: Greener Pastures at D Acres
By Sheryl Kayne
Winter, spring and summer vacations lie before us, and a visit to D Acres in Rumney, New Hampshire can literally help you change your life.
Founded in 1997, D Acres is a nonprofit educational center that teaches and applies skills of sustainable living and organic farming. Participants share a communal living situation and work together to raise awareness about people’s impact on the environment, to limit consumption of fossil fuels and other resources, and to encourage on-site production and consumption. D Acres provides training for the development of skills relating to organic farming, forestry, landscaping, eco-friendly construction, and cottage crafts.
If you’re anything like me, you find yourself saying, I’d like my life to be a bit greener. I’d like to learn more about accessible things I can be doing that will help me, my community, and the environment. I want to feel better about the way I’m eating, thinking, and living. What’s really great about enjoying a weekend mini-vacation, or a longer visit at D Acres, is that work, learning, relaxation, and the arts are all mixed in together.
You can visit D Acres as a guest, enjoying the activities and workshops while staying in their guesthouse. There are guest artisans at different times and daily workshops in yoga and meditation. Or you can apply for either an apprenticeship or an internship and trade a minimum of 26 hours, for food and accommodations in a tree house, tent site, room in the Community House, or converted barn space.
The policy is that no one will be denied access to D Acres workshops and events due to an inability to pay. Work is primarily in the gardens, forest, and on building projects, and is related to the development, maintenance, and long-term economic viability of the community. All residents share cleaning and cooking tasks. Perks include access to a large commercial kitchen, living room, laundry, woodshop, research library, reading library, yoga space, wireless Internet, telephone, and the forested property. In your free time you can explore the White Mountains and the Lake District.
Ariel, a D Acres guest, has always been into farming. She’s was actively involved in the sustainable food campaign to use more sustainable foods when she was in college at Brown University, and has worked in a community garden. She found D Acres online, and says, “it struck me as cool that it was much more than farming, including education, forestry, art, poetry, and animals. Visiting there has taught me a new way of life.”
D Acres is a wonderful experience for people of all ages, eating whole, seasonal foods, and sharing a common space. There is also a hostel on the farm with guests coming and going. The lifestyle will give you a taste of something different, sustainable, and personally gratifying and educational too.
For more information: Organic Farming and Sustainable Living, Rumney, NH: D Acres of New Hampshire (P.O. Box 98, Rumney, NH; 603-786-2366; www.dacres.org; email@example.com; interns, $20 per week; apprentices, $125 per week).
Sheryl Kayne has two new travel books out in the stores and available through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble: VOLUNTEER VACATIONS ACROSS AMERICA and IMMERSION TRAVEL USA. Drop her a note toSheryl@immersiontraveler.com if you’d like autographed stickers for your books!