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Learn about sustainable living in BC

Country: Canada

Workaway Host rating
4
Last Activity
25/07/2014

Description

I really do mean Road's End! 15km of gravel road ends at our farm of woods, meadows and gardens near Williams Lake, BC. Road's End was the dream of two friends who both grew up in this area, spent ten or so years in various cities around Vancouver before deciding we wanted to get out of cities for good. We volunteered on farms around BC before returning to where I was born to begin our own farm.
Chris has since moved on to other pursuits, though still visits from time to time, and I, Terri, am now running this business on my own! This will be my sixth growing season, my second season on my own. I am a woman in my early thirties, and I am excited to be a small business owner making a small difference through local food in my community! My partner, Curtis works seven days on and then has seven days off and will be helping around the farm sometimes when he is home. We are here because we want to do our small part to help heal our planet.

Our garden is over an acre and this year the plan is to do a better job with growing more in this space. While not certified we use biodynamic practices and low-energy techniques, working towards developing sustainable, low-input systems that work with nature, not against. I have downsized on animal production this year, so some of my animal plans have changed and there will not be a large flock of chickens or cattle or pigs until possibly next year. (Usually, to provide manure for the garden we will raise a large flock of laying hens as well as a small herd of cashmere goats. We also usually raise a few pigs and cell graze a herd of cattle using movable electric fencing that allows us to provide these animals with a good life while growing good meat and increasing the fertility of the land). For now we have 2 beautiful dogs, three cats, two rats, two ducks, two horses (unrideable, but friendly), a small flock of cashmere goats and one young indoor/outdoor goat.

Good food is very important to us and most of our meals consist of vegetables from our garden, homemade breads and our own pork, chicken and eggs as well as grass-fed beef from a local ranch. Vegetarians and vegans are of course welcome, but will have to do some cooking for yourselves.

The log house is very comfortable but quite rustic. We have a phone and intermittent internet but no television (we do own one for watching movies from time-to-time) and no cell phone reception. Our house is powered by solar electricity. The stars are incredible out here with no city lights or even close neighbours, and the only noise is that of the birds and other local wildlife. We love this solitude, but be prepared if you're used to city living; some people find the isolation a bit too overwhelming. I go into town twice a week to sell my vegetables at the farmers' market and the new growers' co-op and you are welcome to come with me to market. I also run a CSA or "box-a-week" program. I am growing quickly and am very involved in the local food movement in our community.

And while we are a bit out-of-the-way many travellers and friends find their way out to the end of the road and we are rarely alone out here in summer. There is a wonderful movement towards sustainable living and eating happening in the world and we are excited to be a part of this positive change.

Every season is different, and I still am not sure what 2014 will bring. I have some big decisions to make regarding the market and how I sell my vegetables. This is a small community and was built with a focus on industry (mining/logging), it can sometimes be difficult to get people to realize the importance of local food. We've tried a lot of different approaches over the years, but it may be that this town isn't ready for a vibrant farmers' market quite yet. This season my focus will be on the box-a-week program. I have yet to decide whether this will mean delivery or if I will still participate in market as a pick-up point for veggie boxes. Because there are so many changes happening this season, I need helpers who are committed and excited about helping to build something amazing! I love this life, though it really isn't for everyone. Helpers who love being outside and who are generally positive, easygoing people seem to have the best time.

We are looking for interesting and interested people who would like to help out and learn in a relaxed environment but who are also independant, hard-working and don't mind the isolation. What you get out of your stay with us will be entirely up to you. Accommodation is modest but comfortable and includes either a room in the house, a large, comfortable rv or camper van.

We look forward to meeting you.

Area

British Columbia

Type of help

Animal care,
Help in the house,
Farming,
General Maintenance,
Cooking / shopping,
Building,
Gardening

Help

Tasks vary with the seasons and throughout the week. Most of the work is in the garden where we do a lot of planting, weeding, harvesting and other garden tasks.
Generally there is a building project or two going on as well. The animals also need daily care and often helpers we have had have chosen to take over care of one of the groups of animals while they are here.
If you have any special skills you would like to put to use let us know and we can find you your own project.
We haven't had any families here in the past, but if the right family was interested it may work out well.

Languages spoken

English, learning French

Accommodation

We have either a room in the house, a comfortable camper van, or a large, bright, comfortable rv. We can accomodate up to six at one time and sometimes do in summer. Because our home is solar-powered we must be careful with our power/water use, so please be aware of this and be considerate.

What else ...

This will be our fifth year of having helpers from around the world, and it has been a very positive experience. We have made many friends and it is so good to see so many people interested in more sustainable ways to live. We love these programs and enjoy getting the chance to meet people from all over.

(Smoking is fine on the property, but not in the house).

Some more information

Internet access
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers

Volunteering hours expected

7 hrs/day, 5 days/week, but it does vary (often less)

Photos

Click to enlarge

Baby Amadeus
Baby Amadeus
Toad helper who lives in the greenhouse
Toad helper who lives in the greenhouse
Little Quoia, still a puppy.
Little Quoia, still a puppy.
Helper Noemie at market
Helper Noemie at market
Host ref number: 6689629824d8

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