Get back to nature with a working holiday at these sustainable homesteads

Jul 11, 2017

Sample a simpler life with a lower environmental footprint by living and helping out on working homesteads.

Brown’s Field, Japan


An hour’s train ride from Tokyo, this inn and organic farm on the Boso peninsula combines sustainability with Japanese sensibilities. Stay in a traditional Japanese house – erected from bamboo and local timber – with composting toilets and wash your hands in collected rainwater. You can help plant and harvest rice and vegetables, then learn how to prepare macrobiotic meals from them. We hear it even makes its own shoyu (soya sauce).

SEE ALSO: 5 farm stays around the world the family and kids will love

Lackan Cottage, UK


Check into this off-grid cottage, which runs partly on solar and wind power. It’s surrounded by woodland, where the owners regularly plant trees to replace those that have been felled for fuel. Carve out your own rustic lifestyle by feeding the free-range hens and eating organic vegetables grown on the farm, which runs on permaculture and organic principles. Then nourish your imagination with walks in the nearby Silent Valley.

SEE ALSO: Down-to-earth stays

Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead, USA

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If you enjoyed the film Captain Fantastic, where a family goes to live 
in Washington’s wilderness, return 
to nature with your brood at this permaculture farm on the state’s Orcas Island. Amid a landscape thriving with ducks, bees and a nursery, discover hands-on how planting can be inspired by natural ecosystems. Excluding the period from December to February, the farm hosts guests for weekend stays.