My husband and I moved from the big city of Toronto five summers ago to pursue a quieter, moderately self-sustaining lifestyle. On our 12 acres we have meadow and hardwood forest. As the soil is sandy, from thousands of years of being part of a large sea, we are working hard to augment the soil for farming. Using methods such as Hugel kultur and digging in composted material; building raised beds and planting native species, we endeavour to bring the land to a state of growing ability.
In addition to this, we have a small bee yard, consisting of four hives.In addition, a local bee keeper has put 20+ hives on our property. We are learning from him. We have tried to plant flower species that are both native and sustaining for bee forage. Any honey we harvest has so far been for our own use.
Some of our large projects include laying a walking trail through the hardwoods, clearing out and repairing a barn on site, building a wood burning pizza and bread oven and establishing a mixed fruit orchard with trees and bushes native and hardy to our area.
Our fruit trees and vegetables are chemical free with hand picking of pests being our primary method of damage control. As you can imagine, this is very labour-intensive during the growing season. Another task that takes considerable time is the removal of invasive plant species on our property. By doing this we are able to maintain the natural habitats required for birds, frogs and snakes.
We live in beautiful Northumberland County, Ontario, east of Toronto and west of Kingston.
We have travelled extensively and welcomed students learning English to our home in Toronto. We speak several languages ourselves including: Dutch, French, Armenian, Spanish and German. We have facilities that will accommodate someone with a physical disability as we wish to be as inclusive as possible.
Art projects are encouraged!
In the spring of 2019, we will need help with planting vegetables, weeding, trail laying (involves clearing and covering with wood chips), cleaning out and repairing the barn. This year has seen a burst of growth in beehives around the county! As a result, we have already taken some honey from hives that were too full. End August and early September will be very busy with honey collection and bottling. As the weather warms up we will be preparing the area and then building the wood burning pizza/bread oven. Much of our work will be dirty but not overly taxing. Any and all are welcome to help!
English, French, Armenian, Dutch, German, Spanish
We have rooms within our house which has a big open plan encouraging communal living. Tents may be used in the summer months. Food preparation and eating together is what we do. We are non-meat eaters.
The beautiful Provincial park of Presqu'ille is nearby and we have a year pass. There are bike trails, walking trails and beaches. Toronto is two hours away by car. We have bikes for workers to use. We have a swimming pool which is a welcome splash at the end of a hot day!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week