Work Exchange

Every summer, from Memorial Day weekend into early September, a few hundred travelers come to Deer Isle to explore the IMG_7855outdoors and enjoy the scenic landscape, the serenity and community of the Hostel. Our guests are looking for a place to stay, a warm welcome and the experience of the self-reliant lifestyle. Throughout this time the gardens produce food for the daily communal dinners and for winter storage. Besides fruit, herbs and vegetables we raise chickens, gather various wild edibles and medicinal herbs and host a wide range of tours and lectures on related topics.

This is a fast-paced, fun place to be with new guests arriving every day from all corners of the world. It’s a great place for anyone that enjoys meeting people, making friends and enhancing others’ travel experience while sharing a more sustainable way of living than most have encountered. It’s an excellent way to learn how to run a small lodging business and get a first hand experience of a self sufficient homestead.

Each year we offer one full time apprenticeship  from Mid May through closing day in early September. As our full time helper you get two days off/week, a secluded camp site (if desired, we provide a spacious tent and mattress), three meals a day, access to a bike and a small stipend. You may choose to find a job 1 day/week outside of the hostel to experience more of the island and the community.

We also offer a number of shorter term work exchange opportunities, ranging from a couple of days to a week. Almost always, we grant these opportunities to people we’ve met before, most of them having been guests at the Hostel and expressed interest in coming back and helping out. We often to a sort of half-half work exchange, where one may pitch a tent, pay half the rent and work with us for about half the day. In this way we’ll all get to know each other and can initiate a conversation about a longer stay.

Much of the day-to-day chores are inn-keeping tasks such as laundry, doing dishes, cleaning etc. There’s usually something IMG_6405going on in the gardens or around the homestead – harvesting and processing food, stacking fire wood, tending the garden etc. We usually work through the day with a couple of hours off in the afternoon before we get ready to check people in, give tours and arrange the communal meal. Our full time helper may also be expected to take reservations, send invoices and answer email.

Previous experience from lodging businesses is greatly appreciated and good attitude and cheer is expected.

We live in a wonderful place, in a wonderful way and we’d like to share it with the
hopes of inspiring others to do the same.IMG_6413