We are an urban farmer/preschool teacher, a doctoral candidate in philosophy of education, a warm and creative 8-year-old, and a bright and precocious 6-year-old (and 8 chickens, about 30 000 honeybees, and a scrappy black cat). We love good food, long conversations that challenge our thinking, and being connected to the earth. We live in Sooke, walking/biking distance to the village core, local beaches, good hiking, and a short drive to the Juan de Fuca trail. Victoria is an hour ride on public transit. We are up and going in the morning (kids and chickens need to be fed) and we are early to bed most nights but have been known to stay up talking into the night. Queer-friendly.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Vancouver Island is a beautiful place and our home is situated on the Southwest part of the island close to Victoria, the capital of the province, and surrounded by beaches and great hiking. Our community is very welcoming. We have worked with GAP students from Britain, New Zealand, and Australia, and we enjoy making suggestions for where to go and what to see. We are not usually up for partaking in the tourism part of your stay, but feel free to use our place as your home-base. English language learners are also welcome! We are both teachers and are happy to share our knowledge of gardening/urban farming, camping, cooking, baking, and our philosophy of child-care, education, and life generally. We are anarchist and parent gently and politically. We have plenty of books and resources on the topic we are happy to share. Hanging out with our kids is an education on its own.
We run a small garden-based playschool and do some urban farming on our 1/2 acre lot. We have a large yard with extensive garden development underway and we need help with planting, growing, and harvesting. We have some projects, such as building a grey-water system, in mind. Our greenhouse always needs attention and there is always weeding to be done. We have a major indoor project of sanding and painting a room that serves as a calm space for kids.
Our unschooled children, as well as the kids in our playschool, love to connect with adults and they will be around to distract you from whatever project you get into (so being willing to chat with kids is key but you would not be left on your own with them). Because of the nature of our business (kids), a Canadian Criminal Records Check is required, and with enough notice we can get you one (for free). Again, you would not be working in our business but on other projects, but the health authority requires a Canadian Criminal Records Check.
So, if you would like to get dirty in our garden or help us to recreate a calming space for kids, and if you enjoy being around funny and talkative kids, this may be the workaway for you.
*️We are also looking for someone or a couple to housesit for a week in August during a school closure. There would be some light gardening/animal care involved.
Our home has two bedrooms upstairs for our kids and for us. There is a spare room on the main floor with a view of the Sooke hills and the Alpaca farm across the street. The room has a queen-sized bed (IKEA pull-out, very comfortable) with cotton sheets and duvet. There is a closet, a chair, a bookshelf with plenty of books, and high-speed wireless internet. The room is large enough for a single person or a couple. The bathroom is shared and has a tub and shower. There is also a shared washer and dryer for laundry. We love to cook and eat healthy and mostly whole foods. We have been Vegan in the past and we are currently dairy-free and the only meat we eat is fish. We are welcoming to those who prefer to eat meat and dairy (meat and dairy can be stored, prepared, and consumed in our home we just won't partake). We love smoothies.
Late Autumn/Winter/Early Spring on the Island is beautiful in its own way. There is no such thing as poor weather, only poorly prepared people. We have rain and wind, but also bright and sunny days. We recommend layers, wool and synthetics, good rain gear and shoes. We love wool socks and having a warm hat is also nice. A travel mug for hot drinks is lovely. When you're working outside, cool weather can be really nice! As far as Canada goes, our winters are the mildest in the country and we love them! We get flowers coming up in January!
Late Spring/Summer/Early Autumn on the Island is the dry season. The days are warm and usually dry. Nights can be cool but clear and full of stars. There is usually a fire ban during this season. The ocean is cold but some folks brave it - we also have nearby lakes and rivers to cool off.
There is a nice balance of access to nature and city life. Victoria is accessible by public transit and Vancouver is less than a two hour ferry ride away. Victoria is a tourist attraction; several cruise ships dock there daily and there are plenty of walking tours and things to do. Festivals are every weekend in the summer and there are always buskers. There are many great breweries, bakeries, and restaurants. Up Island there are giant trees (Cathedral Grove) and the longest beach in Canada (Long Beach, Tofino). We are also just a short ferry to Seattle and Port Angeles, USA.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week