Hootenanny Hill ~ part of our past, but not forgotten.

Welcome to HHIP - Hootenanny Hill Immersion Program. 

Interns and apprentices of HHIP are for people that have a passion and desire to get back to the root foundation of life.  People that want to get a better understanding of the world they live in and find a grounding propose for what to do with their life.  We will discuss topics such as sustainable food production through permaculture and biodynamic farming methods and self-reliance through knowledge of homesteading, off grid living practices and medicinal healing.  

Here at Hootenanny Hill we hope to expose people to those concepts by giving them a hands-on personal experience at our growing and ever changing 20-acre homestead.

HHIP is for those people that wish to venture into this way of life, but are not ready to take the plunge, now they can experience homesteading first hand through our guided interaction during our everyday life.

Medical Insurance Requirement:
Participants of HHIP are required to have their own medical insurance.
As an adult participant of HHIP it is your responsibility to inform us of any and all medical issues you have that will need additional accommodations and any food allergies you might have and where you keep any medicines you require and how they are to be administered should a need arise.
During orientation you will be shown where all first aid kits and a MSDS (Materials Safety Date Sheet) are kept.  Also where the 911 information address form is hung.
Qualifications and Education:
While there are many wonderful college and privately run programs where people can pay and receive “professional” training on the concepts we live everyday, we believe those are not your only choice to learning concepts that we employ everyday.  After many years of reading books or watching videos offered by others describing their hands on experience, we felt there was an aspect of this process missing for the average person that wanted to get hands-on experience but perhaps not ready to make the move to living on their own homestead.

During our journey we have found that nothings beats the hands on approach to “learning” how to do something.  This path can be a very adventurous one, with pitfalls, surprises, bumps and wonderful successes.  We feel we fill a niche’ for those people that just want to get a taste of this life, before truly committing to it like we did, with no turning back.  One has to be ready to own up to mistakes taking this path, but we feel there are no failures only opportunities to learn from what happened and do it different next time.  For example: if I plant a seed in the wrong place or the wrong time of year, I have only lost the seed, but gained a lot of knowledge, if I am wise enough to see what I did and learn from it and listen to what nature taught me.

So while college is truly an excellent path for those who choose it, we hope to offer a glimpse into what one might expect if you choose a homesteading path for your life’s journey.  Along with that, we are not professing our way or approach is the end-all-be-all of how things are to be done. We do not believe in a cookie cutter application in life, as one might get from a college course, but rather want to expose you to what works for us, what didn’t and how we changed it. We encourage you to "build your life, and not just "live your life"  that is to say, don't accept a life that others say is what you should strive for or is the norm. We believe since we are all individuals, we each should build that perfect fit for our lives.

To Become an Intern with HHIP:

We only require people to be committed to the process of learning with an open mind, an enthusiasm for this way of life and want to bring change to our world one natural step at a time. To not be critical to our approach, but rather respect our choices and take what fits you and your life after your exploration with us.
There is no cookie cutter or one method to homesteading and self-reliance that can be applied to everyone. Today people are used to accepting a one stop shopping approach to life in this world, we challenge you to go find one that you have to build with an observant flexible mind one natural season at a time. 
Our guests and interns can expect to experience this unique and traditional way of life as they help in our everyday chores and projects. (see project for 2016)

For 2016 – we will provide a 2010 Wildwood RV with kitchen and refrigerator.  The shower is located outside behind the main barn. Rules of respect, privacy and how to use the outside shower will be covered at orientation.  Bathroom facilities are in spirit with a composting system.  Interns will receive training on how to properly use and clean their composting toilet while staying with us. If an intern is found not following our preferred procedures they can be will be asked to leave our homestead. You will not be “cleared” to depart until a full RV and toilet check has happened.  The RV will have lights via our solar system, however,  you will have to haul water for washing dishing and keeping the RV clean. We hope to have our guest room done by this summer. But homesteading has a time schedule of it's own, so we'll see how far we get.

Organic Living:

 We try to use as few “processed products” as possible, since what we put into our bodies we put back into the earth and water system. Having said this, we do understand that use of toiletries and cosmetics is a very personal choice.  However, we do ask you to respect our attempts to safeguard our farm environment from any harsh and damaging chemicals.  Therefore, it is required for HHIP participants while using our shower and wash facilities to only use organically based eco-friendly (products listed below are some options: Dr. Bronnor’s Castle Soap, JR Liggets, Alba products, Hugo, Tom’s of Maine, Nature’s Gate to list only a few.  

If purchasing your own toiletries please be sure they are organic and as cruelty free as possible or you can opt to purchase our toiletries kit for $15.00 (please let me know  in advance of your arrival if you plan on purchases a kit, as I do not make to ahead of time - to make sure you're getting new products).  If there are any reasons this is not possible, there is a town shower facility located near by that you are welcome to use, they charge a fee.  

Hootenanny Hill approved eco-friendly laundry soap, made on site: if you need to do laundry, under our current laundry house set up and are you using commercial bought laundry detergents you are required either go to town to our local Laundromat or can you be shown how to mix your own laundry detergent and how to use the “hand washer”.

What you can expect to learn while staying with us:
•    Homesteading life practices
•    Concepts in organic gardening
•    Exposure to Off-Grid life

Operating Machinery:

Depending on the time of year you visit us, your exposure to tools and equipment will vary.  You will, of course have the right to decline any training due to personal comfort or ability and while that will not lessen your experience with us, it will however result in you not being allowed to operate those pieces of equipment.  Each piece of equipment or specialty skill will have training and a sign off sheet before you are allow to use it.

Here is a list of possible equipment you could be asked to use:
•    ATV
•    Wood splitter
•    Misc. workshop tools
•    Wood/leaf chipper
•    Generator 
•    Pressure Washer
•    Other misc. equipment

Well House Water Pump: 

You may be trained on how to start and stop our water pump.  Hootenanny Hill uses a gravity-fed closed water system that pumps fresh ground water to our hill top 1080-gallon storage tank, which then gravity feeds the house and farm.

HHIP asks all participants for their flexibility when it comes to meals and times those meals are provided.  This is a working farm and it is “all hands on deck”.  We do not have a kitchen staff and if either Bruce or Diana is outside working with you on a project, we cannot possibly be inside cooking a meal.  Since we work around our projects, if a participant feels they must eat and can’t wait for the main meal, it is strongly recommended that you have your own snacks ready to give you a quick boost in energy and tie you over till that meal is served.  We have been known to eat supper as late as 10pm! It is important for you to know yourself - Drink fluids and eat, as your own body metabolism requires. After meals it is required for all to help with clean up and dishes - yes, old fashion family style.

The Main House:
Is considered “private living space” and interns are asked to respect that area by not entering our house without our express permission. Our house water is on a “purification system.  The barn and garden water hydrants are not purified and therefore deemed not “potable”. This includes the outside shower. Any drinking water or water for cooking must be from the house.
•    Photovoltaic System: We have a 1.5kw system.  This system provides enough power for our use.  However, larger workshop equipment requires the use of our generator. We will have a lecture on different concepts to this system. We feel it is important to understand the system and concepts of a Solar System for your personal interest and knowledge.

HHIP will provide interns with some of the meals during their stay with us (see list if applicable).  Since the RV has a kitchen and refrigerator it is advisable for participants to bring their own snacks and food for any meal not on the HHIP provided list. Upon checkout, the refrigerator must be emptied of food and cleaned.

Guest and Visitor Policy:
Since this is our private home and not a public school or work-study program we ask that you do not invite guests and visitors to our home during your stay with us.  Of course, this is not set in stone and we are happy to review on a case-by-case basis.  Please feel free approach us on this subject.

Anyone found “sneaking” people into their cabin will result in their immediate termination of their participation in HHIP.

Alcohol Policy:
It is the responsibility of each intern to comply with all laws of NY State, our Hootenanny Hill rules and regulations on this matter. 

Now that you have read the terms and conditions of HHIP, if you feel you satisfy our requirements, and would like to be a participant, please send back email confirmation 

We look forward to sharing our way of life with you!​

HHIP - Hootenanny Hill Immersion PROGRAM - 

This program is no longer being offered.  Thank you for all that attended.