Plowshare Farm (USA-10)

Type: Health: Disability - Country: United States of America

Brief description and main aims

Plowshare Farm is a life-sharing community where people with diverse capabilities, including adults with special needs, live and work side by side to build an inclusive and sustainable community.

Main Activities

To work together to respond to the social, human, spiritual and ecological needs of our times, creating a community environment where every person and every aspect of the natural world can be learned from and valued.
We have found our most successful, and happiest, volunteers to be people who carry strong self-initiative. Who, after an orientation period, can see what needs to be done, and do it out of one’s own initiative. We like to be light-hearted and cheerful, even as we are accomplishing tasks, and we enjoy this quality in others. The day is not all work.
We offer a yearlong volunteer opportunity for people who seek experience in the following
  • General care and guidance of adults with developmental disabilities, autism spectrum diagnoses, down syndrome, seizure disorders (epilepsy), and other special needs
  • Aspects of organic farming and gardening
  • Therapeutic vocational activities with a focus on traditional trades that include cooking, woodworking, household care, building projects, crafts, baking, and farm work
  • Arts-based therapies, which at various times can include eurythmy, painting, music, etc.
  • Intermittent work with children
  • Participation in local community activities such as concerts, excursions, shopping, sports, festivals, and other varied social events
  • Sharing a social life with people with various challenges
A unique aspect of our work is that most of our “workshops” are actually projects that need to be done in which people with all different abilities and challenges are included and supported to contribute to the best of their capabilities. Through this approach, people with special needs are not the “product” or the “object” of someone else’s work, but instead are active participants in the work which needs to be accomplished to support the community. For the volunteer, this method of working allows room for learning new skills, for becoming involved in projects, for supporting people with special needs to reach for their full potential, and for independent initiative.

Volunteer tasks

Live in and provide assistance with daily needs in one of our lifesharing homes where people with a wide range of abilities, including people with disabilities, live together in an inclusive community-based setting. This includes sharing general household activities, supporting others in the household in activities of daily
living, and sharing in social time together.
  • Participate in 2-3 areas of volunteer service during the day, depending on the community's current need and personal interest, such as wool and fiber arts, woodworking, baking, and biodynamic gardening. Learn about the traditional trades of the New England region (woodwork, pottery, metalwork, wax, wool, baking and more)
  • Be part of a community that is striving toward ecological sustainability (energy production and heating, growing our own vegetables, getting milk and eggs from our own animals, tapping maple trees for syrup, etc.)
  • Ages 17+

Volunteer requirements / Skills

Volunteering at Plowshare Farm is not an easy task. What we are looking for in volunteer candidates is people who are “wide awake” – people who see tasks through to completion, have pride in their work, and have curiosity and compassion for the experience of other human beings.
As a volunteer, we encourage your self-initiative in the following responsibilities:
  • Help in some of the various workshops: farming, building, gardening, baking, cooking, fiber arts, etc.
  • Help with meal preparation and other household tasks
  • Participation in household and community life such as daily meals, social interaction and leisure activities in the house or outdoors
  • Help with fulfilling hygienic needs of the residents 
Volunteers must be available for a start date in August/summer months. There is no intake between October and April.


The project is located in Greenfield, New Hampshire.


Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging)

Yearlong volunteers have a private bedroom and share meals in the household where they share daily life with residents, householder(s) and coworkers.

More Information

Number of volunteers: 5-10

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