We welcome you to join us on our organic small holding, on the edge of the wilderness, facing the stunning Coast Mountain Range in the southern interior of British Columbia not far from the mighty Fraser River. Aspiring to be as self-sufficient as possible, we grow vegetables, small fruits, fruit and nut trees, raise chickens, turkeys, medicinal and culinary herbs. One of my passions is seed saving for local food security and so there are a number of projects related to that in our garden. Our neighborhood is an alternative rural community where since 1975 we have been working to create a sustainable bioregional lifestyle in our home and within our community.
We live in a gorgeous place with wilderness in the mountains around us and sometimes in our orchard (bears!) and chicken coop (bobcats and cougars!). Deer and coyotes are in the fields in front of our place this time of year when the alfalfa is about to green up.
Our home is comfortable and welcoming to both friends and new-comers. We enjoy good conversation and thinking with others about community building, environmental activism, child-rearing, our place in the natural world. We are always eager to hear about what life is like for people in other countries in these interesting and challenging times.
Our household consists of a couple living here on an acre and 2/3. Our daughter and 8 year old granddaughter live nearby on another homestead. We share our garden work and produce, and really enjoy spending time together no matter what we are doing. Our granddaughter comes and spends time with us at least two or three days a week, so you should expect to be spending time with her.
My partner is a writer and together we produce an annual collection of prose and poetry. This year we published the 16th edition. We have an extensive library; we intentionally do not have T.V., but we do have Satellite Internet, VOI phone and Skype phone access. Our energy source is solar panels as we are off the grid. There are a number of alternative energy systems in the valley, as well as alternative building construction styles (straw-bale and tire, for example) for those of you who are interested in such things. The Lillooet area is currently going through a phase of renewed interest in agriculture, which is really exciting for those of us who have been following the path of organic, non-GM agriculture for many years. Many of those interested in agriculture here are young agrarians.
Baby-sitting / garde d’enfant
Cuisine / courses
Entretien / Bricolage
Aide à la maison
Aide avec les animaux
Aide informatique / Internet
We really enjoy having people from other cultures come and visit! There are many opportunities sitting around the table to talk about our cultural differences, look at maps together, read some of the many books we have on the natural world and cultural history of British Columbia and Canada. One of our community events is a weekly singing circle where people get a chance to sing a song or two from their country....
As I write this, it is so warm that it feel like summer is here already. The nights are pleasantly cool as the snow is still on the mountains around us.
Garden chores right now are mostly about preparing beds for planting out, taking care of bedding plants in the greenhouse, weeding. We begin thinning the fruit on the trees: apricots first, then apples, pears and peaches. The strawberries are blooming, and in another month we will be eating ripe red berries! As usual, the asparagus bed is so productive we wonder how we can keep up with the eating of it all...but we manage!
It is also a good time to do some fence repair work, i.e. digging fence posts and renewing the deer-proof fence. The compost and manure piles will need turning. Mowing of the area around the house and gardens is a regular chore, as we convert the alfalfa and grass into mulch for the gardens and trees. We are always eager to teach whatever skills we can and learn from whatever you've picked up in your life.
English fluently, intermediate Spanish and French, rusty German
A comfortable and private bedroom in a two-room cabin near the house is available for our guests
What kind of person would fit in well with us on this place: self-directed but able to take directions, someone who enjoys a casual atmosphere who also likes to work hard, physically strong enough to do garden work, flipping compost piles, etc.,a lover of the outdoor life. Friendly, relaxed, outgoing. We expect people to share meals with us in the nearby main house.We love our delicious organic food from the gardens and orchard, eat our own meat and eggs two or three times a week, bake our own bread. We would prefer omnivores, but we can also accommodate vegetarians eating eggs and dairy. We expect meals to be shared, help with food preparation, cooking and clean-up, and basic house-keeping in the shared spaces.
Our lifestyle is informal and our work schedule flexible, varying with the demands of the gardens and orchard, though overall we expect to work 4-5 hours a day, five or six days a week.
We will provide bedding and towels. You should bring work boots/shoes, hiking boots/shoes, work gloves, flashlight, shampoo and sunscreen, rain coat, sun glasses and sun hat. We are heading into the hot summer months, and anyone coming here has to enjoy the heat! though it is dry, not humid or muggy. On really hot days, we start work earlier in the morning and take time off in mid-day, going down to the swimming hole or lazing about in the shade until it cools off later in the day when we can get back into the garden or orchard again. With the curtains closed, the house and cabin stay pretty comfortable during the heat of the day, and evenings are very pleasantly "cooler".
Travellers Health Insurance is absolutely necessary for your stay with us. Please be aware that neither the farm nor the property owner accept any responsibility for injury or accident occurring while participating in any task here.
We would prefer to have people who have had some experience already working with gardens and/or doing maintenance stuff around a place. Please let us know what kind of experience you have had with this. Also we'd like to know what skills you have developed, and any special training or education that you have pursued, any travel you have done, what work experience you have. All this information helps us decide if the fit is right for us to spend some time together. We would prefer to have a minimum stay of two weeks. It is possible for a person to come for a stay, take a break and go somewhere else, and then return later in the season for another stay.
For fun and recreation, people hike , camp in the mountains, picnic at the swimming hole or at nearby lakes, ride mountain bikes up into the alpine meadows, canoe or kayak (bring your own please). There are numerous community events that are a lot of fun: potlucks, work-bees, sauna night, games night, music night—we have learned to make our own entertainment living out here in the bush. The closest town is a 45 minute drive away, and we go there usually once a week to shop/visit friends/attend meetings or special events/go to the library.
Over half the population of our area is First Nations or Indigenous people, which is something we really appreciate and makes this a very special place to live. We have many interactions on both a formal and informal level with these neighbours of ours. There are a number of events over the summer that we will be attending: Walking with the Smolts (salmon), Salmon in the Canyon, International Indigenous Gathering, Hat Creek Bioregional Gathering. If you are here for any of them, we will be able to go together and experience some unique B.C. cultural events.
We have decided to limit our use of the WIFI to four times in the day: around breakfast, after lunch, late afternoon and after dinner. The reason for this is to limit the amount of electromagnetic radiation we are exposed to in the day, especially for our granddaughter and her young friends. People who come and stay with us enjoy having a break from the constant connection to the wider world. It's more peaceful and allows a wonderful appreciation of the wild world around us.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
4-5 hours a day, five or six days a week, sometimes less