15km of gravel road ends at our farm of woods, meadows and gardens near Williams Lake, BC. At the moment our internet has been down for about a month so I'm needing to properly update this page as soon as I get a chance, but here is a quick summary about us:
Our garden is about 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 (organic) 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 sometimes 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 ducks, two horses (unrideable, but friendly), a small flock of cashmere goats and one indoor/outdoor goat, Amadeus, who is a local celebrity with his own facebook page and a bi-monthly article in our local paper that I have been writing for almost 3 years now!
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 little-to-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 2015 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 will be attending a small, new market that is just beginning this year at a summer music event in Williams Lake. Market will be for July and August and then I will have to do deliveries in September. We'll see how it goes, but it will be a chance for volunteers to come to town and see what there is to see, listen to some live music and get to know the community.
Farming isn't easy. 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 also almost finished building a cordwood sauna so that will be another fun project and relaxing thing to do once it is finished!
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.
as of May 1st 2015, I still have openings from July onwards. Let me know if you are interested in getting involved with growing and eating some great food in the BC wilderness!
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
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.
English, learning French
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.
This will be our sixth year of having helpers from around the world, and it has been a very positive experience. We have made many lifelong 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).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
maximum 25 hours a week
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