Vero Beach, FL: White Rabbit Organic Farm

We first heard about White Rabbit from our friends, Jim and Rene…they had done some workamping there. You can read about there experience here. We were going to be passing right by it, so we decided to check it out for ourselves. The farm is located down a long dirt road, just minutes from the ocean. The road itself was so washboarded…I was catching falling items in the RV all the way down! When we arrived, we introduced ourselves to Valerie and Brian, the owners, and also to Mike and Nick, who were living there and working for a short time before they headed on in their own travels. They provide housing and meals in exchange for work on the farm (similar to WWOOFing).

Matt got the RV parked and then got on his work clothes so he could pitch in with whatever they had for him to do! There is nothing Matt loves more than a good project to dig into…so he was in his element! Bella and I enjoyed the farm atmosphere…we checked out the goats, sheep, chickens, and dogs. It was so nice to have the open space to just run and play games and play. The sunsets were heavenly and the orange groves smelled delicious!

We had a great nights sleep…and woke up to a very loud and persistent rooster right outside our window! Now, I’m somewhat of a chicken/rooster fanatic, I’ve always wanted some of my own. I love being around them…and actually don’t even mind having one as an alarm clock! Bella loved checking out the rooster and his hens too. I think they inspired her to scratch in the dirt…because she did a lot of that while we were there…creating masterpieces like this one.

Valerie and Brian also run a farm store there on site that is stocked with organic produce and other natural products. It was so much fun to load up our fridge with an abundance of organic goodies…especially knowing that our money was going DIRECTLY to the farmer! The tomatoes were like candy…and the lettuce mix so tasty!! I loved that they have a self-service/trust based system…people would come and go all day, writing out their own ticket and leaving a check. There was just something so earthy and old fashioned about it. Good stuff. In addition to that, they produce biodiesel on site and sell it. Matt was able to spend a lot of time with Brian talking about biodiesel vs. straight veggie and learning how his system worked. He had a GIANT stockpile of veggie oil…it was amazing!

Bella really hit it off with Mike and Nick…she loved their dogs and was always wanting to take them on a walk. They were so sweet with her and would always stop to engage her in conversation. She, of course, had a million questions about everything that was happening at the farm. It was a learning experience for everyone!

While we were in town the first night, we ran into another traveling family, Anna and Nathanial. They had just arrived in Florida after a long trip from Ohio…so we invited them to come over to our place for some showers, food, and movies. We had a delightful time talking, laughing, and eating…and stayed up LATE! It was a fun night!

We ended up staying for 2 nights…and it was one of the best unexpected stops of the tour! They work SO HARD at the farm, doing something that they are passionate about. It was completely inspiring. Thank you to Brian, Valerie, Mike, and Nick for welcoming us with open arms!

Photo album here.

Albany, NY: Jim and Rene

We were so excited to be able to meet up with some fellow travelers in upstate New York! We have watched Jim and Rene’s journey for quite awhile and when we discovered our paths would cross in Albany, we jumped at the chance to meet them! They came over this morning and we gave them the grand tour of the RV. After that, we headed out for coffee and we had so much fun talking about full-time RV’ing, veggie oil and biodiesel, and where this journey of life has taken each of us. Jim and Rene sold their business in California and are taking a year off to travel and discover the best community to start a new business in! They also have a dog named Jerry, who is a “tri-pawd” (a dog with only 3 legs!). He’s super friendly and even has his own website! Bella loved walking him around on the leash and talking to him. :) Safe travels Jim and Rene!

Photo album here.

Grand Rapids, MI: The Cebulski Family

We “met” Joe and Laura Cebulski online a few months ago…after they decided to convert their truck to veggie oil and remodel a camper, they contacted us for ideas. They had big plans to pull a 5th wheel to California and live in it for a year while Joe trained for the Olympic trials (in the decathlon). Well, their plans quickly became reality…they sold everything (including their house), said goodbye to friends in Arkansas and began their adventure. They just “happened” to be in Grand Rapids at the same time we were this week! What a blessing…we thought we wouldn’t be able to see them until California. Joe and Laura both grew up in GR and came back to remodel the RV and spend time with family before heading west. They also have a beautiful and charming daughter, Rowan, who is 2.5 years old.

On Sunday, after Mars Hill…we headed over to Laura’s family’s home for a delicious lunch. Her sister, Jen is a vegan and made me some delicious tempeh! Yum. We chatted with her parents on the deck and ate…while Rowan and Bella chased the dogs and ran around the yard. After that, we headed to a park for their “kick-off/goodbye party” and met many of their friends and family. We played for hours and hours in the park….such fun on a lovely day.

The next afternoon, we had planned on going to the zoo with them…but got rained out and headed to the Four Friends Coffeehouse in downtown Grand Rapids. We talked of many things…Matt and Joe about veggie oil and Laura and I about RV life, kids, and photography. After that we walked around a bit more and took in some sites. Grand Rapids just opened a “green” art museum! Very fun. We also went to the Fish Ladder park where we watched salmon and HUGE carp swimming around and jumping “up stream”…the girls loved it!

It’s always so hard to leave the new friends we have been making on our trip…but it was especially hard to leave them because we have so much in common. We are SO EXCITED to reunite with them next spring in California!

See photos of their open house and remodeled RV here (it’s sooooo cool!).

See photos that Joe and Laura took of our time in Grand Rapids here.

See my photo album of our time here.

See the Cebulski blog here.