Small heritage farm and pending artisan goat cheese dairy seeks helpers, beautiful part of Nova Scotia, Canada, beautiful farm

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    19/10/2017

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  • Description

    Description

    *️️️️️*️️️️️ Currently booking helpers for the summer and into the Fall and Winter. Especially interested in those that can settle in and commit to staying for a month or more, but less can be OK too. If someone is interested in artisan cheese making we may also be taking on a new apprentice in the fall (would require a couple month commitment minimum - pls message to discuss details).

    Beautiful area of Nova Scotia Canada, beaches and historic towns nearby. Beautiful heritage farm. Private accommodation sometimes available.

    Small but busy goat farm and artisan goat cheese dairy has space year round for helpers who are responsible, cheerful, tidy, respectful and hard working who can follow instructions but also work independently. Farm experience not needed but a positive attitude and a team player attitude is - as is practical common sense and comfort with the outdoors and physical work. Instructions and guidance provided but micro managing can be a drag (it's tiresome to have to ask daily for helpers to clean their dishes or not block doorways with strewn boots). If you find returning a hammer to the place you found it a problem, a farm experience will be a challenge.

    We can accommodate 3-4 volunteers at a time. This covers days off for and allows for overlap during the day, as well as time working together on special projects.

    This is a heritage farm dating from the 1780s. Ethical growing of meat (pastured pork) and humane treatment of our goats and other animals are central to what we're about. If you're not sure you like working and caring for animals, this is not the place for you.

    We just launched Nova Scotia's first goat micro-cheese dairy! So there is a lot to do - from building work (painting, cleaning, etc), to animal care. Goats take a lot of care which includes mucking out their bedding, learning to milk (and milking) and cleaning. There's lots of cleaning in any aspect of dairying. You might have the opportunity to learn some a cheese making. I offer classes and a farmstay for the public (so there is cleaning and prep work with that).

    Projects range from mucking out animal housing, to fencing, painting and other building work, to helping with a cheese class. The day starts at 8:30 am with chores and projects going until lunchtime. A typical day sees 1-2 helpers help with morning chores and others start later and helping with evening chores, with overlap. Some days are long. Flexibility is important on a small livestock farm - we try to get things done as a team and this can mean pitching in when something comes up. Couples often do really well here, though most of our helpers are singles.

    On off days there are bikes (Mahone Bay is about 30 mins away on bike as is the market town of Bridgewater; Lunenburg is closer to an hour). This is a fairly active community in the new farmer/sustainability sectors so there are interesting projects and folks doing stuff. The Lunenburg Farmers Market is possibly the most active farmers market in NS and we are a vendor there.

    In terms of accommodation, folks normally stay in one of the spare bedrooms in the house or in the off-grid cabin. We usually eat an evening meal communally (I often cook but am happy to share this role with those staying). We try to live as much as possible from our own produce and animal protein. This means we cannot cater to vegans and vegetarians may also struggle (though we do often cook vegetarian meals). Breakfasts and lunch are normally self-serve.

    *️️️️️ PLEASE, if you commit to coming and we make plans for your stay, PLEASE don't cancel on short notice. Or come and decide 'oops, farming is hard work and I'm going to leave tomorrow'. Such decisions have impacts on others and sadly we have experienced too much of this (this is not to say we have only 'bad helpers' Most of our helpers are fantastic). A farm stay helping opportunity is a chance to learn lots, experience a different culture, work hard, learn - and it provides needed help and camaraderie and cultural exchange to a farmer - but we and our animals struggle if you decide to do the above. If you're not sure you are up for physical outdoor work - that's OK, probably another placement is better suited to you. And while we have many gorgeous animals that will steal your heart (we love them all like family), this is a farm - not a petting zoo (sorry but I have to state the obvious as we get helpers who would prefer to spend a few hours petting animals and leave the physical work of caring to others).

    As noted - we cannot accommodate vegans. We mostly eat from what we produce - this means meat, eggs, (goat) dairy and seasonal veg. We eat well but we don't buy all that much from the shops. Those that enjoy cooking (with the ability to improvise from what we produce) may enjoy cooking sometimes. We cannot accommodate smokers (of any kind - I will re-state this as we just had two 'lovely' German boys who enjoyed their pot too much - 4 hour lunch breaks was not fun for us farmers; indeed if you're a pot smoker - please KEEP GOING). Pets are also not an option.

    We are approximately 1 hour from Halifax city. Unfortunately there is no public transport in NS in rural areas BUT we can usually arrange transport from Halifax with neighbours who travel to the city weekdays (folks flying in normally get the airport shuttle into the city and hook up with a ride from there, weekdays). There is also a well used Facebook page organizing lift shares to the area, so generally to/fro Halifax isn't too difficult.

    I hope my 'cautions' haven't put you off. If you think you'd enjoy living as a farmer for a spell and the joys and work that comes from animal husbandry and goat and pig cuddles, and eating goat cheese! - and can commit and are responsible and respectful - do give us a shout. The farm is a beautiful place and we enjoy sharing it with others.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    Cooking / shopping
    General Maintenance
    Farming
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Helping with Tourists
    Other
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Help

    Help

    I have a small goat dairy farm, where the animals spend their days outside on the pastures (in fine weather). There are often baby goats and help is needed with all their care. I also make cheese and offer cheese making classes, so help with both might be needed.

    There's also big white furry dogs and pigs (often baby piglets), all living outside, and chickens too! And there's vegetable gardens - for us people and for the animals too!

    There's building work happening as this is a really old property and I am restoring it back to its most beautiful.

    There's often work to do with fencing, with food preservation and gardening, with insulating animal housing, with construction and small building projects, with moving firewood, and with animal care. Of course all this is seasonal. We butcher our own pork and make sausages and are exploring charcuterie, for example.

    There is a small fruit orchard, hundreds of acres of woods, a woods cabin, a pond, and the ocean is only 10 mins drive away (there's nice beaches too). Volunteers are welcome year 'round.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Private room in home, shared bathroom (or sometimes all to oneself), or off-grid cabin accommodation beside a small pond for up to 4 (with propane lights/stove and woodstove).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    I have bikes and there are many scenic trails and roads in the area. The area is a popular tourist destination and known for its beaches, sailing, fishing, kayaking etc.

    I can often arrange collection and return volunteers to Halifax, the city, which is an hour away (there is poor public transport in rural areas in Nova Scotia but hitch hiking is very common).

    If time permits I normally work in some sight seeing with volunteers to the beaches, towns and coast or events, Please note though that I am not walking distance to nearby towns or to public transport.

    I expect volunteers to be non smokers, respectful, clean and tidy, and have a positive attitude towards helping out. And helpers should like being around animals and be conscientious in their care. Oh, and mindful really helps - i.e. we abide by the typical farm golden rule of 'return tools and items where you found them'!

    I have lived and traveled in many foreign countries (I spent 10 years living in England before moving here and I have visited over 50 countries). I professionally in the past was responsible for volunteer programmes in developing and Northern countries and worked in international and community development, as well as in environmental issues and the volunteer sector. My farm is normally a happy place.

    Longer term apprenticeships are welcomed (so if you have an interest in a specific area we can work out a plan for your learning over time).

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I have visited more than 50 countries and have lived abroad (most recently for 10 years in England but also in Asia and Australia). My former professional work was supporting young people (and professionals of various stripes) to live abroad, often in Southern (developing) countries. Helpers will learn about farming (more so, and in a structured way, if they have specific interests and wish to learn).

  • ...

    Volunteering hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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