We are homesteading, modern style!
Our property consists of 35 acres in the Cowichan Valley on beautiful Vancouver Island. Our farm was untouched for 30+ years. This provided us with beautiful second growth forest, intermixed with newly cleared areas. We big plans: a food forest, market garden area, pasture layered under orchards, agroforestry and beautiful ecofriendly buildings.
We have completed the house/garage/suite structures and are still finishing the interiors during winter. Plans are in the works for a sugar shack and a barn though these are slow endeavors as they will be timber frame structures and need extensive engineering input. We have completed two mobile coops, broody houses and mobile rabbit hutches, with more in the works.
In addition to maintaining your space and contributing to the household, we have daily chores of caring for our livestock, managing our farm stand and standard weeding. Where we shine is our projects, like building timber frame structures, fencing, establishing food forests, finish carpentry, and making Maple Syrup (All activities that I love!).
I will not ask you to do jobs that I am unwilling to do myself. I also prefer to work together on projects as things move more quickly and I crave progress. We are currently trying to finish our food orchard, which consists of primarily perennial fruits and vegetables, irrigation and exterior lattice work on the house. We also plan to mill/split wood for the construction of our deer fencing and our sugar shack this summer/fall.
Our family consists of a husband and wife and our three children. The father works off the farm; the mother is a retired professional and manages the farm and household. All three children are school aged, and attend a school off-site. There are plans for further family to join us this year and take over the market garden component of the farm. This will make us a small community and we anticipate it being very busy with many children running around.
We hope to attract volunteers that are:
open to hearing other points of view, have a healthy sense of self and an equal interest in the well-being of others with well-defined boundaries, and a willingness to abide by our rules and agreements.
As a developing farm, we likely spend too much time working, but plan on more excursions to see all that the island has to offer and establishing a better work/play balance. Having a volunteer around will definitely motivate us! We are building more play areas into one of our forests and hope to have some slack lines and a ninja course soon. We also have about 2 Km of trails through the farm with plans to add stairs and small bridges to make it easier to use for both running and biking.
We live in the Cowichan valley, which is the epicenter of the food and wine industry for the island. As such you will find multiple vineyards, cideries, distilleries and breweries. We also have a large variety of farms in the valley; from Deerholme Farm, Westholme Tea Farm to Providence Farm, which hosts music festivals, culinary students, therapy riding, and was the recipient of James Barber’s attentions when he was alive. There are numerous music festivals throughout the summer and a large variety of cultural events that occur throughout the year. We also have access to cities (Victoria and Nanaimo), mountains, rivers, lakes, open ocean and the inside passage. Needless to say there are many things that make this a wonderful place to both live and visit. If you want to investigate further, I suggest following this link to begin with (link is external).
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
A rural Canadian and West Coast lifestyle; practice English, enjoy how life is slower and how hands-on work is rewarding and enjoy the outdoors in many different forms. We have the coast, rivers, lakes, woods and mountains. We are very close to transportation hubs, so visiting Vancouver, Victoria or the Island further afield is pretty easy.
Gardening, Animal care, Carpentry, Clearing land/trails, Occasional cooking and light housework
Accommodations include shared kitchen, living space and laundry with the family. In addition, there is a bedroom with Murphy bed, clothes storage, exterior door/window and TV/DVD. The full shower bathroom is through the kids lounge (your exclusive use after dinner), and outside will be a seating area where you can enjoy the view. The bedroom provides enough space that yoga could be done in private. We ask that volunteers keep their bathroom, bedroom and lounge clean, and that the main floor be ours after dinner so that we can finish the day with our children's nightly routines. Breakfast and Lunch are self serve from our groceries, often lunch is leftovers or previously frozen batches of soup. Dinner is made nightly and it would be appreciated if volunteers make a meal at least once a week and help with dishes daily. We are a Celiac family, so gluten is not allowed and we can accommodate most diets, except for nut allergies and vegans. Our diet is a whole foods diet, consisting of meat at least a couple times per week, dairy and large portions of veggies. We also make many of our own processed foods; granola, instant oatmeal, granola bars, canning and sauces. Our diet is approximately 60% organic though often much higher. We ask for no smoking of any kind, we are highly sensitive to the smell and we have yearly droughts with extreme fire risk. There are no drugs allowed on premises and we require that if you partake, you do so while away and stay away till you are no longer high. Failure to follow this will result in the immediate termination of the contract. Alcohol is permitted, however this is a family home and thus we ask that consumption not be excessive and out of control behavior will result in a request for you to leave. We expect you to purchase your own alcohol.
During time off, there is access to mountains, rivers, lakes and the ocean. most sport specific equipment can be rented locally if you do not have your own. We can provide occasional transportation, but there is also public transportation in the form of buses, taxis, and ferries. Carpooling can also be arranged through our local community. Interesting getaways would be surfing in Tofino, visiting gardens around Victoria or enjoying the local foods and adventures.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week