Susan and I are interested in self-sufficiency and attempt to use local foods as much as possible. We prefer healthy, home-made Mediterranean cuisine made with a variety of vegetables and seafood. Dannie is a bird guide, loves cycling and hiking, and still works in a provincial government ministry helping municipalities. Sue loves to bake bread and try new ways of preparing Dannie's garden produce. Dannie is a winemaker and there will always be some Bordeaux style wines maturing in the basement along with blackberry and crabapple wine. We enjoy people and especially like to show our guests the wonderful natural features of the local landscape.
Help with Eco project
We enjoy showing people the sights, sounds and culture of sea-surrounded southern Vancouver Island. Our forests are green, we have an environmental ethic, and there are many exceptional landscapes and Canadian and First Nations cultural traditions to be learned. I trade garlic for sockeye salmon, a traditional food of Nuu-chah-nulth peoples, and have a tea supplier who mixes seaweed with locally grown mints for the "Land and Sea" experience. We have binoculars to use to enjoy the many birds and animals on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and there are kayak rentals, whale-watching tours and lakes nearby.
My wife and I have a rustic property on a tiny creek - in semi-rural Brentwood Bay with large vegetable gardens and a native plant garden instead of a front lawn. I grow half our vegetables for three seasons using raised beds, composting and organic additives to create exceptional soils and wonderful tasting vegetables with good nutritional properties.
We need help for 2 weeks in March 2018 for planting the garden beds, yard cleanup and helping with a complete makeover of the basement suite. There is a comfortable guest room upstairs where you'll stay where you can listen to the lovely song of Bewick's Wrens from the corner windows.
We would also appreciate 2 weeks help in April for preparing the garden for beets, parsnips and beans. Some experience in basic construction would be helpful. If you love vegetables, are keen to garden, and like having some fun while you work you will fit in well here. A side benefit is enjoying the natural world from nearby hiking trails (10 minutes away) on early morning or evening walks. We are in scenic Brentwood Bay, minutes from the water and the Mill Bay Ferry which you use to take your bike for long rides to Cherry Point or Cobble Hill! Our last workaway ended up working for a nearby kayaking rental company and is moving to Vancouver Island!
By April, the rains have mostly stopped, the temperatures have risen to 8-10C at night, and the light is fantastic. The birds are singing (many species in our yard), the sun is shining brightly and those of you that come from a cold climate will be amazed at how far ahead the foliage, flowers and gardens are here on Vancouver Island. We are very close to major attractions such as Butchart's Gardens and local wineries.
By August we have multitudes of beets, chard, lettuce, and beans and we are starting to clear out kale and lettuce beds and planting fall crops. Please be aware we do have a ragdoll cat, Rambo, who usually follows you around the garden and watches with interest. Rambo likes everybody.
Some French, minimal Spanish
We have a modest but comfortable 2 bedroom home that is a busy place in the summer. You will be staying in our spare room while completing the makeover in the basement. Supper and lunch will be provided, breakfast is as you like it, and your participation in meal preparation and cleanup would be welcomed.
We live 10 minutes walk from Brentwood harbour, 10 minutes from two local parks with amazing Garry Oak meadow flowers and birds, and 10 minutes walk from Brentwood Village with shops and amenities. Our house is in rural Central Saanich close to farms, fields and green spaces that will delight the naturalist, walker and cyclist (bicycles available). Transportation will be available for field trips, we hope to have a canoe for you to use, and we can assist you with finding more adventures.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4 hours a day, 5 days a week