I built my house on Denman Island, one of the B.C. Gulf Islands, while single and living in Vancouver where I taught in the Tourism Management Program at a local college. Then in 1998 I moved here, cleared more land and started a large garden on my 5 acres. Five years ago I started a small market garden business. I sell mostly lettuce mixes and microgreens (a new and popular green food product). I sell mostly at our Farmers Market and General Store. I'm passionate about growing food and have been on the Board of the DI Growers & Producers Alliance for ten years. Our motto is Denman Feeding Denman. I believe the climate crisis makes it essential that people know how to grow food. I love to educate people about how they can feed themselves, even within a small space.
My partner Alan, came as a Woofer ten years ago and stayed! We have a great time and laugh a lot! Alan loves to cook especially our own food. You can also meet young people who have recently come here to farm. There is so much going on on this island! It's a fabulous, caring community and we love it here!
We are looking for help from March to end-June and then September-October. We get lots of family and friends in July August so don't have space for helpers.
If you are interested you can learn about how to run a market garden business and about rural life on an island that has lots of community events. We have lots of artisans, painters, potters, weavers and a vibrant community. Alan and I are both ex-Brits now Canadians who are well-travelled and love to engage in discussions over dinners on the deck.
Our market garden business is growing! In 2020 we will need help with getting the garden ready for the season (early spring) then seeding, transplanting and planting in the raised garden beds, watering, and general garden maintenance work. We do not use chemicals or anything toxic. We make our own soil and compost. There are three greenhouses. From June-October you would also be cutting, washing, bagging the produce for the Saturday Farmers Market and the General Store. Selling at the Farmers Market is lots of fun.
In season, we mostly eat our own and island produce that is organically grown. We welcome people who enjoy physical labour and who like to learn new skills. You don't need a lot of gardening experience we can show you. Micky our gorgeous cat loves to help with keeping the mice down and being petted!
English, a little Spanish and French
Our guests stay in a lovely 12x12 Annexe room next to the house which contains a queen-size bed, dresser, desk, wardrobe, tea/coffee-maker, and pee-pot (no running water). It has it's own deck off the back of the room for privacy. There is wifi.
Alan does a lot of bbq-ing in summer and most of the cooking but we love to taste other peoples's dishes so encourage cooking. We like to know what you like to eat (or not) before you arrive so we can stock up.
We are close to the ferry to Hornby Island which is a very touristy island with gorgeous beaches (ours are rocky). There is a bicycle for getting around. We usually take guests on a tour when they first arrive. We live in a quiet place but have an active social life. We usually invite our helpers to social and cultural events. There is a potluck dinner each week at one of the farms where you can meet young and older people and there are dances at the Hall each month. You can hike/walk the trails, watch the wildlife, swim in the ocean, get a tan, play pickleball and other games at the Denman Activity Centre. The summers have been hot and dry for the past 3 years! We go into Courtenay once a week shopping. This will be my 10th year of having volunteers/helpers.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4 hours a day, 5 days a week
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