Directions & Guest Information
Cauldron Farm is a small homestead in Hubbardston, which is just south of Gardner in Central Massachusetts. We welcome visitors, but ask that you please call ahead. If you are coming for an event, leave plenty of time for travel. You can see a map for 12 Simonds Hill Road, using Mapquest, but be warned that Mapquest or another online site may not give the most useful directions, because some roads are poorly marked and/or poorly paved. Our road may be listed as either "Simond" or "Simonds", but it is the same road.
To get to Cauldron Farm, take your best route to Rt. 2. Take Route 2 to Rt. 68 south to Gardner. You'll go through the rotary, then pass a Tops Supermarket and then a Wal-Mart. Continue south on 68 and you will enter Hubbardston and civilization will abruptly drop away. Mind the 35mph speed limit! Go south until you pass through the center of Hubbardston, or what passes for it - post office, gas station, fire station, library, etc. It won't last long. Go through the blinking yellow light. Go down the hill and look for a billboard on your left that says "Wachusett Lumber", shortly after the speed limit goes back up. Take the left at the billboard onto Old Princeton Rd. Bear right at the first fork. Continue past little farms and houses until you come to a sign saying, "Dangerous Interscetion" (spelled incorrectly). Do not turn into the Moosehorn housing development just before the sign. Instead, take the right fork at the "dangerous interscetion" onto Simond Hill Road. We are the first house, a little ways down on the right. It is a red house with green trim and murals on the garage and barn. There is a parking area first, then a little ways down is a paved driveway, where people usually pull in to unload. Here is a map of our property.
If you are coming the east via Rt 2, you can take the exit for Rt 68 South, Hubbardston, and that will take you through Gardner, where you will see gas stations, fast food, supermarket, Walmart, etc. Alternately, you can save a little time by getting off Rt 2 in Westminster. (The bridge on Healdville Road is finally repaired.)
Coming down 62 from the West, where 62 crosses 68, you will pass Asnacomet ("Comet") Pond on the left, then on the right is Upper Intervale Road / River Road. (Upper Intervale is poorly paved, and useless as a shortcut on your way out, no matter what your GPS tells you.) Ed Clark Road forks off to the left just beyond there. Take Ed Clark Road past the horse farm, and Simonds Hill Road curves off sharply to the left. We are a ways down Simonds Hill Road, on the left. Coming from the East on 62, Ed Clark Road is hard to spot, as it is a fork going the other direction. At least it has a street sign now. It comes up fairly quickly after you cross into Hubbardston, and looks like a driveway. If you miss it, you'll come to 68 North, so continue as above.
Aside from Beltane, you can always park in our North field, unless it has three feet of snow on it, it is full of mud, or you've got low ground clearance. For smaller gatherings or classes, you may be able to leave your car in the driveway, but please ask when you arrive. For large camping events, we will have a shuttle that will bring you and your car to the nearby (free) parking lot. Unload your stuff in the driveway, and we'll direct you from there. DO NOT PARK IN THE ROAD! If you park along side the road all wheels must be off the road.
|Please pack sensibly for campouts. All guests should bring basic camping gear. Please do not plan on meeting someone here who will invite you to share their tent, stove, food, etc. If you are entirely unable to bring some vital piece of equipment (such as a tent), please contact us. We may have spares you can borrow, but we need to know ahead of time to find one for you. Pets and other animals are welcome if they are leashed or otherwise contained and pose no hazard to our land, livestock, staff, guests or wildlife. They must be leashed or otherwise contained, no exceptions.
KEEP IN MIND: The ritual field and camping area are a five-minute walk from the road, down a somewhat uneven and occasionally muddy path. (It is about 750ft.) No cars or RVs are permitted down this path (they will not fit over the bridge) and you are responsible for bringing yourself and your gear to and from the site. We used to have a golf cart to assist individuals with disabilities, but it has broken down. For larger events (or with prior arrangement) we have a small tractor that can trailer gear down. It does not run after dusk. Please plan and pack accordingly. If you are like many of our guests, and haven't gone camping since childhood (or ever), please keep the following things in mind.
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Today's Hour-By-Hour Forecast
- Tent: Know how to set it up, and make sure it is in good repair and has all its parts. We will not set it up for you unless you make prior arrangements with us and have some legitimate need for assistance.
- Sleeping bag: or other bedding. The ground is hard, and the nights can be chilly even in warm weather.
- Flashlights or Lanterns: So many people decide they don't need one of these, or don't bring sufficient batteries, and then ask to borrow one of ours. Fewer than half of the flashlights we lend to people during campouts ever get returned to us. Please bring your own flashlights and batteries.
- Bug repellent & Sunscreen: Again, many people feel they can do without these things, and then ask to borrow ours. We've got a good deal of swamp around here, so bugs can descend with unexpected ferocity. Hats, sunglasses and covering clothing may be a good idea.
- Clothing: Bring clothing appropriate for a range of possible weather conditions. Camping can be messy! If you want to bring something fancy, put it in a garment bag, and bring casual clothes as well. An extra pair or two of dry socks is often a good idea in even slightly damp weather, which near a swamp is almost always.
- Sensible Shoes: While some people can make it down to the field in high heels, I would not recommend it. Bring shoes appropriate for being in the woods.
- Food: Please bring sufficient food for the event, and the means to cook it and keep it chilled if needed. You cannot keep food in our refrigerator or freezer. Keep in mind that camping food can be more than just franks & beans, smores, and "energy" bars. Consider what you'll actually want to be eating for three or more days, especially when the guy in the tent next to you is grilling salmon steaks and steaming fresh veggies. Sharing is great. Mooching is not so great. Being outdoors all day and night often makes folks much hungrier than usual. If you anticipate not having enough to eat during the event due to severe financial hardship, please let us know ahead of time - you can help out in the kitchen in return. (If you simply can't be bothered to prepare, we are less sympathetic.) Guests can drop by the grocery store in Gardner on their way in. If you will need to drive to the grocery store during the a larger campout, let the staff know ahead of time.
- Cooking Gear: What you bring depends on what you'll be cooking, but think it through. Do you need a pot or frying pan? Cooking or serving utensils? Forks, spoons, sharp knives? Paper towels or napkins? Cups, bowls, and plates? Many people bring propane stoves, but there is also an area for a small cooking fire.
- Potluck: Most of our campouts have a potluck feast on one of the nights. At some events, two or three people might (with prior arrangement) be able to use our kitchen to reheat a fully prepared dish, but this is generally not a great plan. We do not have the space for ten people to cook in our kitchen at once. Please bring a substantial dish to potluck, rather than snacks. Alcohol is welcome, but it is NOT potluck.
- Possible Other Gear: Folding tables or chairs. Air mattress or other bed. Drums and other musical instruments. First Aid supplies. Medication. Supplies and food for any animals you might be bringing.
If you have any mobility impairments, please let us know ahead of time. We will make every attempt to accommodate you, but our resources are fairly limited in this regard. (The golf cart died.) Outdoor events are held in a field a ways back into the woods, down a rocky, uneven (and occasionally muddy or icy) path, with a moderately steep bridge. You cannot drive your car to the field, because the bridge is far too small. If you would like a chair to sit in during the ritual, there are plenty. A large print copy of any program or ritual text may be available - Joshua is the person likely to be able to provide these.
There is no electricity in the camping area. If you require a CPAP or other electric device while sleeping and do not have battery power for it, and cannot afford a motel room, we may be able to let you sleep in the the house but space is very limited. Please contact us well in advance.
Individuals are nearly always welcome to camp in our back field, and for special purposes visitors may stay in our guest room or one of our outbuildings. (We have a small treehouse with a rope bed.) For more comfortable accommodations, you may want to stay at one of the many nearby Bed & Breakfasts. (The Gathering Inn, right down the road from us, is not a B&B. It is a women's spiritual retreat center.) If you prefer to stay in a hotel or motel, these are a few of the closest. We're not endorsing any of them, just saying they are nearby.
Super 8 Motel
22 N Pearson Boulevard, Gardner
Small motel, about 20 minutes away. Rooms $60-$85.
625 Betty Spring Road, Gardner
888-214-4991 or 978-630-2500
Large hotel. About 30 min away. Rooms $110-$190.
South Gardner Hotel
8 East Broadway, Gardner
Town Crier Motel
183 Main St, Westminster
Junctions 2, 2a, 140
183 Main Street, Westminster
Small budget motel. Less than 10 miles away. Rooms $45-$100.
Wachussett Village Inn
9 Village Inn Rd. Westminster
Just off Rt 2, exit 27
Small hotel. 30-45 minutes away. Rooms start at $125-$200.
7 West Street, Route 122, Barre
A lovely 10-room Victorian, less than 10 miles away. Nice restaurant. Rooms from $170-$195.
Best Western Royal Plaza
150 Royal Plaza Drive, Fitchburg
Large hotel. 30-45 minutes away. Rooms start at $85-$100.
Four Points Sheraton
99 Erdman Way, Leominster, MA
Large hotel. 30-45 minutes away. Rooms from $115-$140.
There is no local bus. We are a more than half an hour drive from regional bus and train lines in Fitchburg and Worcester. Unfortunately, not generally able to pick people up from the bus or train station for events. We can ask around and see if another guest will be coming from your direction and be able to give you a ride, but we cannot guarantee this and we have limited ability to set up rides for people.
Greyhound Bus Lines - MBTA Regional Rail to Fitchburg - MBTA Regional Rail to Worcester - Amtrak Trains
In the area:
We are roughly 2.5 miles from the center of Hubbardston, which has a gas station (limited hours), convenience/liquor store, and pizza shop. We are roughly 10 miles from Gardner. If you take 68 back towards Rt. 2, you will find a Walmart. Beyond that is Timpany Plaza, with a Stop & Shop grocery store, Citizen's Bank, Sovereign Bank, liquor store, chinese food, dollar store, Radio Shack, and Big Lots. Further into Gardner, past the rotary, there are a number of restaurants, gas stations, fast food, a few small diners (limited hours), and other stores.
Information for Long-Term Guests and Interns
Our farm occasionally takes interns in the spring-to-fall season. We've had them in the winter, but don't intend to do it again. We've taken interns for as little as a week and as long as six months. We discuss what you'd like to learn, and what of that we can teach you. The program is quite flexible, and fairly informal. We will not pay you, because we don't have the money. If you are staying for more than a few weeks, we appreciate a small contribution towards food and utilities, but do not require it if you cannot afford it. We do require that you help with household chores. We will also arrange with groups to do one-day workshops on specific skills, such as soapmaking, dyeing, butchering, herbalism and spinning. Please see our General House Rules, and our list of things we wish we'd asked past guests & interns.
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-928-4198.
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