We are a ranch (some say a funny farm) in the Cariboo region of British Columbia, Canada. We have 200 acres near Lac La Hache, and are surrounded on all sides by government owned forests open for public recreation. Our dry, sunny climate makes for the privilege of a life lived mostly outdoors. We are 1hr flight or 6hrs drive north of Vancouver. We raise all natural, free-ranged, cows, pigs and sheep. We also have chickens, horses, livestock dogs and a donkey. We have 3 fun loving, active boys, 18yrs and 13yr old twins.
We are travellers ourselves and home school our kids so we are always looking to both provide and accept opportunities for life experience and cultural diversity. We have had wonderful experiences with local and international visitors and would like to expand that part of our lives. Our focus is on providing an opportunity for someone to learn our way of life and for us to learn from you so individuals of all skill types are welcome although a reasonable level of physical fitness and good health are a must. Special knowledge and skills are not required but common sense and a good work ethic go a very long way.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Learn sustainability, environmental responsibility and ethical livestock production. Milking, making cheese, yogurt, butter and ice cream. Plant and harvest the garden and greenhouse. Learn to handle animals, participate in or learn about small scale processing of livestock (personal use) including sausage making, curing and smoking.
We live in the country so there is little "nightlife". There are pubs, restaurants, bike park, bowling alley and a theatre in the neighbouring town (1hr away) which we don’t get in to very often but if you have your own vehicle, you have plenty of time to explore. You can attend local events (ie: ranch brandings, rodeos, parades, farmers markets, local celebrations, etc) to sample community life. We help out at many neighbouring ranches during their busy seasons so there is opportunity to see other types of farming styles as well and be part of the community. If you have your own vehicle/camp gear and wish to use the ranch as a base camp that's an excellent option. We can organize work for you when you are here and be very flexible for times you are not.
It can also be very quiet at the ranch so applicants best suited enjoy both the hustle and bustle of busy ranch life but are able to enjoy the peace and relaxation of country life when it presents itself.
Over the past 13 years we have hosted from all over Switzerland, Austria, UK, Canada, Australia, Costa Rica, USA, Catalonia, France, New Zealand, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Scotland, Denmark, Japan, Norway and the Faroe Islands.
Absolutely no smokers or pets please. No exceptions on either. Alcohol is permitted but not provided (alcohol is expensive in Canada). We totally understand that this is a working vacation for those coming to stay with us and encourage you to kick back and relax with a drink. There is a liquor store in the nearest town and you have your own fridge.
Travel medical insurance is a must. There are endless opportunities for adventure here. Unfortunately that comes with endless opportunities for misadventure. It is extremely important to make sure you are covered in the event of an injury, however mild.
Those interested should enjoy children and be able to spend time and dialogue with them. Our kids are here all the time since they are home-schooled and are an important part of our daily life here. We take opportunities during downtime to do some "book-learning" and the rest of their schooling is life here at the ranch. There are times we all split up and go different directions for fun or tasks and you may have a kid on your team :) We enjoy having them around and include them in our activities wherever possible from chores to quad biking to leisurely meals on the dock - they are there :)
They are busy, talkative boys who are genuinely interested in our visitors so if you are uncomfortable relating to kids it is not a great fit
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Learn sustainability, environmental responsibility and ethical livestock production. Milk the cow, make cheese, yogurt, butter and ice cream. Learn to plant, tend, harvest, cook and preserve what you have grown. Learn to handle animals, participate in or learn about small scale processing of livestock (personal use) including sausage making, curing and smoking. Operate equipment, build and repair, harvest and split wood....the list goes on and on and on.
Although there are some basic daily chores, we have no set schedules and projects vary by season and activity. Farming/ranching is a lifestyle, not a job. We all just pitch in together and accomplish what needs to be done. There are not specific days on and off and we do not start and end at specific times (it's hard to tell a sheep when to have her babies!) but there is lots of downtime to enjoy this paradise.
I am a Director at our local food bank and manage the food waste reduction program there. My twice weekly work there is volunteer and I love to take our visiting workaways with me to help out and learn about food insecurity and better food recycling. We pick up food waste from the local grocery stores, sort, store and distribute human-grade food through the food bank. Food not consumable by humans is passed through to a team of local famers who recycle to livestock and compost programs. I'm pretty passionate about this project and do all our grant writing.
Spring, summer, autumn activities include horseback riding, swimming, stand up paddle boarding, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, etc. We are hardy, active and love the outdoors. We keep work fun and play even more so. We applaud and support programs like this and look forward to sending our kids on workaway stays. With that in mind, we treat everyone with the respect and care that we would hope others would show them. We try hard to make sure that this is a two-way exchange of experience and opportunity - not some pool of cheap labour. The more open you are to try things, the more things we will find for you to try.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
Accommodations are clean, comfortable and private although rustic. We have a really clean, comfortable truck-style camper unit parked lakefront, in a very private spot just outside our workshop. There is a comfortable bed, fresh water on board, lights, fridge, power and a stove. You have access to full common facilities nearby (laundry and shower room), clean outhouse/dunny nearby. During cold months we use our heated "friends and family" suite above the barn. Clean, private, comfortable with small kitchenette, full shared shower and laundry facilities.
Travelers with their own campervans and RV's welcome any time - we can arrange use of shower and laundry facilities and have places to plug in but have no pressurized water hook ups. We are a great stop over on the way north to Yukon or Alaska.
We often eat lunch and/or dinner together (or you can choose to eat on your own whenever you prefer - we can stock you up with groceries). I provide breakfast foods/coffee/tea for prep in your camper/suite. I need my alone time in the morning before everyone else wakes up :) I love to learn other cooking styles so welcome anyone willing to teach me!
Vegetarians are welcome but with recognition that we are a meat producing farm of happy omnivores and we believe deeply in what we do. There is always a good variety of food on the table - beyond that I cannot accommodate really picky eaters or special diets at this time (just too hard with the kids).
There are a million things to do if you enjoy the outdoors. Paddle boarding, canoeing, hiking, visiting the multitude of very friendly animals, work with the horses, or just relax. It’s absolute paradise. All food, linens, shampoo, laundry soap, etc, etc, etc provided. Just show up and be part of the ranch. Clean up after yourself and be ok with spending time on your own in the early mornings and the evenings as I like to have coffee alone in the morning (that's probably best for everyone :) and we like to wind down and retire early after dinner. We’re a friendly bunch and work/play together well, but we are also big on personal time and space, which is why we provide a separate comfortable space for our guests so that is possible. It’s always a best fit when we have guests that feel the same way. That's why we are specifically looking for couples or very independent singles to come hang out at the ranch with us.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have safe, comfortable space to park but no water or electrical hook ups for motohomes/rvs
few hours per day
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