1 / 5

Maintenance, gardening and permaculture at a retreat centre in Nelson, Canada

  • Favourited 323 times
  • Last activity: 16 Jun 2023



 Min stay requested: at least a week



  • Description


    My name is Richard and I run a Retreat Centre just outside of Nelson BC. We live on a 150 acre property that is surrounded on three sides by the West Arm Wilderness Park and yet is just a three kilometer walk to Nelson, I like to think we have the the best of both worlds. The programs at the retreat centre are all about health, wellness and the fostering of human potential.
    We offer everything from yoga trainings to meditation retreats, and programs focused upon the healing of addiction. We have a main lodge, five cabins, and a separate workshop building.
    My wife, Yogita, and I, live on the property, along with James, our taoist and buddhist caretaker. Many of the buildings we have created over the years are round, built of post and beam and out of Hempcrete. We have a large garden that feeds our retreat guests and many trails, for Mountain biking and Hiking, that head off into the West Arm Park, down to Kootenay Lake, or into Nelson.
    There are always projects that we are engaged in around the retreat centre that we can use help with, expanding the garden, building ponds, repairing decks, as well as helping to support our guests experience in different ways, in the kitchen , in the garden, or guiding people out to the huckleberry patches. We practice permaculture, and we are blessed to live upon a very special piece of land that some guests have called "The Shire" from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings
    in the Spring of 2018 we will be putting up a 20 ft tepee for our Workaway friends ( guess what? Mosquitos are not an issue on our property ), in a beautiful meadow not far from the lodge. We are looking ideally for a couple who are interested in health, wellness and ecological living. People who are able to work hard, and rest well, learn with open minds, and contribute their own gifts to our retreat centre community.
    If what we have to offer appeals to you, or intrigues you, then please send me an email or give me a call and we can explore creating a win/win scenario together.



  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We offer travellers an opportunity to participate in the unique culture of our retreat centre, to learn from what is happening here in regards to our on going programs, to participate when there are opportunities to do so and to engage with our guests in different way, whether that is helping them learn about and engage in the garden, leading them out on the forest trails, doing some cooking or kitchen work and being available for the deeper learning conversations that can arise in a spontaneous way.
    Nelson is a special kind of Mountain town, and not only because of the physical beauty of it's location. It is large enough to attract good music and cultural events, it has not been paved over by strip malls and box stores, and it has attracted an off beat alternative culture unto itself that means it has great restaurants, coffee shops, used bookstores and farmers markets plus much more.

  • Help


    Carpentry and Building skills are an asset as we will be replacing some older decks this season and doing some maintenance on the main lodge. Knowledge of safe use of a chainsaw is an asset as we are working on a fire risk reduction plan around the property that also involves use of hand tools. Interest in gardening and permaculture, We will be finishing up a greenhouse and building a pond this year. We are always experimenting and learning in the garden.

    As we are closing to the end of 2019 season, we will need some extra hands to collect firewood and put the garden to sleep by adding new manure, weeding and tilling, and finally mulching.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Chinese (Cantonese): Fluent

  • Accommodation


    When our retreat bookings permit Workawayers are welcome to stay in a lodge room or cabin, AND we will be setting up a 20 ft tepee this spring as a separate accommodation space for our volunteers that will be quite special, private and beautiful. The tepee will be about 75 meters from the lodge, where there is wifi available, and all the meals are served. Workawayers will be eating meals with our guests at the Retreat centre, and at times when there may be gaps in our programming they will be free to use the Kitchen facilities to prepare their own meals. We will provide all food.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We have had many great experiences with volunteers from all over the world over the last 15 years. I hold a priority around clear, honest communication where the goal is to find the Win/ Win that meets all of our needs. I am quite flexible with scheduling so that things happen here at the retreat Centre in a productive fashion, and volunteers are able to do the things they wish to do with their time off . We have a couple of extra mountain bikes to lend out which makes for a quick trip into town, and some good exercise on the way back as we are 250 meters higher than Nelson at the Retreat centre.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hrs per week

Host ref number: 218831684883

Feedback (5)



These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.

Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (4.5)