Life on the farm continues as always, and there is just as much work to be done. However, because we are a foster family, we must take extra precautions with regards to new people joining the farm. All newcomers to the farm must self isolate for two weeks before we can drop physical distancing requirements. We have a trailer set up on the farm for workawayers. It has its own bathroom and cooking facilities, so it is possible, but it may be quite boring, particularly for workawayers travelling on their own. You can walk around on the property as long as you maintain physical distance and there are a few jobs we can give you to do on your own, like mucking out pens and pruning deadwood in the orchard, digging holes for fence posts or trenches for waterlines. But mostly you will have to entertain yourself. There is currently no internet access in the trailer, you would have to take care of that yourselves, but cell net coverage is good. Because of all the extra hassle, at this time we are only interested in hearing from people who are looking for longer stays, at least 3-6 months. If you are still interested, please give us a shout and we can discuss details!
We are a 20 acre farm, located just south of Nanaimo on beautiful Vancouver Island, off the West Coast of Canada. The farm has an orchard, pastures, a creek and a little bit of forest. We are close to the ocean, as well as a lake, forests and many hiking trails.
We are a conservation breeding facility for endangered breeds of livestock and poultry. We currently work with 5 breeds of chicken, ducks, goats, and horses. This is a social enterprise with the following goals:
• To maintain viable breeding populations of selected endangered breeds and promote these breeds to the farming community and the general public
• To develop and promote environmentally, socially and economically sustainable farming practices that are well adapted to our local landscapes and climate.
We are also a foster family and currently provide a home for two teenagers.
Tasks for workawayers vary throughout the seasons and can include: cleaning pens and barns, removing manure from pasture, stacking hay, feeding and watering the animals, weed control, pruning, infrastructure projects such as fencing and building maintenance and repair, and general tidying up. In the fall there is a lot of fruit to be picked and processed. There is always some housework to be done.
Please be aware that this is a farm in a rural area. The nearest bus stop is 3 km away. Once you are here, you are pretty much stuck here unless you like to walk or are bringing your own transportation. We can offer occasional rides into town etc. There are bicycles for the workawayers to use.
The farm is not suitable for people with any allergies to animals, hay, pollen etc. We have a no smoking policy.
Travellers can learn a lot about small scale livestock keeping, including caring for chickens, ducks, goats and horses and the use of livestock guardian dogs as predator protection. If they are interested, we can teach them to trim goat hooves. They will learn something about the environmental and social impacts of our food choices. Depending on the season, they may learn some pruning and fencing skills.
We usually take our helpers for a visit to Cathedral Grove, a very special place on the island, or for a hike to a nearby waterfall. They are also possibilities to go canoeing on the lake, and there are many hiking trails. In the summer, there are places to swim in the river or ocean. On their day off, helpers can catch a ride into Nanaimo during the day.
The help will be a mix of farm chores; the tasks vary throughout the year. Be prepared for hard, physical labour, and be prepared to get dirty. Most of the work takes place outdoors, and it happens in all weather! Workawayers who come between October and April, in particular, MUST have waterproof clothing and boots!!! This is Canada's rain coast, and it rains a LOT during this time.
If you have particular skills, we will try to put them to good use.
We have a self-contained travel trailer on the property as accommodation for our workawayers. Workawayers travelling on their own may be sharing the space with one or two other workawayers. Meals are usually shared in the farmhouse, though the trailer also has a kitchen if workawayers prefer to cook for themselves.
We often do not receive the notifications from Workaway that you have e-mailed us. If you don't hear back from us within a day, please try again.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Approx. 25 hours per week
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