We are a ranch (some say a funny farm) in the Cariboo region of British Columbia, Canada. We have 200 acres near Lac La Hache, and are surrounded on all sides by government owned forests open for public recreation. Our dry, sunny climate makes for the privilege of a life lived mostly outdoors. We are 1hr flight or 6hrs drive north of Vancouver. We raise all natural, free-ranged, cows, pigs, sheep and goats. We also have chickens, horses, livestock dogs and a donkey. We have 3 fun loving, active boys, 16yrs and 10yr old twins.
We are travelers ourselves and home school our kids so we are always looking to both provide and accept opportunities for life experience and cultural diversity. Workaways are welcome for 2-3 mnth stays during the spring, summer and autumn months. We love to discuss and learn languages if you will teach us. This year, WE ARE ONLY ACCEPTING COUPLES/FRIENDS APPYLING TOGETHER.
We have had wonderful experiences with local and international visitors and would like to expand that part of our lives. Our focus is on providing an opportunity for someone to learn our way of life and for us to learn from you so individuals of all skill types are welcome although a reasonable level of physical fitness and good health are a must. Special knowledge and skills are not required but common sense and a good work ethic go a very long way.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Learn sustainability, environmental responsibility and ethical livestock production. Milking cows, goats and sheep, making cheese, yogurt, butter and ice cream. Learn to plant, tend, harvest, cook and preserve what you have grown. Learn to handle animals, participate in or learn about small scale processing of livestock (personal use) including sausage making, curing and smoking. Operate equipment, build and repair, harvest and split wood....the list goes on and on and on. We also have an Airbnb cabin so some cleaning is required.
Although there are some basic daily chores (ie: milking, animal feeding), we have no set schedules and projects vary by season and activity. Farming/ranching is a lifestyle, not a job. We all just pitch in together and accomplish what needs to be done. There are not specific days on and off and we do not start and end at specific times (it's hard to tell a goat when to have her babies!) but there is lots of downtime and we make very good use of it with fun here at the ranch or head into town.
Spring, summer, autumn activities include Horseback riding, swimming, stand up paddle boarding, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, etc. Winter activities include skating on the lake, dog sledding, snowmobiling, skiing at the nearby mountain, sledding, ice fishing, etc.
We are hardy, active and love the outdoors. We keep work fun and play even more so. We applaud and support programs like this and look forward to sending our kids on workaway stays. With that in mind, we treat everyone with the respect and care that we would hope others would show them. We try hard to make sure that this is a two-way exchange of experience and opportunity - not some pool of cheap labour. The more open you are to try things, the more things we will find for you to try.
Accommodations are clean, comfortable and private although rustic. We have a really clean, comfortable truck-style camper unit parked just steps from the lake, in a very private spot just outside our workshop. There is a comfortable bed, fresh water on board, lights, fridge, power and a stove. You have access to full common facilities nearby (kitchenette, laundry and shower room), clean outhouse/dunny nearby.
Travelers with their own campervans, RV's and tents welcome any time - we can arrange use of shower and laundry facilities and have places to plug in but have no pressurized water hook ups. We are a great stop over on the way north to Yukon or Alaska.
We are currently doing some downsizing and trying to get in some travel with our boys. Therefore WE ARE ONLY ACCEPTING couples/friends applying together so if we do take off for some road trips, we know we have folks to leave ranch sitting that can rely on eachother and keep each other company. We would of course make sure you felt 100% with all the required details/chores before considering a trip which is why we are wanting stays of at least 8 weeks so folks have a chance to really settle in and get to know the animals and surroundings. My dad lives in a small cabin on the far side of the property so is here for support and any questions in our absence.
We all eat lunch and dinner together (or you can choose to eat on your own whenever you prefer - we can stock you up with groceries). I provide breakfast foods for prep in your camper. Most of our food is grown here and unprocessed. I love to learn other cooking styles so welcome anyone willing to teach me! We eat a varied and delicious diet prepared by a good cook :). Vegetarians are welcome but with recognition that we are a meat producing farm of happy omnivores and we believe deeply in what we do. There is always a good variety of food on the table - beyond that I cannot accommodate really picky eaters or special diets at this time (just too hard with the kids).
We live in the country so there is little "nightlife". There are pubs, bike park and a theatre in the neighbouring town (1hr away) which we only get in to about once a week. Workaways can attend local events with us (ie: ranch brandings, rodeos, parades, farmers markets, local celebrations, etc) to sample community life. It can also be very quiet at the ranch sometimes so applicants best suited enjoy both the hustle and bustle of busy ranch life but are also able to enjoy the peace and relaxation of country life when it presents itself.
Over the past 11years we have hosted from all over Switzerland, Austria, UK, Canada, Australia, Costa Rica, USA, Catalonia, France, New Zealand, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Scotland, Denmark, Norway and the Faroe Islands.
Absolutely no smokers or pets please. Alcohol is permitted but not provided (alcohol is expensive in Canada). We totally understand that this is a working vacation for those coming to stay with us and encourage you to kick back and relax with a drink. There is a liquor store in the nearest town.
Travel medical insurance is a must. There are endless opportunities for adventure here. Unfortunately that comes with endless opportunities for misadventure. It is extremely important to make sure you are covered in the event of an injury, however mild.
Those interested should enjoy children and be able to spend time and dialogue with them. Our kids are here all the time since they are home-schooled and are an important part of our daily life here. We take opportunities during downtime to do some "book-learning" and the rest of their schooling is life here at the ranch. There are times we all split up and go different directions for fun or tasks and you may have a kid on your team :) We enjoy having them around and include them in our activities wherever possible from chores to quad biking to leisurely meals on the dock - they are there :)
They are busy, talkative little boys who get into everything and are genuinely interested in our visitors so if you are uncomfortable relating to kids it is not a great fit
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
various - approx 25/week