Gardening and eco projects to learn about permaculture at our eco-house in Portneuf, Canada

  • Canada
  • Favourited 16 times
  • Last activity: 05/02/2023



 Min stay requested: 1 week or less



  • Description


    Do you want to start-up permaculture gardens and learn what it takes to launch such a project? Are you passionate about organic farming / permaculture, ecology and consciousness? If so, you may have a place with us this season 2023 at our straw baled eco-house in Portneuf.

    We grow a large diversified garden with many vegetables and medicinal plants, we have fruit trees and bushes, 2 ponds with fish and frogs, a dog, a cat and 3 hens. This spring, we plan to start raising heritage turkeys. Permaculture is a step beyond organic farming, not aimed at commercial production but more on developping a balanced eco-system similar to what nature would do on its own. Improving soil quality is key, learning about insects and diseases that result from an imbalance in the soil, and figuring out how to work with it.

    I am a 53 years old single man living with my 16 years old son, and I lived and worked overseas for 20 years in international development, mainly in asia. Since the Covid crisis, I have realised how dependent we are on the system in place, and have chosen to develop a self sustaining model where people can come to learn. We have had 2 seasons already with 27 volunteers and a total of 300 working days, which has made this ambitious project possible.

    For season 2023, our 2 priorities will be to set up a mobile greenhouse along Eliot Coleman's principle for winter and cold weather vegetable farming, ensuring that the non-heated greenhouse can be moved. We also have a wide and steep south facing section that needs to be worked into 2 terraces or levels to increase growing space for medicinal plants.

    If you come, you will learn about permaculture and leave behind your creative footprint in this ambitious project that aims to offer an alternative to the current unsustainalbe socioeconomic model which is strained beyond its limits. You will have your own bed in a closed room, and I pride myself on cooking great meals and treating each volunteer with respect and kindness.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will learn about permaculture and how to be more self sufficient through concrete actions and tasks. This includes tending to the gardens, pest control, harvesting, transformation - drying of herbs and plants, fermenting, cidre and vinegar making, tree pruning, fruit picking, small construction works. I work in the gardens with the workawayers to make sure that it is a collaborative effort and that learning and exchange is part of the experience. Your ideas and expertise is most useful to help shape the gardens and create a harmonious space.

  • Help


    If you join us, you will learn the basics of permaculture as part of the farm.

    What will you do with us? Tending of the gardens, harvesting, food transformation - jams, compote, fermenting, cider making, drying of herbs and flowers, weeding, land projects like building stairs with tires, setting up deer protection fences, taking care of the hens, pest management, minor contruction tasks and more!

    The month of May will likely be busy with setting up the 2 levels on the south facing land, renting a mini excavating machine, setting up walls and filling the new leveled planting sections with soil and manure. We will also set up the new greenhouse with the aim of growing fall-winter-spring vegetables.

    We enjoy cooking and eating fantastic meals, as much organic as possible, and we can catter to all diets including vegetarian, vegan or gluten free.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Closed bedroom with 2 beds specifically to host workawayers. I love to cook and take the main responsibility for offering great meals. All volunteers that come comment that food is amazing. I make sure to have wholesome meals using mainly organic foods, and have healthy treats, cakes, cookies and homemade chocolate ready to give an energy boost. I make my own yoghourt, jams, fresh bread daily and a mix of butter and healthy oils. I can cater to all diets including vegan and gluten-free, though we tend to eat organic meat and dairy. You are most welcome to help in the kitchen as well depending on your interests.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The house borders the Portneuf river which has cascades that we hear from the house. It is not great for swimming but you can dip your feet and relax in the waters. We also have a yoga/relaxation plateform by the large pond, a hammac and many rest areas on the property. Portneuf is a small town near Québec city (30 min away by car) and there are hiking trails 10-25 km away from the house where we can drop you off for the day. Portneuf also borders the St-Lawrence river which is lovely for walking by.

  • 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

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Please ask as this is a case by case situation, being that we already have a dog, a cat and hens on site.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 286588346993

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