Help with construction near Cobourg, Ontario, Canada



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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    We are looking for helpers starting in May. Thanks for checking us out!

    Our farm is situated in the rolling hills of Northumberland County, 10 minutes north of Cobourg. The view is magnificent and the gardens are gorgeous.
    We have many projects on the farm including a vegetable garden that supports 4 families. This summer we are involved in a different project from our usual. Ten years ago we lost our barn, which burned to the ground. This has made it extremely challenging to manufacture earth blocks and to keep our lumber piles dry. Two summers ago we dismantled a steel post and beam barn and moved it to the farm. Now that our jumbo straw bale house is almost completed (the decks still need to be made) we will be rebuilding the barn. Although we prefer to have helpers come with some history building and carpentry, most important is an eagerness for hands on work.

    We have developed a compressed earth block and straw bale hybrid building system, which is the first of its kind in Canada. There are two houses on our farm that have been built using this technique. Henry is always eager to share his experience and knowledge.

    There is an article about the build in the Toronto Star. Google "Jumbo Straw bale house cobourg" and it will come up.

    Currently we have 4 people staying with us. We have room for more helpers the beginning of May.
    We really enjoy getting to know people and watching the helpers form a wonderful group and hang out together. Everyone becomes a part of the family. The atmosphere on our farm is relaxed, warm and accommodating. We enjoy bonfires, saunas, cooking in our pizza oven and music events. The sound of laughter and good times echoes over the hills.

    Once the weather becomes warm enough we spend most of our time in the "dome", an outdoor shelter complete with kitchen, dining area, and ping pong table.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Alternative, sustainable building techniques and ideas, medicinal herb education, organic gardening, communal living with amazing volunteers.

  • Help


    Work hours are flexible and varied according to job, weather, etc. and are approx. 5 days a week, 5-6 hours a day...including a share of the household dishes. Helpers are included at our meal times and have access to all our facilities including internet. Our helpers often become good friends, many returning in the following years. We enjoy making music, playing games, and having lots of parties around the camp fire in the evenings.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Dutch

  • Accommodation


    As long as the weather is cool helpers are staying in our farmhouse. We have two outdoor, unheated accommodations.
    Our diet is garden based, some fish and home raised chicken.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Our volunteers have access to many bicycles and often bike to Cobourg. Our family lives around us and with four other households there is always a lift to catch into town or a return home. There is also a lake close by that is great for fishing. We love taking hikes across the countryside and enjoy many campfires with our helpers.

  • 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

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day 5 days a week

Our new build with help from the Endeavour Center. Our fall and winter project.
Henry and Joanna
Ella, who is always looking for someone to throw her stick.
Helpers picking berries in our Sea Buckthorn orchard
Our newly planted herb garden
our view to the east
The dry stone wall we started last fall needs to be completed this spring. Our CSA garden in the background.
Although we always eat lunch and dinners together, our helpers have their own kitchen and hangout spot.
the earth block/strawbale demonstration house
our view...Lake Ontario in the distance
second floor of the earth block house
first floor of the earth block/strawbale house
our CSA garden

Host ref number: 832929753671